Idaho Transportation Department: Get the Star Card early

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, a Star Card (shown here), U.S. passport, military identification or other form of federally accepted ID will be required to board a flight or access a federal building.

MOSCOW — Idaho residents have almost a year to obtain a Star Card, but officials are urging those who want to board a plane or enter a federal building starting next fall to get their new identification card now.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, a regular driver’s license will not be enough to get through airport security or security in federal facilities like courthouses and military bases. Instead, Idaho residents will need to get a Star Card or another accepted form of ID, such as a passport, to access those places.

“This is something you do not want to wait until the last moment to take care of,” said Idaho Transportation Department spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez. “There are additional documents you need when you do go to your driver’s license office.”

Those documents can include a birth certificate to verify identity, a Social Security card to verify a Social Security number and two proofs of Idaho residency, such as a mortgage statement or current utility bill.

Residents whose name is different than that on their birth certificate must bring a certified name-change document, such as a marriage license, divorce decree or court order, to the driver’s license office.

Gonzalez said using the “Add the Star Tool” at is critical in identifying the documents each person needs to bring with them to the driver’s license office.

“It will save you the time and the hassle of coming in here only to find you don’t have the right documents,” she said.

Gonzalez said those who acquire a Star Card now will avoid the potential long lines of people who wait until next summer and fall to get the card.

The only visual difference between the Star Card and an Idaho driver’s license is the yellow star in the upper right corner of the Star Card. Both forms of ID will allow residents to legally drive and prove identity for tasks like purchasing alcohol, obtaining social services and registering to vote, according to the Idaho Transportation Department’s website.

The cost of a Star Card is the same as getting an ordinary license or ID without the star, according to ITD’s website.

If a resident is within the 25-month renewal period, he or she has the option of renewing his or her license or ID card for the customary fee of $30 for a four-year license; $55 for an eight-year license; $40 for a four-year commercial driver’s license; $10 for a four-year ID; or $20 for an eight-year ID.

For those not within the 25-month renewal, a duplicate for any license is $15.

The star shows the driver’s license is in compliance with REAL ID security standards, according to ITD’s website.

Congress enacted the REAL ID Act 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 security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting cards from states that do not meet those standards.

Although the act was passed in 2005, Idaho placed a moratorium on REAL ID compliance until the state Legislature lifted it during the 2016 session. Star Cards have been available in Idaho since early 2018.

All states must comply with the law before it takes effect late next year.

Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to

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