February 21, 2020

REAL ID public forum provided an opportunity for questions and answers

By Lorraine Glowczak

Last Thursday evening, February 12, the Windham Delegation consisting of Sen. Bill Diamond, Rep. Patrick Corey and Rep. Mark Bryant invited Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to Windham Town Hall to educate area residents and clarify some confusion surrounding the REAL ID Driver’s License.

With a deadline of October 1, 2020, Mainers will be required to update their Maine State Driver’s License in order to adhere to the mandatory minimum-security standards set by the Department of Homeland Security. Briefly, The REAL ID Act establishes security standards for state licenses in order to access federal facilities, to enter nuclear power plants, and to board federally regulated commercial aircraft. Maine is one of the last states to implement the REAL ID standards.

Sec. Dunlap explained the concept surrounding the REAL ID was to establish a uniform standard of identification across the U.S. The question and answer session provided more clarification on the following:

1)    You are not required to obtain a REAL ID unless you do not have a passport and plan to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building. A current Maine driver’s license is all you need (and a REAL ID is NOT REQUIRED) for the following: to drive, to vote or register to vote, to apply for or receive federal benefits, to make financial transactions, to rent a vehicle, to enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (such as the U.S. Post Office), to purchase alcohol or tobacco or to access health services.
2)     A child under the age of 18 is not required to have a REAL ID when flying with an adult who has one.

3)     The REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards can be obtained now with a deadline of October 1, 2020 if you plan to board a commercial airline or enter a federal secure building. Again, you do not need to obtain a REAL ID if you have a passport.

To apply for a REAL ID driver’s license or identification cards, you must do so in person at a Bureau of Motor Vehicle branch office in order to process your initial application. You will need a proof of identification, a valid Social Security Number (or proof of eligibility) as well as proof of U.S. status and Maine residency.

Some forms of documentation needed includes the following: One original document to include a certified copy of a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization, social security card, W-2 Form, or pay stub. To prove Maine residency, two documents are required and they include: Property tax bill or deed, Maine vehicle registration, utility bill, financial statement, tax return, or Maine hunting/fishing license.

For a full list of documents that can be used for identity, lawful status in the U.S. and proof of Maine residency or for more information, contact the BMV at 207-624-9000 or peruse the website at www.maine.gov/realid.

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