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SALT LAKE CITY — You may have heard a while ago that you’ll soon need a driver’s license with a gold star to do things like board an airplane. You now have exactly one year until that deadline.
But you probably don’t need to schedule a trip to the Driver License Division just yet. If your license expires after the October 2020 deadline, the division will automatically mail you (and 1.5 million other Utahns) a new license with the gold star. You will want to make sure, however, that your address with the division is up to date.
"We need the citizens to make sure that we have their correct address information. Otherwise, the card's not going to make it to them," division director Chris Caras said in December.
But updating your address won’t require a trip to the Driver License Division, either. Utah residents can do so on the state’s online driver’s license renewal website.
If you need to renew your license before the deadline, your new card will come with a gold star. Anyone who renewed or received their license after Feb. 3 also received a new license with the gold star.
You can check the status of your gold star license on the Department of Public Safety's website.
It’s important to the division that Utahns won’t have to go out of their way to get an ID that will comply with the federal requirement, Caras said — though residents will still need to renew their licenses when they expire, even if they recently received a new license with the gold star.
The new policy came after a long-running dispute between Utah and the Department of Homeland Security to conform to the standards set by the department's Real ID Act, part of which requires a gold star to be printed on all licenses.
Utah lawmakers decided to push back against what they believed was an unfunded mandate from the federal government. The total cost of reprinting and sending out the IDs will be about $2.4 million.
People who attempt to board an airplane with a non-starred driver's license after October 2020 may be stopped by the Transportation Security Administration. Passports can still be used as ID for air travel.