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County to offer Real ID state officials get ready to roll out Minnesota’s new driver’s license system, the Cottonwood County Recorder’s office is bracing for an increased workload. County Recorder Kathy Kretsch is gearing up to offer enhanced driver’s licenses and Real ID through her office starting this fall. Eventually, drivers will be forced to use an enhanced driver’s license to fly within the continental United States. The state has received an extension so people can use regular driver’s licenses to fly until 2020. Two weeks ago, Kretsch informed commissioners that the new Real ID system will eat up more space and staff time. She added that the office is already busy, because of the influx of customers from areas where license exam stations are open far fewer hours.

Board OKs staff increase

Consequently, Kretsch asked commissioners for more office space, plus a 2.5-person staff increase. During a budget meeting later in the day, the board agreed that Kretsch does not need that much space, nor that much additional staff. At a recent County Commissioners meeting, Kretsch returned with a request for a full-time person, plus a part-time worker. She added she could squeeze one more desk into her second floor office at the Courthouse, eliminating the need for another office. Kretsch warned that adding the new system to a host of other services offered through her office could lead to more people waiting in the Courthouse rotunda. Commissioner Tom Appel encouraged the board to support advertising for a part-time/full-time worker, while gauging the local impact of Real ID changes. Commissioner Norm Holmen said he supported starting with a part-time worker. “If you compare my staff to (the Auditor/ Treasurer’s) staff and (County Assessor’s) staff, I am understaffed right now,” Kretsch said. “I need another full-time person.” After some discussion, the board voted 3-2 to hire one additional full-time deputy recorder to help handle the increased workload. Commissioners Appel and Holmen cast the dissenting votes.