On Dec. 31, 2018, I wrote about the real ID called the Star Card. Since then several readers have asked that I follow up with what ID is necessary to secure this new card and where to obtain one.
The best way to obtain your new Star Card is when you renew your driver’s license or get an Idaho identification card. But if your license doesn’t expire within 25 months, you’ll need to fork over the cost to renew your license or $15 to $30, depending on term of license.
Regardless of whether you’re a new applicant or currently hold an Idaho driver license or identification card, you must bring the same types of documents to obtain your Star Card and comply with the Real ID Act.
To help applicants identify and gather the required documents, use the Idaho Transportation Department’s Add the Star tool. Simply answer a few questions and the system will create a customized list of documents for you to bring.
In summary, new applicants and current driver’s license and ID card holders who want a Star Card must present the required documents from each of these three categories.
Identity and date of birth. A certified birth certificate will work but you will also need to provide another valid ID with a photo. A valid passport will suffice as well as one form of ID.
Social Security number. Present your Social Security card — it cannot be laminated. Laminated cards will be rejected.
Idaho residency and current residential address (no PO Box). You must present two documents that include your name and current address demonstrating residency in the state of Idaho. Examples include (dated within last 60 days): lease or rental agreement or mortgage or deed; record from public utility for service address; bank or credit card statement; paystubs and employment records; or record of property taxes accessed or paid.
Don’t show up with just your Idaho driver’s license and passport because it won’t suffice. You must show up with the other ID as discussed on the Idaho Transportation website.
According to the site, the information you give to the Idaho Transportation Department is held securely by the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles and is not entered into a national database.
This new ID will allow you to fly domestically without the need to carry a passport after October 1, 2020. The good news is the Star Card isn’t mandatory so if you choose not to get one you don’t have to, but you’ll need to remember to pack your passport to get on domestic flights and to show the TSA agent. Otherwise, you’ll be turned away.
MEDICARE MAILING UPDATE: If you are on Medicare, the Social Security Administration’s website has informed us that all cards have been mailed out. If you haven’t received your card, they suggest you look around the house for any old or unopened mail. The new cards will come in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another way to obtain your card is to sign in on the website at www.MyMedicare.gov to get your number or print your official card.
If you believe there’s something that needs to be corrected with your information, call Medicare directly at 800-MEDICARE or (800) 633-4227. You can still use your old card to get health care services until Jan. 1, 2020. After that you’ll need your new card.
Be vigilant with your personal information and Medicare number because scam artists continue to be on the prowl to get this information from you. Scammers are posing as Medicare employees. They’re threatening to either cancel your health benefits or “deactivate” your services if you don’t share your personal information. These are both scams. Ignore these calls and report them to the above listed number.
MICROSOFT REMINDER: The Microsoft computer virus scammers are still hard at work. Now crooks are telling unsuspecting consumers that unless they call the number back right away, they’ll lose access to their computer completely.
One reader reported that on a recent scam call she was instructed to go down to Walmart and buy security system software to install on her computer. It was unclear for what purpose and why she should only go to Walmart. Upon questioning the caller, she got no clear answers so she finally hung up.
Regardless of the message, remember: Microsoft does not make unsolicited calls to customers about their computer. If you get a call, hang up and DO NOT give the caller access to your computer.
Remember: I’m on your side.
If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (208) 274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. Please include your name and a phone number or email. I’m available to speak about consumerism to schools, local and civic groups. I’m a copywriter, columnist and consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.