MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Kathy Harris looks over the list of people who made appointments to get their “star,” all ready to flip the page from their standard driver license and earn the gold star in the upper left hand corner of their driver license.
To make it happen, you need the following: a birth certificate or an unexpired passport, social security number and proof of residence.
“It may be 10 to 12 minutes to process it,” said driver license examiner Cathy Harris.
Alabama’s Star ID program stems from the federal mandate known as the REAL ID law Congress passed in 2005, all an effort to make the nation more secure after 9-11 and reduce identity theft.
This is only a requirement for those who fly domestically. Alabama is among a handful of states complying with the federal law and actually started in 2012. But to drive it home, ALEA is starting a countdown push beginning October first of this year.
“The countdown October 1 to 2020 when it will be mandated and if you try to fly domestically and you don’t have a REAL compliant ID, it is likely they can turn you away," said Deena Pregno, ALEA Driver License Chief.
Since the program started at least 500 or so in the Montgomery district have already changed their current driver license to the Star ID. Statewide, close to 400,000 have signed up since 2012.
“The documents can’t be over 90 days old if it’s a utility bill," said Harris.
Even if you’re not a flyer, Deena Pregno and Cathy Harris encourage everyone to sign up because you never know when you may need to punch your ticket for an airplane ride. Getting the star is the key to get on board.
ALEA says you can save yourself a lot of time by simply scheduling an appointment beforehand by logging on to their website HERE.