Hawai‘i Driver’s Licenses Will Now Feature Gold Star

February 26, 2018, 12:54 PM HST · Updated February 26, 12:55 PM
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Kahului DMVL. PC: Nikki Schenfeld

On Jan. 16, 2018, motorists renewing their Hawai‘i driver’s licenses began bearing a star in a gold circle, indicating that the license is in full compliance with new Federal guidelines.

The Department of Homeland Security has mandated that all driver’s licenses used as identification to board flights and enter all Federal buildings must bear the gold star by Oct. 1, 2020. Officials say passports can be used as alternate identification to board flights.

On Sept. 9, 2013, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation received notification from the DHS that the State was determined to be fully compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Originally, DHS decided that states did not have to put the “star in a gold circle” marking on their compliant driver’s license or identification cards as long as those states followed the marking requirements for non-compliant credentials. DHS approved Hawai‘i’s “marked” non-complaint credential which is a different color and marked “NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR OFFICIAL FEDERAL PURPOSES.” Recently, DHS changed the policy to provide Federal agencies an easier means of recognizing REAL ID compliant credentials.

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To obtain the gold star driver’s licenses, which indicates the license is Real ID compliant, motorists must present the following documents to the Vehicle Registration & Licensing Division:

  • A US State, Local Government- issued Certificate of Birth; or a valid US Passport or Passport Card;
  • For married women who changed their names, a certified government-issued marriage certificate (showing name on birth certificate);
  • A Social Security card (unlaminated) showing current name;
  • Two documents showing physical address (such as MECO bill).

If a resident uses a post office box number, they can submit one document with the post office box number and one document with their physical address.

Motorists may elect to get a limited-purpose driver’s license, which will not have a gold star, but which may only be used to drive.

Officials say no change is required at this time to currently-valid licenses.


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