AUSTIN, Texas — If your driver's license doesn't have a gold star on it, you won't be able to use it to get through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) line at the airport come October 2020.
There are a lot of posts circulating on social media about this, so we're breaking down what that means for us in Texas.
Our sources are the Texas Department of Public Safety website and the TSA.
First, this all stems from the REAL ID Act. Congress passed it in 2005. It requires more documents and proof of identity than non-REAL ID licenses.
Second, the Texas Department of Public Safety is already a step ahead of the game. Texas has been issuing REAL ID licenses since October 2016.
If you have your license handy, take a peek at it. The gold star near the top right means you're already good to go.
If you haven't renewed your license since 2016, you can still use it until it expires or until Oct. 1, 2020, whichever comes first.
Let's say 2020 rolls around and you don't have a REAL ID yet.
A valid passport or trusted traveler card is still fine, you just won't be able to show your license to get through security.
A spokesperson for the DPS sent KVUE the following statement:
Texas is REAL ID compliant; however, a star is not necessary until Oct. 1, 2020. After Oct. 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID with the gold star for air travel purposes.
The department has been actively working to notify customers about renewing early so they can get that gold star. We began the initiative to let people renew up to two years ahead of time in order to ensure that all customers have a chance to get the star before the deadline.
For anyone whose license is set to expire sometime after Oct. 2020, if they are within two years of their renewal, we will send them a letter to let them know they can renew ahead of time. For those not in the two-year window (about 500,000 customers), the department will let them know how they can request a duplicate so they can also obtain a card with the gold star — and be REAL ID compliant.
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