HomeNews → Secretary of State Advises Maine Residents of New Federal Standards for Entering Certain Federal Facilities

July 22, 2014
Contact:  Matt Dunlap

Secretary of State Dunlap Advises Maine Residents of New Federal Standards  
for Entering Certain Federal Facilities

Maine’s Driver License and Identification Card will not be accepted for access into Restricted Areas
in Federal Building or Nuclear Power Plants

-- Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is advising Maine residents that effective July 21, 2014, Maine’s driver license and identification card will not be accepted as proof of identification when entering restricted areas in Federal buildings and nuclear power plants.  This is the result of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which required states to comply with a myriad of new driver license standards or risk enforcement actions.     

The Maine legislature and many Maine residents have voiced opposition to a number of the new standards, which include, in part, the use of facial recognition technology on driver’s licenses.  

The federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is implementing REAL ID through a period of phased enforcement over the next several years.   For the first two years of enforcement, REAL ID primarily affects persons seeking to access Federal facilities where identification is required to be presented.  Maine residents may present alternative forms of identification – such as a U.S. Passport – to gain access into these facilities and some Federal agencies may have additional processes to accommodate individuals lacking the prescribed identification documents.

The phases of REAL ID enforcement are as follows:

Phase 1: Effective on April 21, 2014. Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors, and their guests) for DHSs Nebraska Avenue Complex (NAC) headquarters.

Phase 2: Effective on July 21, 2014.  Restricted areas for all Federal facilities and nuclear power plants.

Phase 3:  Effective on January 19, 2015.  Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most Federal facilities (subject to limitations). Access to Federal facilities will continue to be allowed for purposes of applying for or receiving Federal benefits.

Phase 4: No sooner than 2016.  Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. A driver’s license or identification card from a noncompliant state may only be used in conjunction with an acceptable second form of ID for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

REAL ID does not apply to the following:

  • Entering Federal facilitates that do not require a person to present identification
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Being licensed by a state to drive
  • Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations