In just a little over six months, you won’t be able to use your regular Idaho driver’s license and ID to board commercial flights or access federal buildings.

If it seems like we’ve been talking about getting your Idaho Star Card for years, it’s because we have been. The Idaho Star Card brings Idaho’s driver's licenses and identification cards into compliance with the 2005 REAL ID Act. 

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, the legislation was based on a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to set minimum security standards for state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses around the country. These standards are meant to keep terrorists from obtaining travel documents. After the deadline, federal agencies, including the TSA, will not accept state ID cards that haven’t met these standards. 

That deadline has been pushed back several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it’s creeping up on us. Unless there is another extension, the deadline is now May 3, 2023. That might seem like a long way, but the State of Idaho has been actively recommending that Idahoans get the star sooner rather than later.

As of September 30, about 62% of Idaho’s 1.25 million licensed drivers have upgraded to the Star Card. 

Idaho Transportation Department
Idaho Transportation Department

Do I Really Need to Get an Idaho Star Card?

If you really don’t want to, you don’t have to. However, that means that in order to get through security for a commercial flight or enter a federal building or military base, you’ll need to provide an acceptable document like a United States Passport or Passport Card. A full list of acceptable documents to use at a TSA checkpoint beginning May 3 can be found HERE.

Your regular Idaho driver’s license will still be valid for things like driving, buying age-restricted products or entering nightclubs.  

How Do I Get an Idaho Star Card?

If you want to zip in and out of the DMV, make an appointment ahead of time through your county’s website. Looking ahead at the next few months, there are plenty of appointments open at the Boise and Meridian branches in Ada County. The Canyon County DMV in Caldwell looks a little tighter when it comes to the number of appointments available. 

Bring the proper documents and you’ll be able to get your star card when it’s time to renew your license or when you want to surrender the license you have in exchange for a duplicate that adds the star. If you’re doing it during the renewal period, it costs the same as a regular license. If you’re not in your renewal period, you can get that duplicate license for $15. 

When we booked our appointment and did the Star Card, we were in and out of there in 10 minutes.

What Documents Do I Need to Bring With Me?

This is what can slow down the process. If you don’t have the proper documents, the DMV WILL turn you away. In order to get your star card you need to bring at least one document proving your identity and date of birth, your social security number, two documents proving your current physical address and your current ID.

The list of acceptable documents is lengthy, so if you don’t see something on this abbreviated list that will work for you click HERE to see the entire list. You can also use this handy "Add the Star Tool" to see if you have the right documents ready to go.

Documents You Can Use to Get an Idaho Star Card

Below is a short list of documents you may use to get your Idaho Star Card. For the FULL LIST and official list from ITD click HERE.

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