We have all been hearing about REAL IDs since 2005, following the World Trade Center tragedy. So what's been the delay?

Well, you can blame the pandemic, because just as the federal government created a deadline of October 2020, the world plunged into two years of isolation and delays, and some items were put on the back burner.

One of those was the REAL ID Federal Program. With the pandemic, the start date for the new identification system was pushed to May 7, 2025, one year from now.

So here we are. Many have already been issued the special ID with the star on it, but many haven't bothered.  Yes, it's a federal program, but it is a choice.

The most glaring issue is when you fly domestically, since you cannot board without a REAL ID TSA compliant license  or a passport. You also cannot enter a federal facility nor nuclear power plant with a standard license.  You must have a secondary approved Department of Homeland Security-approved identification if you don't have a REAL ID.


Read More: Why you need a Real ID in New England

In Maine, the REAL ID has a gold outline of the state of Maine with a white star in the middle.

The REAL ID makes it easier if you travel frequently, or just take a family trip once per year.  However, if you don't have nor want a REAL ID, there are additional TSA-approved identifications in addition to the standard ID here.

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