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

11 October 2017

The federal government will give Pennsylvania a grace period before it begins REAL ID enforcement, which means state residents won't face problems entering federal facilities until at least January 22, 2019.

Only about half the states are compliant, and Pennsylvania will require more extensions to avoid residents being affected. There is no enforcement on commercial air travel until January 22, 2018.

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Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a plan to roll out REAL ID-compliant drivers licenses after a years-long standoff with the federal government over what some described as an unfunded mandate.

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.

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PennDOT has started work on implementing REAL ID.

During the grace period, ME driver's licenses and IDs will be accepted as valid identification for federal purposes, including entrance to federal facilities, said Kristen Muszynski, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's Office.

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"The State of ME, however, expects to have a valid waiver at that time", Muszynski said. The new system must be fully functional by July 1, 2019, according to the new state law. Passage of that law has allowed the state to continue working toward compliance.

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