Maine’s Extension To Comply With The REAL ID Act Expires This Year! What Does This Mean?
If you're a frequent flyer or plan to take off to Florida or go see family in another state for the holiday's this year, you may want to ensure you have a passport and here's why.
In 2005, the Bush Administration signed the REAL ID Act into law. As of 2019, Maine still has not complied with the new law and could set back traveling plans later this year.
The purpose behind the act was to crack down on fake identification cards and mandated that all U.S. states and territories enact stricter standards before issuing driver's licenses and other forms of I.D.
Maine, under the leadership of Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, has failed to comply with the law at this point and the deadline will certainly be here before we know it.
Maine has until October 10, 2019, to issue the new I.D. cards, with the proper components on them as set by the federal government.
Failure to do so will result in restrictions in attending official functions, air travel, both in and out of the country, entering federal buildings, nuclear power plants and such like.
What Does A Compliant I.D. Consist Of?
A compliant identification card and driver's license must have the following on them:
- Eye color
- Complete name
- Date of birth
- Anti-counterfeiting technology and other details
Outside of Rhode Island, Maine is the only New England state who have not complied with requirements and guidelines set about by the REAL ID Act.
As of October 2018, this is the second time Matt Dunlap has requested an extension and has put off ensuring that the residents of Maine's identification cards and licenses are in full compliance with the government law.
The REAL ID Act, and the new technology that has accompanied it, is set to make it more difficult for criminals to bypass and trick the system and pass a fake I.D. for a real one.
Most of the states have complied with the new guidelines, but there are still a handful of states, like Maine, who continue to drag their feet in getting them realized.
Since Maine residents aren't sure when their new I.D.'s will be issued or if another extension will be granted, here are a few things you can do in the meantime.
- You can apply for a passport I.D. This won't cost you as much as a regular passport. The total cost is about $45 and will allow you to fly. Applying isn't really complicated either. You can download the form to apply here.
- Apply for a Passport. You can go here and apply for a regular passport book. This is the traditional passport book but costs more than just the I.D. card.
- Nexis Card - If you're just traveling to Canada and back to the U.S. or if you're traveling to the U.S. from Canada, then you can apply for a Nexis Card here.
Some people were concerned that the REAL ID cards would create a national database and would house everyone's information and many were not comfortable with that.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, this is not the case.
According to their website, REAL ID is a set of national standards and not a national identification card, nor does the card create a federal database with driver's information.
Each jurisdiction is responsable for its own unique license, maintaining it's own records and controls who gets access to the information and under what circumstances.
The purpose of REAL ID, according to Homeland Security, is to "make our identity documents more consistent and secure."