The Lines to Get a Texas a Gold Star License In Order to Board a Plane by May 3, 2023, Could Get Long

Mark Hake

The State of Texas is serious about getting a REAL ID driver's license by May 3, 2023, in order to be able to board a plane flight starting then. In fact, you won't be able to enter a secure Federal building or military base, or nuclear power plant facility as well. Without a REAL ID license or ID you will have to carry around a passport, passport card, or military ID.

" The REAL ID Act establishes minimum standards for state-issued driver licenses and identification cards. Under this legislation, you’ll need a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card to access federal facilities and fly in the U.S. "

The Texas REAL ID-complaint driver's license or ID credential has a gold circle star in the upper right-hand corner:
Texas Real ID driver licensePhoto

This shows that inside the state of Texas symbol there is a gold circle with a white star in the upper right-hand corner.

How To Get a REAL ID-Compliant Texas Driver License

You can apply at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. You may be eligible to renew your existing Texas driver's license or ID online.

You can still use your current, unexpired Texas driver's license or ID to drive and for non-federal ID purposes like voting, and applying for federal benefits such as Social Security or Veteran's benefits.

When it’s time to renew your driver's license or ID, you’ll get one that is REAL ID-compliant. Just keep in mind that if you don't do this by May 3, 2023, you won't be able to board a commercial plane without a passport.

To get a REAL-ID-compliant Texas driver's license or ID, you need the following

  • An original or certified copy of a Birth Certificate or an unexpired U.S. Passport Book or Card
  • Social Security Card
  • Current Texas Vehicle Registration or Title
  • Current Car Insurance Policy or Car Insurance Statement
  • If your name changed, legal documents showing proof of name change from your birth name

There is also a interactive site that shows you the full list of documents that you must in your own situation.

In addition, if you are concerned about what it will cost, here is the site that shows the full cost of getting a REAL ID-compliant driver's license in Texas.

Don't Wait or Procrastinate

Texas residents should check their licenses to see if they need to get a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of their driver's licenses. That is simply going to be the easiest thing to do in case you don't get the REAL ID D.L. by May 3, 2023, and get to the airport and realize too late that you haven't brought a passport just to travel in the U.S.

In fact, starting early next year, when Texas residents start booking their spring vacations, many people will flood the DPS offices to get the upgrade REAL ID license. That means that now is the best time to go get the REAL ID license before the long lines hit in the spring.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at,,, and as well as TalkMarkets.

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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ

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