REAL ID Creating Some Real Problems for Some Mainers
Mainers can be a wee bit subbon. Real ID is proving to be one area where it is showing up. Let me share a little back story. A couple of years after Sept 11th terrorist attacks a system was created for state ID's that had more info on people. It was done to make our state ID's useful for getting on planes and into certain buildings or areas owned by the federal government. Since the card had this info on record ,not just shown as proof to get the card, it worried MANY people about government overreach and a potential breach of our personal information. Then the cost issue...the state needed to buy new stuff to create these compliant license. In the beginning Maine and Mainers seemed to take pride in the 'oh no we are not going to do that!' WELL, until the federal government said...WELL you will not be able to go in to a federal building or on an airplane. Maine had many extensions on all of this. But time was running out and Maine got on board, has the equipment and is now turning out Real ID compliant licenses and state IDs.
Here is a new issue. The Kennebec Journal has a story and says Mainers are not opting for the Real ID compliant stuff. Well..it does cost a bit more. $30 for a standard driver's license and $55 for the Real ID compliant. But the standard license (the one you can not use to get on a plane) has in the corner“ NOT VALID FOR REAL ID PURPOSES.”
As a result, that little warning is causing problems for people just trying to cash a check, pick up their prescription, or buy some beer. See ...it is a form of identification that is real and valid but it is not Real ID (get me on a plane or into the federal building) compliant. People who are required to check for valid IDs are receiving additional info to understand the nuances.
I know...you are thinking ..so this is an issue for a few people...what is the big deal. Be it cost, stubbornness or whatever...only about 20% of Mainers renewing their licenses are opting for the federally compliant version. Those people will NEED a valid US Passport to fly even in the United States or to access certain federal sites.
So...now you know the deal and its impact. But the choice is yours and that is kinda nice to have.