The Texas Department of Public Safety has extended the deadline to get a Gold Star driver’s license by a year. The new deadline is Oct. 21, 2021.
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The law requires states to implement standards for state-issued driver licenses and identification cards that would strengthen the security of the cards in an effort to reduce terrorism and identity fraud.
The Gold Star was applied to identification cards in Texas starting on Oct. 10, 2016, but if you hadn’t yet renewed your current card, you could still use it until it expired, only it couldn’t be used for federal purposes.
However, a REAL ID with a gold star in the upper right-hand corner was to be required on all cards beginning Oct. 1, 2020. The pandemic changed that.
A press release from the Department of Homeland Security reads: “Our state and local partners are working tirelessly with the administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts. States across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs. This action will preclude millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID. Extending the deadline will also allow the department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.”
Now you have until next year to get a government-issued gold star identification card if you don’t have one, but considering that there are long waits and delays at Texas Department of Public Safety offices, it might be best to add it to your to-do list now. Here’s how to get the process started.