AMES, Iowa -- According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, "REAL ID" refers to federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations that control access to federal facilities requiring identification to enter, federally regulated commercial aircraft, and nuclear power facilities.
"The Iowa DOT started issuing REAL IDs back in 2013," said Andrea Henry, Director of Strategic Communications for the Iowa DOT. "So if you were someone just received their driver's license for the first time since then, you would automatically have the gold star, but if you were not one of those, you would have to request to get a REAL ID."
The REAL ID indicates to officials and employees controlling access to federal facilities that require identification to enter, federally regulated commercial aircraft, and nuclear power facilities that the person holding the driver’s license or ID card established their identity, lawful status or presence, and residence in a manner that complied with the federal regulations.
Come October 1st, 2020, REAL ID regulations will go into effect in Iowa.
"And what will happen at that date is that anyone who is wishing to fly commercially, enter a federal building, or enter a nuclear power facility will need to have a REAL ID marked card, unless they have other forms of identification, such as a passport or a military ID," said Henry.
If you want to know what kind of documentation you need to bring to a driver's license station to get a REAL ID with the gold star mark, you can find out by visiting the Iowa DOT's website.