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Maine Real ID law rollout causes hiccups for some residents

August 16, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s secretary of state is working to clear up confusion created by the state’s rollout of two different types of driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles in July began offering residents the option of driver’s licenses and state identification cards that comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005. This has caused some confusion for Maine residents who have tried to use identification that isn’t Real ID compliant to do things like register to vote or purchase alcohol.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said identification that reads “Not valid for Real ID purposes” is still valid to complete these types of transactions, as well as others, such as picking up prescriptions. He said “several Mainers” have complained of having their IDs rejected when they were trying to do things as simple as cashing a check.

The Real ID Act was designed to establish “minimum security standards for license issuance and production,” and to stop federal agencies from accepting identification that doesn’t meet those standards, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website. Maine was one of the last states to comply with the law.

The federal government will require Real ID-compliant identification for domestic air travel next year.

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