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Idahoans urged to obtain REAL ID Star Cards ahead of 2025 deadline


Idahoans urged to obtain REAL ID Star Cards ahead of 2025 deadline

May 24, 2024 | 6:25 am ET
By Lexie Ponce
Idahoans urged to obtain REAL ID Star Cards ahead of 2025 deadline
The only visual difference between the current Idaho driver's license and ID card design and the Star Card is the Star in the upper right hand side of the card. Both allow you to legally drive and prove your identity for tasks like buying alcohol, obtaining social services, or registering to vote, according to the Idaho Transportation Department. (Courtesy of the Idaho Transportation Department)

If anyone has travel plans after May 7, 2025, a Star Card will be required for air travel and access to certain government buildings.  

After the passing of the Federal REAL ID Act in 2005, Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke and state transportation officials are urging Idahoans to prepare to obtain their Idaho Star Card.

Under the changes, a Star Card, U.S. passport, military identification or another type of federal ID will be needed to board a flight or have access to a federal building for any U.S. traveler who is 18 years and older.  

Despite the Star Card being similar to a normal driver’s license, more documentation will be required to get one, such as a birth certificate, Social Security card, and two proofs of Idaho residency, such as a mortgage statement or current utility bill to verify your identity.  

Scott Bedke, R-Oakley
Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, speaks with supporters at the Idaho GOP election night watch party at the Grove Hotel in Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 8, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

“The federal deadline for the REAL ID will be here before we know it, so to avoid any disruptions to your future travel plans, now is the time to get your Star Card from your local DMV,” Bedke said in a press release.

The deadline for the REAL ID had to be extended various times due to low adoption rates across the United States and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The federal REAL ID Act has existed since 2005, and it’s been a long time coming,” said Ellen Mattila, public information officer for the Idaho Transportation Department. “The extensions were necessary because the adoption rates were not as high as expected.” 

Currently, only 49% of Idahoans have a Star Card. The Idaho Transportation Department officials emphasize the need for those without a REAL ID to plan ahead. They suggest gathering necessary documents, such as birth certificates, which may need to be ordered in some cases.

The renewal process is also straightforward: Those who already have a Star Card will need no additional paperwork when renewing their card unless there may be changes in their personal information, such as a name or address change.  

When it comes to replacing a lost or misplaced Star Card, the process works the same as replacing a standard driver’s license.  

“Getting all the required documents can be more work, but it’s essential to meet federal standards,” Mattila said. “We encourage everyone to plan early and ensure they have all the required documents to avoid last-minute issues.”