ELLSWORTH — Mainers who want to board an airplane have one year to get a star on their driver’s licenses, indicating the Real ID credential, or they will need another form of approved identification to board their domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility or military base.
Maine’s Real ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a star in the upper right corner inside a gold outline of the state to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.
The upgraded Real IDs will be required starting Oct. 1, 2020.
Upgrading to a Real ID driver’s license is optional for Maine residents. They may continue to use an older standard driver’s license. However, a standard credential — without the Real ID star — will not be valid to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities.
To get the Real ID star on your driver’s license, visit your local Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in person. Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of Maine residency, your Social Security card (if you’ve been issued one) and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state.
Real ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.