Real I.D. Deadline Extended Yet Again
My driver's license expired last summer and I wanted to renew with a Real I.D. but Maine was not issuing them. I found that interesting since I could not renew my license online, I HAD to go into the DMV. I was so curious I contacted the state to ask why and was told it was to just move people in-and-out as quickly as possible since doing the Real I.D. requirements takes a little longer. Then last year, due to COVID, Maine have ONE MORE pass...and it was until Oct 1, 2021.
That has changed yet again...WMTW posted that Mainers and all Americans have until May 3, 2023, to get that Real I.D. if you want to use it for travel and for entry into certain government buildings.
In Maine, when the state is offering both, you have a choice. You can get a regular Maine driver's license that is valid and can be used as a state I.D. But it does not have the extra coding to make it a Real I.D.
Here is some of the back story on Maine, Real ID and why we are so late to the party. Mainers can be a wee bit stubborn. Real ID is proving to be one area where it is showing up. A couple of years after the Sept 11th terrorist attacks, a system was created for state I.D.s with more info on people. It was done to make our state I.D.'s helpful in getting on planes and into certain buildings or areas owned by the federal government. Since the card had this info on record, not just shown as proof to get the card, it worried MANY people about government overreach and a potential breach of our personal information. Then the cost issue...the state needed to buy new stuff to create these compliant licenses. In the beginning, Maine and Mainers seemed to take pride in the 'oh no, we are not going to do that!' WELL, until the federal government said...WELL, you will not be able to go into a federal building or on an airplane. Maine had many extensions on all of this. But time was running out, and Maine got on board, has the equipment and is now turning out Real ID-compliant licenses and state I.D.s.
BUT...wait, there is more...
Here is another issue that came to light a couple of years ago. The Kennebec Journal has a story that says Mainers were not opting for the Real ID-compliant stuff. Well..it does cost a bit more. $30 for a standard driver's license and $55 for the Real ID compliant. But the standard license (the one you can not use to get on a plane) has in the corner "NOT VALID FOR REAL ID PURPOSES."
As a result, that little warning is causing problems for people just trying to cash a check, pick up their prescription, or buy some beer. See ...it is a form of identification that is real and valid, but it is not Real ID (get me on a plane or into the federal building) compliant. People who are required to check for valid I.D.s are receiving additional info to understand the nuances.
I know...you are thinking ..so this is an issue for a few people...what is the big deal? Be it cost, stubbornness, or whatever...as of mid-2019, only about 20% of Mainers renewing their licenses are opting for the federally compliant version. Those people will NEED a valid U.S. Passport to fly even in the United States or access certain federal sites.
So...now you know the deal and its impact.