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Secretary Dunlap: New language will help clarify that non-Real ID licenses are valid for all in-state transactions

November 22, 2019
Secretary of State

Contact: Kristen Muszynski, 626-8404

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is announcing today that the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is clarifying the language on all driver's licenses and State identification cards that are not compliant with the federal Real ID Act.

As of July 1, 2019, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is offering Maine residents the option of obtaining drivers licenses and State identification cards that comply with the Federal Real ID Act of 2005. However, many Mainers are still choosing to renew their standard license or ID cards. As required by federal law, those cards have been marked as non-compliant, with the phrase "Not for Real ID purposes." This phrase has caused confusion for some retailers who refused to accept these credentials for everyday transactions.

While credentials issued with the Not for Real ID purposes language continue to be valid, the BMV is seeking to clarify their validity by updating the language appearing on these non-compliant credentials. As of today, drivers licenses and State ID applicants who choose not to get a Real ID-compliant credential will see the new wording: Not intended for federal purposes.

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. We believe this change to the disclaimer on non-compliant Maine licenses and IDs will help eliminate some of the confusion for retail cashiers, pharmacists, bank tellers and others who must review customers identification before completing a transaction, said Secretary Dunlap. We are hopeful that updating the language will make it clearer that these credentials, while not compliant with the Real ID Act, are still valid for all State identification purposes.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require Real ID-compliant identification for domestic air travel or access to secure federal facilities. However, this will not affect the validity of the non-compliant ID for all other purposes.

Any person who has obtained a license or ID since July 1, 2019 with the older language (Not for Real ID purposes) is reminded that their ID will continue to be valid for in-state purposes. They can contact the BMV to obtain an informational wallet card https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/RealID.InfoCard.August2019.pdf , which they can present to cashiers and others to explain the IDs validity. Those who desire a non-compliant credential with the new language can order a duplicate license or ID at any BMV location or via the online renewal/replacement service https://www.maine.gov/online/bmv/dlr/ .

To learn more about Real ID compliance in the State of Maine, visit https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/realid.html .