Starting Oct. 1, 2020, Idahoans and all other residents of the United States will be required to have a Star Card or other federally accepted form of ID to board a flight or access a federal building. After that date, a standard issue driver’s license will no longer be accepted as a form of ID in these situations. Star Cards are available at the local department of motor vehicles with the proper documents and can be acquired when one gets a driver’s license or renews a license.
The Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, is the result of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 which enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” By establishing security standards for identification, the act aims to prevent terrorists from obtaining state-issued identification documents.
According to Jennifer Gonzalez, communications specialist for the Idaho Transportation Department, the Star Card became available in Idaho in January 2018, and the federal deadline has always been Oct. 1, 2020. As of Sept. 30, 2019, 185,000 out of 1.25 million licensed drivers in Idaho have the Star Card, according to the ITD website, a number that ITD would love to see reach 100 percent.
“Our goal is 100 percent awareness of this campaign,” Gonzalez said. “In Idaho, it’s a choice, it’s not mandatory to get. Obviously we want to see our current number increase and [we] have been very pleased at the progress.”
ITD did a press event on Oct. 1 at the Boise Airport with Gov. Brad Little and representatives from the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Boise Airport and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to present members of the media information on the importance of getting a Star Card.
For those who do choose the get a Star Card, documentation that proves date of birth, Social Security number, Idaho residency and lawful status or presence is required. Regardless of whether one has an Idaho driver’s license already, those documents will be required.
The first form of ID must demonstrate identity and date of birth; this could include a valid, unexpired U.S. passport, certified birth certificate, a valid, unexpired permanent resident card or six other options presented online.
Social Security number is validated by a nonlaminated Social Security card, W-2 form, Social Security Administration Form 1099, non-Social Security Administration Form 1099 or a pay stub with the applicant’s name and Social Security number on it.
Two documents with the applicant’s name and current Idaho residential address must be presented to demonstrate residency in the state of Idaho. Examples of that are a lease/rental agreement, mortgage or deed, record from a public utility for service address (e.g. power bill, water bill, trash and sewer bill), bank or credit card statement, paycheck, etc.
All those documents will be scanned and stored in secure Idaho DMV servers for 10 years with original copies returned after processing.
Since the Star Card does not relate to driving tests or abilities, no new knowledge or tests are required to get the ID. Temporary permits like driver’s or motorcycle licenses will not be issued with a Star Card. The cost of the Star Card will be the same as getting an Idaho driver’s license or ID card without the Star.
The Star Card is not mandatory in Idaho, but Gonzalez cautions those who never travel or plan to enter a federal building that there’s no accounting for an emergency when a flight is required. A Star Card is also needed for entering VA facilities, so veterans getting routine doctor’s appointments in these buildings would need the Real ID to enter.
Driver’s licenses without the Star will still be valid after Oct. 1, 2020, for driving, banking, obtaining social services, voting and buying alcohol; it just can’t be used for flying commercially or entering a federal facility. Without a Star Card, other documents like a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID, and several other options are still available for flying and entering federal facilities.
Minor children (under 18) flying with their parents will not need a Star Card to fly. Minors can, though, obtain driver’s licenses and ID cards with the Star added.
Idaho residents are encouraged to get a Star Card before the October 2020 deadline, but the cards will still be available even after the deadline.
“It’s a personal choice,” Gonzalez said. “Our goal is 100 percent education and awareness for all citizens. We’re very happy to do that and you’re going to continue to see that push as we move toward Oct. 1, 2020.”