UPDATE: Star Card deadline is now May 7, 2025
U.S. Department of Homeland Security notice for REAL ID
Originally published 3/2/2021
Seven months ahead of the federally mandated deadline, the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles continues to raise awareness of the importance of obtaining a Star Card – Idaho’s REAL ID. Beginning October 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a Star Card, U.S. passport, military ID, or other REAL ID compliant identification, to board a commercial flight and enter a federal facility.
Currently 465,563 of 1.25 million licensed drivers in Idaho have a Star Card. Two years ago in February 2019, just 70,000 Idahoans had obtained their Star Card.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of planning ahead and updating your driver’s license to a Star Card today,” said DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “We are pleased to see the number of people getting the Star Card increasing, but now is not the time to slow down. Our goal is 100% awareness, so no one is unexpectedly forced to miss a vacation or unplanned, last minute trip this fall.”
Last spring, the original October 2020 federal deadline was extended one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal remains the same—ensuring all Idahoans are aware that while getting a Star Card is not mandatory, without it, you will have to provide a passport or other form of REAL ID to fly in the United States.
“Our TSA officers are reminding people of the new requirements as they are traveling,” said TSA Idaho Federal Security Director Andy Coose. “Signs are up at airport security warning of the October deadline, and when a TSA officer meets a traveler without a star on their ID, they make sure to tell the passenger to get a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or other identification so they don’t have trouble getting onto a plane after October 1.”
The Star Card has been available in Idaho since 2018. During this time, the Idaho DMV has informed Idahoans of the upcoming federal REAL ID requirement through courtesy renewal notice reminders, various advertising campaigns, sports partnerships, and a public service announcement featuring Governor Brad Little, among other educational videos and presentations.
The transaction requires an in-person visit to a county driver’s license office and additional documents. The Idaho DMV strongly encourages Idahoans use the “Add the Star” tool at itd.idaho.gov/starcard to learn what specific documents are needed, as they can vary depending on each person’s situation. More information, frequently asked questions, and driver’s license office locations can also be found online.
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 as a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards, for official purposes.