Has it been a while since someone gave you a gold star? If you’re a Massachusetts resident, you’re going to need one on your license by this October if you want to continue using your state ID for air travel.
A gold star in the top right corner is the mark of a REAL ID, the new federal standard in identification cards. Massachusetts has been issuing these cards since 2018.
If you’re still without this upgraded identification, you can begin the process of upgrading at the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ website. Be prepared to provide documentation that proves your standing as a U.S. citizen.
Massachusetts residents will be permitted to use their non-upgraded IDs for travel until October 2020. After that time, a REAL ID or passport will be required.
The origin of the REAL ID dates back to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In response to the attacks, Congress instituted the REAL ID law as a means to improve national security. The RMV has been working to upgrade their systems and the cards themselves to make them compliant with the law since then.