The language is changing on Maine driver’s licenses that do not comply with the federal Real ID Act.
As of July 1, 2019, Mainers have had the option of obtaining licenses and state identification that comply with Real ID, which requires more documentation than what was used previously. Maine law allows residents to opt out of Real ID, but federal law requires those licenses and state IDs to display language indicating they do not comply.
“The initial language that we had on there was ‘Not for Real ID purposes,’” said Kristen Muszynski, a spokeswoman for the Maine secretary of state’s office.
Muszynski said some people who have tried to use these licenses for things such as purchasing alcohol or for identification at the bank have had problems.
“The people who were accepting those credentials were looking at them and saying, ‘uh hold on, this has this disclaimer on it and I don’t think it’s…’ when in fact they are valid,” she said.
As of Friday, the disclaimer has been changed and now reads, “Not intended for federal purposes,” which the secretary of state’s office hopes will be more clear. Licenses with the older language are still valid.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Real-ID compliant IDs will be required for domestic air travel or for access to secure federal facilities.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.