Got your vacation booked for some exotic locale? If you're flying there, you might want to get your passport ready, even if your destination isn't a foreign country.

Minnesota is one of just a few states that is noncompliant with the REAL ID Act, which is a federal set of standards for government-issued identification. This means if you want to board a plane, or visit a military base, federal facility or nuclear power plant, you may need to bring along another form of ID other than your Minnesota driver's license.

If you have an Enhanced Driver's License, you'll be good to go until January 22, 2018, so you have another year to put off filling out that passport application. If you don't, it's a good idea to get that paperwork taken care of now, so you're not stranded here in the frozen north when all you want to do is soak up some sun on a beach somewhere far from Minnesota.

Last year, Gov. Mark Dayton did sign a bill to start the process of updating Minnesota IDs, but the Legislature did not also pass such a bill. If you don't want to get snowed by regulations on your next vacation, contact your state lawmakers and tell them to get this taken care of, right after you file your passport application, just in case.


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