According to WGME 13, it may finally be time to update that Maine drivers license and/or state ID to the Real Maine ID.

The conversion to real IDs actually follows a statute implemented by the Federal Government, however, due to different circumstances arising, like COVID, has been repeatedly pushed back in the Pine Tree State. Though that grace period may be soon expiring.

Currently, it looks like Mainers will be required to have a real ID by May 3rd of 2023. The real ID was originally recommended by the 9/11 commission as a way to help address National security concerns here in the United States. Those recommendations were put forth back in 2005, WGME reports.

As of now, only about 10% of Mainers have compliant real IDs. Maine is last New England for the number of overall residents that have compliant IDs. For one, they are a bit more expensive. A real ID (non commercial) drivers license will cost you $55 in Maine instead of the typical $40, and for a compliant State-issued ID, it will now cost $30 instead of just $5, WGME reports.

Additionally, some people may have trouble obtaining all the documents they need to bring with them to make the switch, like a certified birth certificate. WGME also reports that women are having a harder time to make the switch due to things like marriages and divorces causing name changes that don't reflect on their original documents.

And, while eventually not having a real ID could cause you not to be able to board an in-country domestic flight, it's important to keep in mind that other forms of federal ID will work in place of real ID, like your government-issued passport.

So for now, the implementation date remains May 3rd, 2023. Will it stick? Who knows.. It was supposed to be implemented in 2008 and has been repeatedly pushed back ever since. But the moral of the story? It's probably best to get it taken care of sooner rather than later..

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