Mainer asks ID requirements for air travel

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please clarify exactly what form of ID will be accepted in order to fly within the United States. It is my understanding that our Maine licenses do not follow federal guidelines and as of 2018, will no longer be valid forms of identification. I applied for and received my passport card. However, the letter states that it is not valid for air travel. I appreciate your research on this matter and thank you for your answer. — No name, no town

ANSWER: Just when we thought air travel couldn’t possibly get more complicated, this is added to the mix. Let’s see what we can do to get things straight when it comes to Mainers traveling by air.

According to a story by the Associated Press published in April, Gov. Paul LePage signed a law that will bring Maine into compliance with the federal Real ID law. He said the state has “been assured” that Maine residents with the current driver’s license will be able to use them for flights in 2018.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is quoted as saying it is possible the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could give an extension for air travel as well until new licenses are ready to be issued in Maine.

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According to the Transportation Security Administration website the following can be used: U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, federal Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST), U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and Department of Defense civilians), permanent resident card, border crossing card, Department of Homeland Security-designated enhanced driver’s license, federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 Personal Identity Verification (HSPD-12 PIV) card, foreign government-issued passport, Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card, transportation worker identification credential, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766), or a U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential.

As you can see, that wallet-sized passport card is on the list, and is confirmed by both the Transportation Security Administration and State Department as identification for domestic flights, but not international air travel.

Lastly, if you arrive at the airport without valid identification you may still be allowed to fly. The Transportation Security Administration officer may ask you to complete a form, including your name and current address, and may ask additional questions to confirm your identity. If you can prove you’re you, it’s on to the screening checkpoint where you may be subject to additional screening. TSA recommends you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time to allow ample time for security screening and boarding.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We all miss D&R Framing very much. He was very helpful and reasonably priced for mat cutting and framing. Are there any other shops for this service in the Lewiston-Auburn area? — Lucy, no town

ANSWER: The closest I can come up with is The Picture Framer in Topsham at 81 Main St., 729-7765, and Gallery Framing in Brunswick at 12 Pleasant St., 729-9108. Our family has been customers of these businesses for many years and has been very happy with both. Any other recommendations, readers?

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com, tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.

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