On July 1, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles started offering Maine residents the option of obtaining driver’s licenses and state identification cards that comply with the Federal Real ID Act of 2005 according to a Secretary of State press release. FILE PHOTO

AUGUSTA – Last month, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles began issuing Real IDs. In addition, it continues to issue non-Real driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

While Real IDs are necessary for some out-of-state and international purpose, the non-Real licenses and identifications are still valid to be used within the state of Maine.

“All retail cashiers, pharmacists, bank tellers and others who must review customers’ identification before completing a transaction need to know that when they see an ID that says, ‘Not valid for Real ID purposes,’ that ID is still valid to complete their transaction,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said.

On July 1, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles started offering Maine residents the option of obtaining driver’s licenses and state identification cards that comply with the Federal Real ID Act of 2005 according to a Secretary of State press release. Many Mainers are still choosing to renew their standard license or ID cards, which are now marked as “Not valid for Real ID purposes.”

This statement denotes that these IDs are not compliant with the Federal Real ID Act, but they are valid for all state identification purposes. They can be used for transactions such as, conducting financial transactions, purchasing age-restricted items such as liquor and tobacco, registering to vote, operating or renting a motor vehicle (driver’s license only), picking up a prescription at the pharmacy, donating blood, and more.

Beginning Oct 1, 2020, the federal government will require Real ID-compliant identification for domestic air travel or access to secure federal facilities. However, this will not affect the validity of the non-compliant ID for all other purposes.

“The federal government is requiring states to use language on these IDs that can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the Real ID law,” said Dunlap. “Several Mainers have told us that their ID has been rejected when they were trying to purchase alcohol, pick up a prescription or cash a check, and we are seeking to educate the public to eliminate these unnecessary inconveniences.”

To help Maine residents avoid complications, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be providing a wallet card with information explaining the ID’s validity for all non-federal purposes. The card also includes a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to display the state’s Real ID website, www.Maine.gov/realid .

Anyone who has obtained a license or state identification card since July 1 and would like one of these wallet cards can visit a BMV branch later this month or contact the Secretary of State’s office at 626-8400. The cards will be issued with every renewal or first issuance of non-compliant driver’s licenses and state identification cards for a one-year period.

Those who want a Real ID license or ID can obtain one at a BMV office, according to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website. In addition to the standard license requirements, Real ID applicants must have their photograph taken and provide the following documentation: One document that establishes identity, date of birth, and proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or temporary lawful status in the U.S.; one document to establish proof of a Social Security number or evidence of Social Security Number ineligibility. (Such as: A W-2 form with applicant’s name and full SSN; Social Security Administration Form 1099 with applicant’s name and full SSN; Non-Social Security Administration Form 1099 with applicant’s name and full SSN; or pay stub with applicant’s name and full SSN on it); and two documents to establish proof of residence in the State of Maine, such as a utility bill, paycheck stub or mortgage statement (P.O. Box is not acceptable).

If your name has been legally changed and now differs from your identity document(s) (i.e., birth certificate or passport), proof of the name change must be provided to obtain a Real ID. Acceptable documents supporting a legal name change include a marriage license, divorce decree, or court order. In all cases, the documents must show a clear trail of name changes from the name on the identity document to the current name.

Those who have a valid license or ID will not be required to renew it prior to its expiration date, unless they choose to do so because they desire/need a Real ID credential. Upon renewal, a person will have the option of getting a Real ID credential or opting out. Those who opt out will be issued a non-REAL ID license. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, those with non-REAL ID licenses will need to produce a passport or other acceptable identity document for federal purposes that require identification, such as boarding commercial aircraft and accessing secure federal facilities.

Fore more information, visit https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/realid.html or a Bureau of Motor Vehicle office.

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