Real ID and Federal Control: An Explainer from CCHF President Twila Brase (January 25, 2021)


DHS Extends Real ID Deadline to May 7, 2025


Real ID and Federal Control: an Explainer from CCHF President Twila Brase


*To check the current status and options in your state, go to

Current Status and click on your state. 


DHS Extends Real ID Deadline to May 3, 2022


DHS Launches "Be Your REAL ID Self" campaign to try to convince Americans to get a federally-prescribed REAL ID card by the "October 1, 2021 REAL ID full enforcement deadline." (Consider using a passport or enhanced state drivers' license instead of a USA "Star" card)

CCHF Publishes MN REAL ID Voting Records for 2017 - SEE BELOW 


The following was published in 2017, with a few 2018 updates added:
CCHF is opposed to the federal government's push to federalize driver's licenses and IDs, ending state sovereignty over citizen identification, movement and access to and purchase of goods and services. These services include, or are expected to include, medical services.
If there's a gold star on the card, it's a REAL ID. Other symbols are also possible. If you have "for federal purposes" or "for federal identification" on your card, your state has agreed to subject you to the federal law, which also assumes authority over the "not for federal purposes" drivers' license or ID card that does not have a gold star. BOTH types of Driver's licenses and ID cards are under federal control. There's no opting out of REAL ID once the state passes a law to submit to the REAL ID Act of 2005 and its regulations.
STATES' RIGHTS: Importantly, federal control over driver's licenses and ID cards is a violation of states' rights and individual rights' under the 10th Amendment. The federal government is forbidden under the U.S. Constitution from commandeering the states. 
OFFICIAL PURPOSES: The federal REAL ID Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally expand "official purposes" of the "for federal purposes" card. Today, it's flying and access to federal and nuclear facilities, but it could be expanded to everything from access to medical care, to purchase of guns to registration at a hotel. 
YOU CAN STILL FLY: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acknowledges that individuals can fly without REAL ID.  In addition, TSA has a blog post telling Americans they can fly without an ID by going through enhanced screening. A 2006 9th Court of Appeals case, Gilmore vs. Gonzales, found the same. TSA also has a list of 13 identification documents you can use (see link below).
STRONG RESISTANCE: In 2017, twelve years after REAL ID was enacted, only half of the country (25 states) had submitted to REAL ID, and some of them are not yet fully hooked up to the national database, which the GAO says won't be fully functioning until 2023. Many states passed laws to prohibit implementation of REAL ID. U.S. Senators in Montana have a bill to repeal REAL ID. However, by 2018, after threatening Americans with not being able to fly, all states have either submitted, or are in the process of submitting to the federal government (have an extension)
TOOTHLESS THREATS: There are no penalties or enforcement procedures to secure REAL ID compliance from states. The latest "deadline" is Jan. 22, 2018, with a stated prohibition on flying in October 2020. This is at least the sixth "deadline" because, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times, the federal government cannot force states to implement a federal program. It's unconstitutional. It's a violation of the 10th Amendment.
NATIONAL PATIENT ID: CCHF views REAL ID as a National ID card and a back door to a National Patient ID: 
  • HIPAA - The 1996 HIPAA law mandated a Unique Patient Identifier (UPI), but Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) froze funding for its creation in 1999. If implemented, health care access could become an "official purpose" for which the "for federal purposes" REAL ID cards would be required: No card, No care.
  • ID DEMANDS - Due to the 2007 FTC “Red Flags Rule,” most clinics and hospitals require patients to show ID if they don’t pay cash ( Even though a law clarified that physicians aren’t required to ID patients, many still require it (no card, no care). 
NATIONAL IDENTITY REGISTRY: The federal law and regulations require a central data "hub" with certain identifiable information from all American cardholders (licenses and IDs) accessible to all 50 states and U.S. territories (see page 5 (44th page of AAMVA pdf)). The hub database is "pinged" when one state searches for an individual's data from another state. Biometrics can be recorded and linked to your ID. 
PRIVACY RISKS: The federal privacy assessment of REAL ID designates the personally-identifiable data held by the federal data verification "hub" as Sensitive Security Information (SSI) and suggests states prepare "breach notification" procedures.
KEY DOCUMENTS: CCHF has been sharing and using some of the following documents in testimony on MN REAL ID bills since January 2016:


  • State Compliance Map - June 2019:
  • State Compliance Map - January 2021:
REAL ID compliance January 2021 ss of map
REAL ID not require to fly:
Updated: May 2022


There’s Still Time to Say ‘No’ to REAL ID in Minnesota

There’s Still Time to Say ‘No’ to REAL ID in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Despite the fact that the Minnesota House and Senate have passed bills that will force REAL ID on Minnesotans, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF,, which staunchly opposes the national federal identification system, says the next few days will be crucial in protecting residents from this dangerous law.

REAL ID Conference Committee Meeting Notice

REAL ID Conference Committee Meeting Notice

There will be a conference committee between three members of the House and three members of the Senate to work out differences between the language in the REAL ID bills that passed the two chambers. But BOTH bills federalize MN driver's licenses and ID cards and put them under control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Rally Against Real ID!!

Rally Against Real ID!!


Rally with us TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. The entire MN House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Republican REAL ID bill (S.F. 3589) tomorrow! 

MN Senate Passes "National ID" Bill - 12 Republicans Vote "Yes"

MN Senate Passes 'National ID' Bill - 12 Republicans Vote 'Yes'

The Minnesota Senate voted today on the REAL ID bill (S.F. 3589) passing it 48 - 16 with 12 Republicans voting "yes."

Secret GOP Position Paper on REAL ID?

Secret GOP Position Paper on REAL ID?

The battle over REAL ID has escalated...because YOU are taking action. Keep up the pressure. The Senate REAL ID bill (SF 3589) is up for a floor vote TODAY with the House vote likely soon.

You Can Still Fly - REAL ID Rule

From the Federal Register January 9, 2008 Rules and Regulations:

"DHS notes that individuals without a REAL ID-compliant document will still be able to enter Federal facilities and board commercial aircraft, and these rules cannot determine what alternative documents are acceptable for those purposes."


State to State Data Sharing - The Law

REAL ID Law:  Electronic Access to State Motor Vehicle Databases


Dual Track - Why Vote NO

Dual Track - Why Vote NO


HF 3959 (Smith)/SF 3589 (Dibble) 


REAL ID – An Unconstitutional Encroachment of States’ Rights

REAL ID – An Unconstitutional Encroachment of States’ Rights

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Says the Push for a National ID Not Only Strips States of Their Constitutional Rights, But Also Poses Major Privacy Issues for Americans

MN GOP Leadership Twisting Arms on Unconstitutional "REAL ID"

MN GOP Leadership Twisting Arms on Unconstitutional 'REAL ID'

The MN GOP leadership is twisting arms to pass an unconstitutional bill. We were disappointed yesterday to see most House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee Republicans vote to pass REAL ID 14-9.