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O‘ahu residents urged to check their REAL ID status

HONOLULU – With less than a year left to get REAL ID-compliant identification cards to board domestic flights and enter some federal buildings, nearly 50 percent of O‘ahu motorists now have a driver license that features a star in a gold circle at the top.

Of the 645,328 active drive licenses issued on O‘ahu, 308,436 have the gold star in the upper-right hand corner, signaling it is in fact a REAL-ID license. REAL-ID licenses will be required at airport security checkpoints come Oct. 1, 2020, when every air traveler over age 18 will need a REAL-ID compliant driver license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States, including the Hawaiian Islands.

Of 265,765 state identification cards, 54,857 feature a small star inside a gold circle in the upper right-hand corner. Residents must choose between holding a federal-compliant driver license or state ID. They will not be issued both. All Hawai'i driver licenses and IDs are valid through their expiration date for non-federal purposes.

“We don't want residents to panic,” said Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city's Department of Customer Services. “But if residents choose to use a Hawai‘i driver license or identification card to board a commercial flight or gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, now is the time to act.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts alternative forms of identification, such as a valid U.S. passport and some military IDs. To get a REAL ID-compliant driver license on O‘ahu, residents will need to make an initial in-person visit to a driver license facility with a completed application and the required documents. There is no additional fee to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card. Fees for driver licenses and state IDs are $5 annually. An eight-year license or ID card is $40; a four-year license is $20; a two-year license is $10. The fee for a duplicate of a valid license is $6.

For residents who need to renew their credentials or present documents for the first time in person, the city encourages making an appointment to avoid wait time. Appointments can be made at 10 locations across O‘ahu up to six months before a license or state ID expires.

For ease, the city provides an interactive document guide at At this site, residents can also make appointments, find office locations and download forms.

Residents who have already presented in person after 2014 and have documents on file can request a duplicate card – for the purpose of obtaining the star marking – online at There is a $1 processing fee. The card will only be mailed to the address on file. No changes are allowed. REAL ID-compliant cards are not mailed out of state or out of the country.

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