The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles has begun an outreach campaign to inform the public about two different types of driver’s licenses and state identification cards, one of which will be required by the federal government to travel domestically through airports in the fall of next year for travelers who don't have passports.
Residents are now able to obtain new licenses and state ID cars that fit the standard of the Federal Real ID Act of 2005. While standard licenses and ID cards now read “Not for Real ID Purposes,” residents can still use them for all state identification purposes such as blood donations, retrieving pharmacy prescriptions, purchasing age-restricted goods such as tobacco or alcohol, financial transactions, driving a vehicle, and registering to vote, among others.
“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,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said in a news release. “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.”
Starting in October 2020, the federal government will require either the new Real IDs or a valid passport to be used for domestic air travel or to enter secure federal facilities. Non-compliant IDs can still be used for all other uses, however.
The bureau will soon be issuing wallet cards detailing the regular license’s qualified transactions for all non-federal uses in order to better educate the public on the new policies. Cards will be supplied following license renewals or the first issuance of non-compliant driver’s licenses and state ID cards for one year. Those issued licenses after July 1 of this year can obtain a card at their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
“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 for Real ID purposes,’ that ID is still valid to complete their transaction,” Dunlap said.