Utahns required to get a new ID by 2020 to comply with federal standards

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utahns will need to get new IDs by 2020 after the Utah State Legislature passed a bill during its special session Monday, to add gold stars to Utah driver's licenses in order to be compliant with security standards.

In 2005, the United States Federal Government passed the REAL ID Act, which, "establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on its website.

In 2008 and 2009, during the Utah State Legislature's General Session, lawmakers approved the implementation of the REAL ID Act, except for the addition of a gold star on licenses.

According to Utah State Senator Wayne Harper (R-Salt Lake County), who sponsored the bill, if the state does not comply with the REAL ID Act and add gold stars to ID's by October of 2020, Utahns will be unable to travel using their driver's licenses and may need special documentation to board a plane.

"If we do not have that certain emblem on ID's or driver's licenses, there will be certain things we will not be able to do as citizens of the state of Utah," Harper said Monday. "You cannot board an airplane without a special type of process or procedure, you can't go into a federal building, things of that nature."

Harper said it would cost the state "a bunch of money" to change driver's licenses, and stressed that is was important to pass the bill quickly in order to avoid federal penalties for non-compliance.

"We're already fully compliant," Harper stated. "Now, let's do the last step."

The bill passed in the Utah State Senate and House Monday.