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Maine Begins Issuing REAL ID Compliant Driver's Licenses

Benny Snyder
Associated Press/file
In this May 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. passports lie on a table in Dallas.

Beginning today, Maine is offering REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses at all Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches. REAL-ID is the post-9/11 federal statute that requires state ID's to be more like passports.

"Our point - stress with folks - is that you don't need one," says Secretary of State spokesperson Kristen Muszynski. "If you choose to get one, you don't need it until October of 2020."

Muszynski says until then, a standard Maine driver's license or state ID will be accepted as valid identification for federal purposes, such as entering federal facilities and boarding commercial aircraft.

The Maine Legislature long resisted the federal REAL ID law on privacy grounds.  It relented in 2017 and gave state officials until today to put the system in place.

Originally published July 1, 2019 at 2:37 p.m. ET.

To get a REAL ID, applicants will have to provide more documentation than is needed to get a standard license.  A list of the requirements is available on the Maine Secretary of State's website.