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What Mainers should know about REAL IDs

Starting July 1, Mainers will have the option of renewing a driver's license or ID with a federally complaint credential.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is one of 12 states currently on an extension to meet minimum security requirements under the Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID Act.

This means between October 2018 through September 2020, Maine driver's licenses and IDs will be accepted as valid credentials for entering federal facilities and boarding a commercial plane. 

“Anyone who has a non-compliant credential as of October 2020 will have to use a passport or some other federal document in order to obtain access to a commercial airliner or access many federal facilities," said Maine Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap. "If you renew your license today, [at one of our] 13 branch offices and you get a new license, that’s not going to be a compliant credential. You’ll have to go back in as of July."

Secretary Matt Dunlap says the REAL ID Act comes with no federal funding attached, leaving Maine taxpayers footing the $2-million cost, which over time, will be covered by highway fund revenues.

RELATED: Maine gets final REAL ID waiver, two more years until licenses must change

Even though the grace period is in the Fall of 2020, per Maine law, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is currently working towards being able to issue Real ID licenses and IDs by July 1, 2019.

Here are some of the changes:

  • You’ll take a picture when you enter the BMV – not after.
  • Facial recognition technology will map out a person's features
  • The golden state of Maine outlined with the star is what will differentiate the old from the new.
  • New servers and scanners will be installed to capture important documents, such as passports and birth certificates.

More information can be found on Maine's REAL ID website.