CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the Real ID Act, which requires all American citizens to have a license with an additional security feature: a gold star. Without it, you won't be able to fly.
And even though it won't be necessary until Oct. 1, 2020, the Department of Public Safety recommends you get it now in order to avoid issues in the future.
The Real ID law was created in response to 9/11, to add to the country's security and protection.
"People that are coming in out of the country as terrorists, that was one of the biggest reasons," said Texas Department of Public Safety Media and Safety Communications Sgt. Nathan Brandley. "To help identify and establish those being in the United States with the Real ID."
The Real ID has a bar code that includes the owner's personal information, making it harder for terrorists and scam artists to create fake IDs and drivers licenses.
If you are traveling internationally, though, you will still need to show a valid passport.
Even if you personally do not fly, whenever your license expires, you still physically will have to go to the DPS Driver License office to get the new Real ID.