HARTFORD — Do you have a star on your Connecticut driver’s license? If not, there’s still time to get your REAL ID driver’s license with that star on it.
Connecticut residents who want to board an airplane for a domestic flight will soon need a star on their driver’s license, indicating that it is a REAL ID credential or they will need another form of approved identification to board their flight or enter a secure federal facility or military base. Connecticut’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.
The upgraded REAL IDs will be required starting October 1, 2020.
Connecticut residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license does not currently have the star or stick with an older standard driver’s license. However, a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices. The standard Connecticut driver’s license will have the words “Not for Federal Identification” printed at the top.
To get the REAL ID star, individuals will need to visit their local Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles office in person and bring certain documents to prove U.S. citizenship and Connecticut residency. This program is available at DMV offices, participating AAA locations, Milford and North Haven Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union Offices, Stamford (operated by the WorkPlace, Inc.) and West Haven City Hall. Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of Connecticut residency, your social security card (if you’ve been issued one) and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state.
Transportation Security Administration officers who staff the ticket document checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID license or another form of acceptable ID after October 1, 2020, because of a federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005) that mandates that a REAL ID is needed for federal purposes. REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.
TSA has posted new signs at airports nationwide to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. TSA officers also will be providing verbal advisements to passengers to remind them about REAL ID. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.
For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card in Connecticut, visit Connecticut’s FAQ page about REAL ID. Or call 860-263-5700 within the Hartford area or 800-840-8222 elsewhere in Connecticut.
TSA also has a one-minute video that provides information about flying with a REAL ID.