For years, the State of Maine has been requesting extensions to come into compliance with the Real ID Act implemented by Congress in 2005. Real ID is an effort to give all state driver's licenses and IDs enhancements for greater security and authentication methods.

The biggest impact of the Real ID act is that people travelling by air will need to have a Real ID, passport or military ID to board a plane. The penalty of Mainers not being able to fly unless Maine comes into compliance by a deadline has occurred several times, but the state always got an extension. Now Maine is ready to implement Real ID starting July 1.

That does not mean you have to have a real ID on July 1. The final deadline for needing a Real ID to fly is October 1, of 2020. However, starting July 1 you can go into your local BMV office and get your Real ID. Otherwise you'll get a Real ID when you renew your license when it is set to expire. If you choose not to get one, you can always use a passport or military ID to fly.

According to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website, there are some things you'll need when getting your Real ID:

  • 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 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)
  • 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).

It should be noted that getting a Real ID is not a requirement. If you choose not to, the state will issue you a standard ID, but it will not be accepted to allow you to board a plane or enter some government buildings.

You can learn more about Maine's adoption of the Real ID by hitting the link below.