Arizona license

Arizonans will need a license with a gold star to board aircraft and enter federal buildings next year unless they have a passport or military ID.

Gov. Doug Ducey says he already has his.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego admits she does not.

What we’re talking about is an enhanced Arizona driver’s license, one that will allow people to board aircraft after Oct. 1, 2020.

That’s the last date that the Transportation Security Agency will accept regular state-issued licenses and IDs to get to the boarding gates at airports. After that, those without the new identification cards, marked with a gold star in the upper right corner, will need a passport or military ID.

And it’s not just about being able to fly. Without identification the government considers acceptable, federal buildings also will be off limits.

To get a new ID it’s more involved than simply dropping in at the local Motor Vehicle Division office.

The requirement is an outgrowth of the Real ID Act. That law directed the Department of Homeland Security to come up with requirements for secure documents for everything from getting into certain federal buildings to boarding commercial aircraft.

Arizona has, to say the least, been slow to comply. It took until 2015 — and threats by Homeland Security to stop honoring Arizona licenses — for lawmakers here to finally come around. They first became available in March 2016.

Getting one of the new licenses requires gathering up some documents, starting with a passport or birth certificate. But applicants also need something with a Social Security number as well as two documents with a home address, like utility bills or bank statements, to prove Arizona residency.

Be prepared to pay an extra $25 for the enhanced license.

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