Starting October 21st, 2021, all Texas driver’s license holders must have a gold star on their ID to pass through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) line while flying within the United States.
This requirement follows the passage of the REAL ID Act by the United States Congress in 2005, and the Texas Department of Public Safety keeps Texas compliant with REAL ID laws.
The REAL ID Act establishes requirements for state-issued licenses and identity cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, such as entering federal buildings or boarding domestic flights. The requirement for the gold star law was supposed to be enforced in 2020 but because of the pandemic, the deadline was extended until October 21st, 2021.
For anyone who doesn’t renew their license, additional documentation must be shown to enter federal courthouses or pass through airport security. This documentation includes passports, permanent resident cards, and other forms of accepted identification. If travelers cannot provide acceptable documentation, they will not be allowed to pass through TSA checkpoints; children under 18 won’t be penalized if they are traveling with adults.
Considering that there are long waits and delays at Texas Department of Public Safety offices, it is highly recommended that you start your process as early as possible.
To update your license, Texans have several options: They can renew with DPS online, by phone, mail, or in-person at a local DPS office. There won’t be an added fee for the gold star compliant IDs.
Online renewal: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/dlfork.aspx?action=renew
Telephone renewal: 1-866-DL RENEW (1-866-357-3639)