Texas residents renewing or getting a driver’s license, a state-issued identification card, or a license to carry will see and feel a difference.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has revamped the cards with increased security features compliant with federal REAL ID requirements.
The DPS began issuing the new cards February 24.
The cards are made out of a polycarbonate material that is more tamper-resistant and harder to reproduce. They also feature laser engraving for another protection against alterations and forgeries.
Another significant change is for Texans with a health condition that might impede their ability to communicate. They can have an identifier placed on the front of a license or ID to alert police or other first responders.
Veterans can choose a special identifier to let people know of their service. It features the American flag and the holder’s military branch.
The new ID and licenses meet the REAL ID requirements by the federal government. This is distinguished by a gold star in the upper-righthand corner of a license or ID. Starting October 1, 2020, individuals will need a valid passport, U.S. military ID, or a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license to travel on commercial airliners or enter secure federal facilities.
The DPS began issuing REAL ID-compliant documents in October 2016. Officials advise Texans to check their licenses or ID for the gold star.
If a person’s license or ID expires before October 2020, the DPS will include the gold star on a renewal. If a person’s license or ID expires before October 2022, they can renew up to two years ahead of time to receive a REAL ID-compliant card.
For renewal information, visit the Texas DPS driver’s license webpage or a DPS office. The Marble Falls office is located at 1405 Mormon Mill Road. The Llano office is located in Room 200 of the Courthouse Annex, 100 W. Sandstone.