The federal government has once again decided to postpone enforcement of its REAL ID requirements, giving Alabama residents another two years before they will need the state's new STAR ID for air travel.

After the infamous terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005, which requires all U.S. states to stick to a single set of rules for issuing driver's licenses and other identification cards instead of regulations that varied state-by-state.

The REAL IDs would also require extra verification steps and feature new security measures, making it harder to produce convincing counterfeit IDs.

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The US Department of Homeland Security originally said that Americans would need a compliant REAL ID by January 2018 to board most commercial aircraft, but that enforcement timeline has been pushed back several times, especially because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, DHS announced it would postpone full enforcement again, this time for another two years, and REAL IDs will not be required to pass through TSA security for domestic flights until May 2025.


In Alabama, the REAL IDs are called STAR IDs and can be obtained from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License Examining Officers.

They must be obtained in person, and require supporting documents including a birth certificate (original or certified copy) or valid, unexpired U.S. passport, a Social Security card and two documents verifying the citizen's address of principal residence.

Learn more about Alabama's STAR IDs here and how to obtain one before they are required for air travel in 2025. 

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