Maine has received formal notification that state driver’s licenses and identification cards will continue to be accepted for federal purposes through Oct. 10 of next year.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued an additional one-year waiver as Maine works to comply with the federal REAL ID law. Maine was one of a few states that had resisted compliance because of cost and privacy concerns.
This year, lawmakers passed legislation to require the state to make the necessary changes. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham, says Maine residents would have faced chaos without it.
“If we had not passed this bill that I sponsored, then come January, drivers licenses would not have been accepted on commercial airlines and through all this past year, driver’s licenses would not be accepted as IDs on any federal building or property,” he says.
The state of Maine had been operating on a grace period extension while the waiver renewal was under review by the Department of Homeland Security.