STAR ID law explained

Some important information for anyone who travels by air or ever walks into a federal building.

It's time to start thinking about getting a "gold" star.

You may have heard about STAR ID. It is Alabama's version of the REAL-ID act passed by congress in 2005 in response to 9-11 attacks. All but one terrorist had a fraudulent drivers license.

STAR ID stands for Secure, Trusted and Reliable Identification. It was developed to enable Americans to fly domestically or enter into federal facilities where identity is required.

The idea is to have an ID that fully meets all the requirements of the federal law.

"The purpose of this is to re-identify who you are, when you apply for an Alabama drivers license," says Captain Guy Rush with the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

Guy answers why that's necessary. "Most of us haven't proved who we were since we were 15 or 16-years-old and initially came in and got that first license, when you have to bring in your birth certificate, social security cards and prove your identity."For those born after December 1, 1964 the new regulations will go into effect December 1 of this year. For people born before December 1, 1964 the new STAR ID rules will be effective December 1, 2017. "In order to fly domestically, or enter into federal facilities where identity is required, one will need to obtain a STAR ID or have a valid passport in order to enter these facilities or these planes," explains Rush.David Ellison travels for his job and for pleasure. Ellison had not heard about the STAR ID until this month.

He's optimistic about the new regulation. "I would be glad for anything that helps you get through security at the airport or TSA. Anything that would make that experience go a little faster," says Ellison.To obtain a STAR ID, an applicant must verify{} identity and date of birth by providing one of several documents.Some examples: A Certified Birth Certificate and a valid U.S. Passport. Others are listed on the department of public safety's website. An applicant must also produce a Social Security Card or a W-2 tax form.Also, each applicant must verify the address of the principal residence by providing any TWO documents. Those documents can include a voter registration card, or a utility bill.

For a complete list of required documents to obtain a STAR-ID click here.

"You come into our office, you bring in certain documents, proving who you are, and we verify who you are, and you are issued a REAL-ID compliant drivers license," says Rush. "The only difference in that license is that on the top left corner it has a gold star, which states that you are REAL-ID compliant."To get a STAR-ID, you must visit a department of public safety drivers license office in your county. "You cannot obtain one in a probate or license commissioners office. To obtain the initial issuance of a STAR-ID you must come to our office," says Rush.To find the location nearest you, click here.The cost of the STAR ID, is the same as a regular license renewal. Captain Rush shares this advice. "Don't panic, you don't have to have it right now, if you've got a flight coming up in the next year or two, or possibly even longer, you don't have to come into our office right now," says Rush. "We just encourage everybody on your next renewal cycle,whenever that is, that's the time to come in and get one. You don't have to come in before that date, just on your renewal cycle."