World News

Feds grant ME relief as state moves to comply with Real ID

Feds grant ME relief as state moves to comply with Real ID

That means ME driver's licenses will be accepted for now as valid identification for boarding domestic flights and entrance into certain federal facilities, such as military bases, the US mint and nuclear power plants.

In the meantime, the state has been granted the grace period while the Department of Homeland Security decides whether to give Missouri another extension.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill in April that requires the state to comply with the Real ID Act.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted a temporary extension for Pennsylvania roll out new Real ID-compliant drivers licenses that would soon be necessary to board airplanes and enter certain government offices. According to PennDOT, 27 jurisdictions have requested extensions during the latest round. That provides just over three more months in which Minnesotans can keep using their driver's licenses to get through airport security and in to military bases and some other federal buildings - rather than needing an upgraded, Real ID-compliant license that comes with more substantial security checks. The state's requests for longer extensions during which current licenses would be accepted by the federal government have not yet been granted. And the Maine Legislature in 2007 passed a law prohibiting the state from complying with Real ID amid concerns that it would create a de facto "internal passport". Before applying for REAL ID certification, DOR needs to update its computer systems, formally establish policies for the optional program and train its employees and contractors.

Those who wish to purchase a Real ID-compliant license starting in 2019 would be charged a one-time fee in addition to the current driver's license fee. It expects to begin issuing the new licenses in October 2018.


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