Plan Now – New Identification Requirements for Air Travel
On December 1, 2014, everyone in the country who wants to board an airplane or enter a restricted, federal building will need a new form of ID called a REAL-ID. In Alabama, the new form of identification is called a STAR ID.
As it turns out, my driver’s license expired recently and I read this article on AL.com about the STAR ID and thought – hmm, I should go ahead and get the STAR ID. Well, let me tell you – I’m so glad I am not scrambling to get a STAR ID in December 2014 or later (considering only 7,000 STAR IDs have been issued to Alabama’s 3.8 million licensed drivers). Imagine the lines and wait times.
Moms – if you travel, tune in. The STAR ID requires at least 4 pieces of information to prove your identity, social security number and address. For married women, you may also need your marriage certificate to prove your current legal name (identity). The list of documentation requirements is outlined on the Department of Safety website. It took time for me to locate the documentation – the passport, social security card, utility bill and a copy of my mortgage (not the bill… the mortgage). I think for everyone there will be that ONE piece of information that requires you to ‘go to the archives’.
Some of you may be quite organized and, thus, finding the appropriate documents will be less troublesome. However, if you do not have these items you’ll need time to order them (time you will not have if you decide to go get a STAR ID two days before your family trip to Disney… you’ll be driving, my friend).
Also, (and this I ALMOST missed), the STAR ID can only be issued from the Driver’s License office, not the courthouse where you go to get a Driver’s License renewal. The Jefferson County Driver’s license offices are located off of the Arkadelphia Road exit (address 908 Bankhead Parkway) and in Bessemer. Search for the nearest office on the DPS site – here.
Be a friend – spread the word. I predict changes to travel plans, long wait times at the driver’s license office and frustration for those who wait and for those who just don’t know.
*Note – these changes come as a result of the REAL-ID Act of 2005 in response to the rise in terrorism.