In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the ongoing threat of additional terrorist activity, the United States Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005. This legislation modified U.S. federal law pertaining to security, authentication and issuance procedure standards for state driver licenses and identification cards, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism. In the future, only those state-issued driver licenses and identification cards that are fully compliant with the REAL ID act of 2005 will be authorized for use as identification for official federal government purposes, such as boarding commercial aircraft and entering certain regulated federal facilities.
All current Alabama driver licenses and ID cards will be accepted for official federal purposes until at least the beginning of 2016, when the Department of Homeland Security will implement its enforcement phase. Prior to December 2013, there were different deadlines for individuals wishing to board commercial aircraft or access other regulated federal facilities. (Original deadlines were December 1, 2014, for individuals born after December 1, 1964; and December 1, 2017, for individuals born on or before December 1, 1964.)
*Those persons who hold a valid United States passport may use this document in place of the required REAL ID compliant identification.
**While the REAL ID Act of 2005 includes the deadlines Dec. 1, 2014, and Dec. 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced it will implement its enforcement phase no sooner than 2016.
In response to these requirements, the Alabama Department of Public Safety has developed the STAR✭ID program. Persons who meet the issuance requirements for Alabama Driver Licenses and Non-Driver Identification cards are afforded the opportunity to go a step beyond the standard requirements to obtain a STAR✭ID. In addition to the standard requirements of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, those who select STAR✭ID will be required to present additional documents specified by the REAL ID act of 2005. Upon presenting these documents and fulfilling the issuance procedures required, these applicants will receive an Alabama STAR✭ID, which will serve as valid identification for official federal government purposes.