- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Lawmakers in Maine want Republican President Donald Trump to issue an executive order repealing identification standards they say jeopardize residents’ privacy.

The federal Real ID Act of 2005 requires state governments to keep copies of documents such as birth certificates and Social Security numbers on file, which legislators say can easily be stolen.

Democratic Sen. Shenna Bellows and Republican Sen. Eric Brakey said they’re asking legislators nationwide to sign a letter requesting the executive order.

“In essence, the federal Real ID mandates that states create one-stop shops for identity theft,” Bellows and Brakey said in the letter. They called the act “madness” because of “the modern reality of data breaches and hostile hacking.”

Maine passed a law a decade ago barring its participation in the federal identification plan. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security denied the state’s waiver, which sought more time to comply with it.

Homeland Security announced last year that driver’s licenses from non-compliant states would not provide adequate identification to board commercial planes starting in 2018. The strict deadline for full compliance is 2020.

The Legislature’s transportation committee on Thursday tabled a bill to make Maine comply with federal ID standards.

Democratic Sen. Bill Diamond, the bill’s sponsor, is a former Secretary of State and an original supporter of the 2007 law which allowed Maine not to comply with Real ID. He said the standards do not constitute a national database and have not posed a security risk elsewhere.

The secretary of state’s office estimates compliance could cost $3 million and transportation committee members said they need more time to come up with a solution.

Maine is now one of a handful of states deemed non-compliant because it lacks a federal waiver. The Minnesota Senate recently voted down a REAL ID compliance bill, while Washington is considering a two-tiered system that would mark standard state licenses as not valid for federal purposes.

Lobbyists at a recent hearing said delivery truck drivers and contractors have been turned away from military bases and federal buildings that no longer accept Maine-issued driver’s licenses.

Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said he would heed lawmakers’ direction, but urged the committee to “look beyond the inconveniences of the day.”

Dunlap blamed the federal government for the dilemma, and said federal facilities can judge which credentials they’ll accept.

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