Getting real about Maine REAL IDs

Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 5:01 PM EST
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It's been nearly 15 years since Congress passed the REAL ID Act.

Maine is among the last states to comply with the federal flying standards after being issued two extensions.

Joy Hollowell tells us what happens come October 1st of next year.

"There are no more waivers," says Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. "Homeland Security made that quite clear back in 2017."

Now two years and about $2.5 million later, Maine is in compliance with the REAL ID act. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles started issuing the new cards on July first.

"There's been some Mainers that have already made the jump to REAL ID, myself included," says Tony Caruso, Bangor International Airport director.

"If you don't want to get a REAL ID, there are about 15 forms of federally recognized identifications being accepted at airports. The most popular? Passports."

"About 20% of our citizens are adopting REAL IDs," says Dunlap. "Because Maine's a border state, about half of our citizens already have a passport."

If your current license isn't set to expire by October, you can still apply for a REAL ID card. It will be considered a duplicate license and on the same renewal cycle as your standard one.

You will need to bring quite a few documents to the BMV with you including a notarized birth certificate, social security card or official IRS document with your social security number on it. Also, two forms of proof of residency. And if you've changed your name say for marriage, you'll need to show official documentation for that as well.

"I know it sounds like a lot of months between now and then, a lot of days," says Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for the TSA. "But really now is the ideal time to get your REAL ID compliant license."

If you have any questions about Real ID driver's license or identification cards, you can log onto

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us will be taking flights to visit family and friends.As of October...

Posted by Maine Department of the Secretary of State on Thursday, December 5, 2019