Identification Cards in Maine
Who Needs ID in Maine?
Not everyone has or needs a driver's license. Even though you never got a license, your license has been suspended, or you're too young to drive, you still need to show ID sometimes. In fact, showing state-issued photo ID is often the only way you can board an airplane, check into a hotel, cash a check, buy alcohol or tobacco, or enter a bar.
If you don't drive but need official identification, you can apply to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a nondriver's ID card. This card will function as an official Maine ID for buying liquor or other age-limited activities. Here's how to get one.
Maine REAL ID Cards
The ME BMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID identification cards in addition to non-compliant ID cards. As of October 1, 2021, the REAL ID will serve as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—your standard ID card will no longer be accepted alone, and you'll need to bring additional identification with you.
You can choose to receive either a REAL ID or non-compliant ID upon application—details are outlined below. For more details, visit the BMV's REAL ID overview.
How to Get a Maine ID Card
Any person who is a Maine resident, or a non-resident with a mailing address in Maine, may apply for an official Maine BMV nondriver ID card at a BMV office. The fee is $5.
To apply for a state ID card, you'll complete the Application for State of Maine Identification Card (Form MV-16). The BMV provides a full list of accepted documents.
You need to have at least:
- 2 documents to prove your identity (1 document must show your birth date, and 1 document must show your signature).
- Proof of your Maine residency, based on whether you want a REAL ID or non-compliant ID card:
- Non-compliant ID: 1 document.
- REAL ID: 2 documents.
- Proof of Social Security number (if it is not on file with the Secretary of State).
- If you're ineligible for an SSN, provide a valid immigration document (such as an I-94).
- Proof of legal U.S. presence. Required documents will depend on whether you are a:
If your name has changed, provide proof of your name change, such as your marriage certificate.
Once the documents are approved by the BMV clerk processing your application, you simply pay the fee and sit for a digital photo.
Renew a Maine ID Card
In Maine, the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BVM) ID cards are valid for a period of 6 years. The renewal fee is $5 for all ID card holders.
ID card renewals are available on-line through the state of Maine's Rapid Renewal System.
You may NOT:
- Hold a driver's license from another state.
- Have proof of you legal presence and/or residency on file with the BMV.
- Have changed your name since your last renewal.
If you meet any of those conditions then you must complete your renewal in person at the nearest BMV station.
If you are eligible to renew online you will need:
- Your SSN.
- A valid credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
- A printer for your receipt.
Replace a Maine ID Card
Does Maine have a digital photograph of you on record? If not, you'll need to visit a BMV office to have your photo retaken. Bring documents that prove identity from the state's list and the means to pay a $5 fee.
If your photo is on file, you have the option of replacing your lost, damaged or stolen Maine ID card online or by mail.
- The Rapid Renewal System requires your Social Security number, a credit card, and a printer. The fee is still $5.
- To replace your card by mail, send a letter stating that your original card is no longer in your possession. Include your name, date of birth, address, and a brief explanation of what happened to the card. Mail this, with your $5 fee, to:
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- License Information Unit
- 29 State House Station
- Augusta, ME 04333