Residents of Alabama now have an extra two years to obtain their STAR ID driver’s licenses, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The DHS’s REAL ID program, known in Alabama as “STAR,” requires that individuals receive a new ID with verified personal information and security features to board airplanes in the United States.

The program was created in 2005 by an act of Congress as part of an effort to vastly expand the surveillance power of the federal government in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

In compliance with the REAL ID program, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) created the STAR ID program.

Implementation of the REAL ID has been repeatedly delayed over the last two decades due to early opposition from politicians from both parties, such as former president Barack Obama and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), but all states eventually complied. The IDs are already required to enter certain federal facilities. 

Alabamians 18 years old or older seeking to use air travel must now have a STAR ID by May 7, 2025. Passports may also be used for air travel.

Previously, they would have had until May of next year. The DHS decided to extend the requirements for STAR ID to address the impacts of COVID-19. 

To receive a STAR ID, a person must provide four documents to verify their identity, date of birth, social security number and address. The list of acceptable documents can be found here.

STAR IDs are only available at ALEA Driver License examining offices around the state.

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