Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:20

Feds grant state Real I.D. waiver Featured

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BANGOR -  Maine driver's licenses will be accepted as valid identification by the federal government. At least for several more months.

That's because state officials convinced the feds Maine is working toward Real ID compliance.


The concept for the Real ID originated with the 9/11 commission report. And Maine legislators initially opted out of it.


This past April, the 128th Legislature, however, approved a bill to bring the state into line with the federal law.


Wednesday, the U.S.. Department of Homeland Security gave the state a grace period.


"At some point the federal government would no longer accept your state driver's license to board aircraft and enter some federal facilities," said Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.


Earlier this year, some veterans were turned away from veterans' medical centers because the Maine license was deemed invalid by the federal government.


The Secretary of State's Office is coordinating the transition to Real ID cards,


According to Bangor International Airport Assistant Director James Canders, Real I.D. "Hasn't created too many issues right now. The Maine State still valid for commercial travel."


While the current grace period expires in January, Dunlap says he's confident the state will get the appropriate waivers as it moves toward full federal compliance.


Some people opposed the Real I.D. measure as an invasion of privacy.


"People who are a little bit, who may feel reticent to participate may opt out, would probably be best advised to get a passport because passports will always be accepted under the real id act," Dunlap said during an interview Wednesday morning.


The switch to real i.d. Has an price tag estimated at two-point-eight million dollars.


Dunlap said, "A lot of that's going to be the technology. The servers, the cameras, the scanners and the training that goes into it."


Plans call for the system to be in place by July 2019.



TJ Tremble

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T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and three grandchildren.