Maine Real ID Compliance Exemption Gets Extension

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Airlines and federal facilities will accept Maine driver’s licenses through October 2020.

Maine’s secretary of state says the Department of Homeland Security has issued Maine another waiver for compliance with the Real ID Act. The federal Real ID law was passed by Congress after the 2001 terrorist attacks to strengthen rules for government-sanctioned identification. It sets minimum standards for government-issued IDs that are required to enter certain areas in federal buildings or board commercial airplanes.

The current waiver expires on Oct. 10, but Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap requested a renewal in August.

Dunlap’s office says the waiver will be valid through Oct. 1, 2019, but the Department of Homeland Security will not be enforcing Real ID until Oct. 1, 2020. That means Maine driver’s licenses will be valid for federal purposes, including boarding commercial aircraft, until that date.

Portland International Airport Director Paul Bradbury said airport officials are working with Dunlap’s office to eventually provide information on acquiring a driver’s license that complies with Real ID standards. The standards include adding anti-counterfeit technology such as a hologram to driver’s licenses.

Maine was the first state to opt out of Real ID requirement more than a decade ago, but Republican Gov. Paul LePage in April signed a bill into law directing the state to issue new Real ID compliant drivers licenses and non-driver identification cards.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is implementing systems and procedures needed to issue Real ID licenses and identification materials starting on July 1, 2019.