Monday, February 10, 2014

Enhanced Driver's License and Identification Cards Now Available

ST. PAUL, Minn. —Minnesota residents are now able to apply for an enhanced version of their driver’s license or identification card that will allow re-entry into the United States via land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. .

In addition to serving as a driver’s license or ID card, the enhanced driver’s license (EDL) and the enhanced identification card (EID) are among the federally-approved border-crossing documents required under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorized the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division (DVS) to accept applications for EDLs and EIDs. Minnesota is the fifth state to accept the enhanced cards; the others are Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington.

Border Patrol Agents at land and sea entry ports verify cardholder identity and citizenship through the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in an EDL or EID. RFIDs do not store personal information, rather they point to the information of the cardholder housed in a secure DHS database. The RFID will only work within a certain distance of an RFID scanning device at land and sea entry ports. No additional proof of identity is required.

How to Apply
Only DVS can process EDL/EID applications. Currently, 14 DVS exam stations can accept EDL and EID applications: Anoka, Arden Hills, Austin, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Eagan, Hastings, Mankato, Plymouth, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Virginia. To find a station, visit DVS Office Locations.

EDL or EID applicants must be a U.S. citizen, Minnesota resident and at least 16 years old. They also must have a driving record that does not prevent them from legally operating a motor vehicle, unless applying for an EID. Proper documentation, including a Social Security number and proof of residency, must also be provided.

EDL or EID applications will take two to four weeks to process. The first cards will be in use after February 17, 2014.

Application for an EDL or EID can be accepted:
§  At the time a current driver’s license or ID is due for renewal.
§  For a first time application of a driver’s license, instruction permit or an ID card.
§  Replacement of a current driver license prior to the date of renewal, with no change in the expiration date of the license.
Note: If a 65+ ID card is enhanced, it is no longer a lifetime card, and it must be renewed every four years.

The cost of an EDL or EID is $15 in addition to the fee charged for a regular driver’s license or ID card.

For a list of driver’s license and ID card fees and for more information on the EDL and EID card, visit the DVS Website.