Does your driver license have a “star”? Here is what you need know to secure a STAR ID

Notice the STAR? The deadline to get your Alabama STAR ID is October 1, 2020. Screenshot from of AP photo

If you are like me, you hop on an airplane, two to four times a year to travel on family vacations, reunions or for business.  Everytime you go thru airport security, they check your driver license. Beginning in the fall TSA will be looking for small “star.”

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020,  every air traveler from Alabama will be required to present a STAR ID (Secure, Trusted and Reliable),  according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

This is Alabama’s initiative to comply with the federal Real ID requirements for air travel, which was passed into law 15 years ago in response to 9/11 and subsequent terrorists attacks.

The STAR ID  looks just like the old drivers licenses, but with a star in the upper left corner.

This is mine without it.

Where do I get one?

STAR IDs are only issued at Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Drivers License exam offices.  Even if your license is not up for renewal, you need to replace your old license with a STAR ID if you intend to travel on a plane.

Birmingham, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, airports, Birmingham airport
Photo via Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s Facebook page.

Any Alternatives?

There are a few alternatives to the STAR ID. For example, you can use your passport if you have one.  Here is a link to other IDs you can provide the TSA – HERE.

Now the paperwork

Time to compile the paperwork!

To be issued a STAR ID, applicants must present  four documents to verify identity/date of birth, Social Security number and address of principal residence.

Below is the list of documents needed to secure the STAR ID. This comes directly from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website:

Applicants must verify their identity and date of birth by providing one of the following documents*:

    • Valid, unexpired United States Passport
    • Certified Birth Certificate
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
    • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
    • Unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) issued by DHS (Form I-766 or Form I-688B)
    • Unexpired Foreign Passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. Visa affixed, accompanied by the approved I-94 form documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance into the United States.
    • Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS (Form N-550 or N-570)
    • Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS (Form N-560 or N-561)

*If the applicant’s name has changed from that displayed on the document produced (marriage, adoption, court order, etc), official documents verifying this change will be required.

Applicants must verify their Social Security Numbers by providing one of the following documents:

  • Social Security card
  • United States Military Form DD 214
  • Medicare/Medicaid Identification Card (if Social Security Number is followed by the letter A)
  • W-2 Tax Form

Applicants must verify their address of principal residence by providing any two of the following documents:

    • Voter Registration Card
    • Residential Mortgage Contract
    • Current Lease or Rental agreement for housing
    • Proof of payment of residential property tax (Homestead)
    • Previous year tax returns bearing applicants address
    • Vehicle registration bearing applicants name and address
    • Utility bill (Water, Gas, or Electric) less than 90 days old
    • Any State or Federal Court documents indicating residence address
    • School enrollment documentation
    • Defense Department Form 214 (Report of Separation)
    • Sex offender registration documents
    • Current Homeowners insurance policy with name and address
    • Social Security benefits statements/summary mailed to physical address
      U.S. or State Government check or other document mailed to applicants physical address
    • Military Orders documenting duty station and place of residence.

* If utility bills or other similar documents feature the name of the applicant’s spouse or parent, the applicant must produce a marriage certificate or birth certificate verifying residence address.

Don’t forget the October 1, 2020 deadline

Birmingham, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, airport, Birmingham airport
Photo via Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s Facebook page.

If you care about avoiding issues at the security check-in with TSA at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport make sure to secure your STAR ID.  October will be here faster than you expect.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.