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STAR ID - Frequently Asked Questions

Answer:   “Secure, Trusted, And Reliable,” STAR ID is part of a nationwide effort to improve the integrity and security of state-issued driver licenses and identification cards, which, in turn, will help fight terrorism and reduce fraud.

Answer:   In response to acts of terrorism committed against the United States, and in an effort to ensure the safety of citizens, Congress passed the REAL-ID Act of 2005, modifying federal laws pertaining to security, authentication and issuance procedure standards for state driver licenses and identification cards. In order to comply with the requirements of this federal legislation, the Alabama Department of Public Safety has developed the STAR ID program.

Answer:   Yes, Alabama began a STAR I.D. pilot project in central Alabama Oct. 3, 2011, in the Driver License examining offices in Montgomery, Autauga and Chilton counties, and began issuing STAR I.D. statewide in early 2012.

Answer:   No, your current Alabama license or ID card will remain valid and acceptable.

Answer:   The following enforcement measures are cumulative, with measures in each phase remaining in effect through successive phases. Each phase will begin with a three-month period where agencies will provide notice to individuals attempting use driver licenses or identification cards from non-compliant states but still allow access. After this period is over, agencies will no longer accept such identification for entry to federal facilities, and individuals will need to follow the agency’s alternate procedures (to be made available by the agency).
  • Phase 1: Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors and their guests) for DHS’s Nebraska Avenue Complex (NAC) headquarters.
  • Phase 2: Restricted areas for all federal facilities and nuclear power plants.
  • Phase 3: Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most federal facilities (subject to limitations described in the next section). Access to federal facilities will continue to be allowed for purposes of applying for or receiving federal benefits.
  • Phase 4: Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. A driver license or identification card from a non-compliant state may be used only in conjunction with an acceptable second form of ID for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
  • Phase 1: restricted areas at the DHS headquarters on Nebraska Avenue
    • January 20, 2014 – notification period
    • April 21, 2014 – full enforcement
  • Phase 2: restricted areas for all federal facilities and nuclear power plants
    • April 21, 2014 – notification period
    • July 21, 2014 – full enforcement
  • Phase 3: semi-restricted areas for remaining federal facilities
    • October 20, 2014 – notification period
    • January 19, 2015 – full enforcement
The timeline for Phase 4, which applies to boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, will be determined after DHS conducts an evaluation of how the first three phases were implemented. To ‘ensure that the public has ample advanced notice,’ DHS says that Phase 4 will be implemented no sooner than January 2014.

Answer:   You will need documents to establish your identity, date of birth, authorized presence in the United States and address of principal residence:

Documents to verify identity and date of birth
For U.S. Citizens:
  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • Original or certified copy of birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by Department of Homeland Security
  • Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS
For cases where the current name and the name on the primary identity document are different, you should also bring:
  • Court ordered name change document
  • Marriage certificate, issued by the courts and/or
  • Divorce decree, issued by the courts
For Non-Citizens:
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card – I-551 for Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Valid Passport for non-immigrants except for asylum applicants and refugees
  • Other government issued document showing your full name
  • Department of Homeland Security document showing proof of lawful presence
  • If your name has changed by marriage/divorce, you must have your name changed on your Citizen and Immigration Services (CIS) documents.
Both Citizens and Non-Citizens will need to bring:
  • Your Social Security Card
  • Two documents that show your principal residence
A list of documents can be found on our website by visiting the Document List page.

Answer:   No, expected changes will be minor. STAR ID will have a gold star in the upper left corner to make them easily recognizable as Real-ID compliant.

Answer:   No, the final rule specifies that each individual can hold either a STAR ID driver license or a STAR ID identification card, but not both simultaneously. If you currently hold both, one will be cancelled during your next card issuance.

Answer:   Yes.

Answer:   No, STAR ID is available only at the Department of Public Safety’s Driver License examining offices. There is an office in each of the state’s 67 counties.