By Trooper Benjamin “Michael” Carswell, Troop D Recruiter/ Public Information Officer
MONTGOMERY – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Alabama’s version of the federal REAL ID program is STAR ID, which stands for Secure, Trusted and Reliable Identification.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “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 today, March 26, ALEA Driver License offices will close 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.
Please see below a summary of what services Alabama citizens will or will not be able to do at this time:
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
Customers 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. We will not take any law enforcement actions until hearing can be held.
- Change address by mail/email/fax. Address change document available online.
- Change name by mail/email. Contact ALEA DL for instructions.
- Renew hardship license
- Have license reinstated by mail/email/phone. May use credit card.
- Order MVR (driver history) by mail/email/phone. May use credit card.
- Order crash reports by mail/email/phone. May use 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. In addition, Secretary Taylor would like to remind the public of the 60-day grace period for driver licenses (Code of Alabama, 32-6-1), 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 www.alea.gov.