‘Star in the Gold Circle’ Required by 2020

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REAL ID-compliance will be required for air travel starting Oct. 1, 2020. Acceptable identification must contain the “star in the gold circle.” PC: HDOT

Come Oct. 1, 2020, all Hawai‘i residents must obtain a REAL ID-compliant Hawai‘i driver’s license or state identification card with the “star in a gold circle” marking.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released information on Thursday pertinent to the transition.

Every person traveling domestically on a commercial airline will need to present a REAL ID-compliant credential or another acceptable form of identification by October 2020 pursuant to the REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, the release said.


This law enacted a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission and established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The act further prohibited federal agencies, including the TSA, from accepting state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards that do not meet the minimum standards.

The “star in a gold circle” on a Hawai‘i driver’s license or identification card indicates the credential is REAL ID-compliant. If people want to continue using their driver’s license for federal purposes, such as boarding a commercial aircraft after the deadline, it must have the “star in a gold circle.”

“We want people to know there is about a year remaining until the federal deadline to update your identification,” said Jade Butay, HDOT director. “While there is time, we don’t want people to wait until the last minute. People should also be aware the driver’s license is not their only option. There are various other acceptable identifications that will work to allow you on a plane.”


“Because the majority of people who travel on a commercial aircraft use a driver’s license as their form of identification at the TSA security checkpoint, now is the time to plan ahead to ensure compliance with REAL ID requirements,” said TSA Federal Security Director for the Pacific Jenel Cline. “Starting Oct. 1, 2020, TSA officers will be prohibited from accepting identification from a traveler that does not meet the REAL ID standards.”

While the driver’s license is the most common form of identification used by travelers, TSA accepts multiple forms of identification at the security checkpoint including:

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC)
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

In Hawai‘i, if required documents proving legal presence, legal name, date of birth, social security number and current Hawai‘i principal residence are already on file, you may be able to apply for a duplicate license with the “star in a gold circle” online. Links to individual county services are below.

REAL ID-compliance will be required for air travel starting Oct. 1, 2020. Acceptable identification must contain the “star in the gold circle.” PC: HDOT


If the proof of legal presence, legal name, date of birth, social security number and Hawai‘i principal residence documents are not already on file, or your legal name or address has changed, the request for the “star in the gold circle” ID must be submitted in person.

All Hawai‘i driver’s licenses and IDs are valid through their expiration date for non-federal purposes. Hawai‘i began issuing REAL ID complaint licenses and State identification cards on January 16, 2018.

To view the TSA Real ID webpage including tool kits and a fact sheet with useful information, click here.

For additional information, visit the Department of Homeland Security Frequently Asked Questions webpage by clicking here.

To view information from Hawai‘i County agencies including time-saving tips, licensing locations, documentation requirements, fees and other helpful information, click here.

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