Maine Senate Approves REAL ID Compliance Bill

Jim Cyr
Communications Director
Office of the Maine Senate President

AUGUSTA – The Maine Senate today gave initial approval to LD 306, “An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines.”

The bill is designed to make Maine driver’s licenses and non-driver state identification cards compliant with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

If Maine does not comply with the REAL ID Act, residents of the state will not be able to use their existing ID cards to board commercial airplanes, beginning in January, 2018. Maine’s non-compliance with the law is already preventing Mainers from entering certain federal facilities.

The vote in the Maine Senate was 31-4.

Senator Ron Collins (R-York), who is the Chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee and a sponsor of LD 306 said, “Today’s vote was a very encouraging development. Our failure to comply with the federal REAL ID law would have serious consequences for Mainers. As it stands now, Maine veterans can no longer access clinics on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and are being denied the care they are owed. We need to take the necessary steps to get into compliance, and I believe we are now moving closer to that goal.”

Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) said, “This is a commonsense piece of legislation that will get us into compliance with federal law and prevent unnecessary disruptions in the lives of Mainers.”

The bill faces additional votes in the Maine House of Representatives and Senate.


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