Secretary of State says Maine law prohibits federal agencies from access to Real ID data

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says his agency will not let federal agents have open-ended access to a new identification database.

Mainers can now buy a driver's license or identification card that's compliant Real ID.

Congress passed the federal Real ID law after the 2001 terrorist attacks to strengthen rules for government-sanctioned identification.

Dunlap says Maine won't join states that let federal police agencies conduct broad facial recognition searches as part of investigations.

"Who owns the information in our datasets? Federal Government doesn't own it. Secretary of State doesn't own it. The individual citizens to whom that information pertains owns it. So we are the custodians of it. It is used for a purpose. The purpose to issue a license or to issue a registration or a vehicle title. And beyond those confines there has to be a very good reason for someone else to access that", said Dunlap.

Federal agencies would need approval from the Enforcement Division of the Secretary of State's Office in order to get identification information about Mainers.