Your Safety. Your Mobility. Your Economic Opportunity.


Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act 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.” Preventing terrorists from obtaining state-issued identification documents is critical to securing America against terrorism. As the 9/11 Commission noted, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons." The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.

States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act. Secure driver's licenses and identification documents are a vital component of a holistic national security strategy. Law enforcement must be able to rely on government-issued identification documents and know that the bearer of such a document is who he or she claims to be. REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the Federal Government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

For more information on the legislation, you can go to www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/real-id-act-text.pdf.

The REAL ID Act will not invalidate Idaho issued driver’s license or ID cards, and does not affect using a driver’s license or ID card for usual purposes, such as driving, renting a vehicle, writing a check, purchasing alcohol or tobacco, or entering a casino. Starting October 1, 2020, you will need to have a license or ID with the Star – showing it is an Idaho REAL ID, or another accepted form of identification, such as a passport, to fly commercially or access a federal facility, national laboratory or military base.

  • The Star Card – Idaho’s REAL ID is not mandatory and you can opt-in or not.
  • You can continue to get a driver’s license or ID card without the Star and use a passport or other documents to fly or enter a federal building, national laboratory, or military base.

Check for the other forms of identification that will be accepted in lieu of a license or ID with the Star at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

The REAL ID Act promotes security in the issuance of driver's licenses and ID cards, and deters identity theft and fraud by requiring states to meet certain physical and procedural security standards for production and issuance of driver's licenses and ID cards, as well as certain documentation standards for applicants, including authentication and verification standards for proof of identity including your:
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Idaho residency
  • Lawful status or presence

Yes. The Idaho Transportation Department will be producing versions of all driver’s license and ID cards that add the Star.

The information you give to the Idaho Transportation Department is held securely by the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles. It is not entered into a national database.

There is no electronic chip or other electronic device in Idaho’s driver's license or ID cards, whether it is a Star Card – Idaho’s REAL ID or not.

Some U.S. border states offer an enhanced driver's license that includes passive vicinity radio frequency identification embedded in the card that meets federal requirements and facilitates rapid identification checks at the border. However, that technology is not required by the REAL ID and is not used in cards issued by Idaho.

Idaho’s driver's licenses and ID cards do have the required bar code printed on the back; that code requires manual scanning and only conveys the information appearing on the face of the driver's license or ID card, without the photo.


The only difference is access. Both allow you to legally drive and prove your identity for tasks like buying alcohol, obtaining social services, banking services or registering to vote.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, a Star Card lets you fly commercially or enter a federal building, national laboratory, or military base. At that time, you will not be able to do either with an Idaho driver’s license or ID card without the Star.

Without the Star Card, you’ll need a passport or other acceptable documents instead. Check for the other forms of identification that will be accepted in lieu of a license or ID with the Star at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

No. However, federal regulations require that a driver's license or ID card issued to a person who is a temporary foreign national be valid for no more than one year when the person’s authorized stay has no expiration date. A temporary foreign national issued a one-year driver's license or ID card may renew the driver's license or ID card at the end of the one-year period, with proof of continued lawful status.

Because permits are designed to be temporary, they will not be issued with a Star.

No. Getting a Star Card does not affect anything related to driving tests or abilities. It is focused only on identity security and verification.

Not unless you are required to complete a test for another reason. It is not necessary to take a test to simply get a Star Card.


You can add the Star any time before October 1, 2020. Idahoans will not be required to present a Star Card for federal official purposes until Oct. 1, 2020.

A Star Card driver's license or ID card is not mandatory, and some people may find they do not need one if they have a passport or other form of acceptable ID or if they do not plan to fly commercially or enter a federal facility. We encourage you to review all of the REAL ID FAQs to decide whether and when you need a REAL ID-marked card.


  • Do you fly on commercial aircraft?
  • Do you need to access a federal facility (federal courthouse or military base)?
If the answer is yes, you should consider adding the Star.

If you have another form of federal identification you can use for these purposes, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card, you may decide you don’t need a Star Card.

Currently, minor children (under the age of 18) who are flying with their parents do not need a Star Card to fly. Unaccompanied minors who wish to fly commercially will need a Star Card. Please verify by checking TSA’s current policies on minors at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Minors are eligible to obtain driver’s license and ID cards with the Star added. Minors that are current driver's license or ID card holders have the same choice as existing card holders and can obtain a compliant card by following the same process.


Getting a Star Card is your choice. If you decide to add the Star you can go to any driver’s license issuance site. You will need documents such as a birth certificate, social security card, utility bills, or mortgage statement to verify:

  • Your identity
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your Idaho residency
Go to "Add the Star" to identify the exact documents you will need. This can be done when you renew your existing driver’s license or ID card; or you may surrender your current driver license or identification card and get a duplicate license or ID card that adds the Star. Duplicates cost $15.

All applicants must provide proof of identity; date of birth; Social Security number; Idaho residence; and lawful status or presence in the United States.

Your documents will be scanned and stored in secure Idaho DMV servers for 10 years. Original copies will be returned to you after processing.

Your picture will be stored in a secure Idaho DMV server for 10 years and will be used to prevent fraudulent credentials created with your personal information.

You can get a Star Card at the same DMV office where you get a driver’s license. Go to http://itd.idaho.gov/itddmv/ for a list of county and city locations that issue driver’s licenses and ID cards with or without the Star.

Star Card will be available in Idaho in early 2018. Check your current driver’s license or ID card:

  • If it expires before Oct. 1, 2020, you can get a Star Card when it’s time to renew
  • If it expires after Oct. 1, 2020, you should consider renewing early to get a Star Card

You are eligible for renewal up to 25 months prior to the date your license expires. You will just have to provide the additional documentation required to get a Star Card.

If you are within the 25 month renewal period, you have the option of renewing your license or ID card for the customary fee:
  • $30 for a four-year license
  • $55 for an eight-year license
  • $40 for a four-year CDL
  • $10 for four-year ID
  • $20 for an eight-year ID

If you are not within the 25 month renewal or don’t want to renew at this time, a duplicate for any license is $15.00, for an ID card it is same amount as the original ID.

The cost will be the same as getting an Idaho driver’s license or ID card without the Star. Go to DL fees (http://itd.idaho.gov/itddmv/) for a full list of fees.

Yes. Even after Oct. 1, 2020, your driver’s license or ID card without the Star will still be valid for tasks such as driving, banking, obtaining social services, voting, and buying alcohol. It just cannot be used for flying commercially or entering a federal facility such as a military base.

Yes. Oct. 1, 2020, is just the date federal officials may begin checking for compliant cards. It is not a deadline for obtaining a compliant card.


You can use a passport or other approved documents to fly or enter a federal building or military base. Currently, other acceptable identification documents include:

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
  • Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • 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)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

TSA provides an updated list of the identification that will be accepted in lieu of a license or ID with the Star at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

The federal agency responsible for security of the airport, or federal facility will determine whether to permit access/entrance or subject you to additional screening as prescribed by that agency. No federal agencies have yet issued any guidance on how they will screen applicants after Oct. 1, 2020. The Idaho Transportation Department will update this information as guidance or information becomes available.

Yes. Even after Oct. 1, 2020, your driver's license will remain valid for all lawful driving purposes.