The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Maine an additional one-year waiver for complying with the Real ID Act, allowing federal agencies to continue to accept Maine driver’s licenses and identification cards through Oct. 10, 2018, state officials said Thursday.

Mainers were in danger of no longer being able to use their driver’s licenses to pass through airport security or to gain access to federal facilities next year because the state’s licenses do not comply with federal standards, such as digitized photos that can be used with facial recognition technology.

Federal officials had issued a previous compliance waiver to Maine on June 15, which expired at midnight Oct. 10. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap submitted a request for a one-year renewal on Sept. 15, and Maine had been operating on a grace period extension while the request was being reviewed.

The Real ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005, seeks to improve the security standards for state-issued identification credentials. On April 28, Gov. Paul LePage signed into law L.D. 306, which requires Maine to comply with the federal act.

Passage of the state law has allowed the state to request annual compliance waivers while working toward implementation.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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