ALEA: STAR ID deadline extended a year; in-person driver license service limited


People wanting to get a STAR ID driver's license in Walker County and elsewhere in Alabama have an extra year to do so, while driver's license offices are now closing all public access in the state due to the coronavirus.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on Thursday confirmed a delay, announced earlier in the week by President Trump. It said U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at Trump's directionis extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021, due to the virus.

Alabama’s version of the federal REAL ID program is STAR ID.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said in a statement, “We began modifying the Driver License Division operations Monday, March 16, and continued to serve customers on a more limited basis to reduce potential exposure to the virus."

Starting Thursday, ALEA driver license offices closed all public access, and staff will remain on-site to answer phones and assist with online services.  

"As always, we are dedicated to serving the citizens of this state, but we must make the health and safety of our customers and our personnel a priority. This deadline extension should relieve some of the wait time at ALEA’s DL offices to obtain a STAR ID during the next several months.”

During this closure, ALEA’s driver license personnel will be making contact with customers who scheduled appointments for services prior to the pandemic.

Customers will NOT be able to:

• Obtain first-time issuance of DL/CDL or ID card.
• Take knowledge test (Learner’s License, Motorcycle, CDL).
• Take road test.
• Transfer out-of-state license.
• Obtain foreign national/renewal.
• Register vessel – first-time registration or transfer.
• Obtain Ignition Interlock License.
However, people will be able to do a number of activities by mail, email, fax or online. They will be able to:
• Renew DL/CDL/ID online.
• Renew by mail – for Alabama drivers out of state for military, employment, missionary work, under a physician’s care or other issues on a case-by-case basis.
• Request a hearing online or by mail/fax. ALEA will not take any law enforcement actions until hearing can be held.
• Change address by mail/email/fax. An address change document is available online.
• Change name by mail/email.
• Renew hardship license.
• Have license reinstated by mail/email/phone, using a credit card.
ˆ Order MVR (driver history) by mail/email/phone, using a credit card.,
• Order crash reports by mail/email/phone, using a credit card.
• Submit medical cards by fax/email.
• Submit medical unit forms – fax/email.
• Handle Mandatory Liability Insurance – online/mail.
• Renew vessel registration online.

Once ALEA’s Driver License Division resumes normal operations, customers may schedule an appointment on the agency’s website to obtain a STAR ID and conduct other driver license business. Taylor reminded the public of the 60-day grace period for driver licenses, but customers who would like to renew during the pandemic are encouraged to do so online. Individuals whose driver licenses must be reinstated may contact the Driver License Division to handle it by phone.    

For more information on STAR ID, online renewals and other services, and the latest on Driver License Division office closures, please visit