Trooper says STAR ID cards will be required to fly in U.S. by 2020

Posted 8/27/17

Daily Mountain Eagle

For now, Alabama citizens can continue to use their normal driver’s license as identification to fly — but they only have about three years to get a STAR ID driver’s license to stay compliant.

Trooper Johnathan …

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Trooper says STAR ID cards will be required to fly in U.S. by 2020


Daily Mountain Eagle

For now, Alabama citizens can continue to use their normal driver’s license as identification to fly — but they only have about three years to get a STAR ID driver’s license to stay compliant.

Trooper Johnathan Appling, a spokesman for the Alabama State Troopers, talked recently about the STAR (Secure, Trusted, And Reliable) ID license that can be obtained now from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) license office on the second floor of the Walker County Courthouse in Jasper.

Upgraded identification purposes for driver’s license became a concern after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, resulting in the READ-ID Act of 2005. The act mandates that states comply with a strict set of standards regarding the security of state drivers licenses and identification cards, Appling said.

“In 2004, the 9/11 Commission recommended that the U.S. Government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses,” he said. “The commission recognized that sources of identification are the last opportunity to ensure that people are who they say they are and to check whether they are terrorists. It is interesting to note that Alabama was one of the first states to be REAL ID compliant, with 23 states now being fully compliant. STAR ID is Alabama’s response to the REAL ID Act.”

The requirements of the act are “already in effect for Federal facilities or military bases that previously required a person to present identification. When planning a visit to a Federal facility or military base, it is highly recommended that visitors contact the facility to determine what type of identification is required,” he said.

Among the states that are now compliant with the act are a number of Southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Among those that have received an extension are Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

A number of states in the Northeast, West Coast and northern border with Canada also have received an extension.

Since all of the non-compliant states have obtained extensions, no state not compliant will have to deal with a requirement that had said that by Jan. 22, flight passengers from non-compliant states would have to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the ALEA websites indicate that the extension provides relief for now.

However, Appling said flyers need to look ahead three years.

“Since Alabama is REAL-ID Compliant, our citizens may continue to use a state-issued driver’s license or ID to fly in the U.S. until October 1, 2020. Beginning then, you may only use a REAL ID compliant driver’s license (STAR ID) or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel,” he said.

“They are not required to obtain STAR ID in Walker County. However, they must visit an ALEA Driver’s License Office and obtain it directly from an examiner. It cannot be obtained from the Probate Office ... Some examples of local offices that issue STAR ID are the second floor Jasper courthouse location, or the trooper posts in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, or Hamilton,” Appling said.

The process is more relaxed for renewals, as it has been improved since it was first implemented, he said.

Appling said, “STAR ID can be renewed online or at the Probate Office.”

The STAR ID has a gold star in the upper left corner to make it easily recognizable as Real-ID compliant.

According to the ALEA website, a STAR ID identification card is available to those who do not have a driver’s license.

According to the flyer, three central requirements have to be met with four documents.

To verify identity and date of birth, they have to show one of the following: A passport, birth certificate, consular report of a birth abroad, a permanent resident card issued by Homeland Security or the Immigration and Naturalization Service, an employment authorization document, certificate of naturalization or citizenship from Homeland Security or a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card.

In order to verify Social Security numbers, an applicant will have to provide one of the following: A Social Security card, a certified letter (on a letterhead) from the Social Security Administration stating the name and number, a U.S. Military ID card, U.S. Military Form DD 214, a Medicare/Medicaid ID card if the Social Security number is followed by the letter A, and a W-2 tax form.

Residence must be verified with any two of the following documents: A voter registration card, a residential mortgage contract, a current housing lease or rental agreement, proof of payment of residential Homestead property tax, the previous year’s tax returns bearing the applicant’s address, vehicle registration bearing the applicant’s name and address, a utility bill (water, gas or electric) less than 90 days old, ay state or federal court document indicating residential address, school enrollment documentation, Defense Department Form 214 (Report of Separation), sex offender registration documents, current homeowners insurance policy with the name and address, Social Security benefits statements/summary mailed to the physical address, U.S. or state government check or other document mailed to applicant’s physical address and military orders documenting duty station and place of residence.

Anyone wanting more information can go to ALEA’s website and go to the quick link for driver’s licenses, or they may call the driver’s license office in the courthouse at (205) 221-7589.

Winston County’s ALEA driver’s license office is open on the second Wednesday of the month in the Double Springs Municipal Building and can be reached at 205-489-1141.