April 29, 2017

Maine ID to become legal for federal use

WCSH - After years of resistance, Maine has dropped its opposition to federal Real ID requirements.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill into law on Friday that will bring Maine into compliance. Maine was one of four states to oppose Real ID over privacy concerns.

Under Real ID guidelines, the federal government requires official forms of identification to meet certain security standards in order to grant the holder access to regulated services like air travel and medical care through the Veterans Administration. The push for compliance gained more support after the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security warned that those services could be withheld from Mainers as of next January unless state-issued identification cards were brought up to federal standards.

The newly signed law directs the Maine Secretary of State's office to issue new Real ID compliant drivers licenses and non-driver identification cards. As Maine makes the transition, Gov. LePage said Mainers will be granted a waiver allowing them to continue using their old cards beyond the January deadline.

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