Starting Oct. 3, Connecticut residents looking to renew their drivers license will be asked whether they simply want to renew it, or if they want to take the extra step of verifying their identity to get a gold starred license that will make it easier for them to board flights or get into federal buildings.
Department of Motor Vehicle Commissioner Melody Currey unveiled plans Thursday for the new SelectCT ID program, which adheres to the controversial Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005.
Connecticut’s program, which stems from the Real ID Act passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be phased in over the next six years since license renewals are made every six years.
Each month, about 33,000 people in Connecticut renew their driver’s licenses, Currey said. Starting next month, in order to get a SelectCT ID card residents will have to prove their identity with a number of documents including passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and utility bills.
Currey said the new ID will help the 30 percent of Connecticut residents who fly get through security faster.
Additional screenings for those without the new ID’s is expected to be implemented at airports and federal buildings in 2017.
A list of the documents needed to get a SelectCT ID is available at www.ct.gov/selectCTid.
Currey said the state will also be airing radio ads in both English and Spanish to ensure residents are aware of the program and bring the necessary documents to the DMV or AAA offices when they renew their license if they want to have a SelectCT ID.
Click here to listen to the adds.
The choice between the two ID’s won’t end in 2017 the state will continue to offer a regular drivers license which says, “Not for Federal Identification.”
There has been opposition to the program because some organizations believe it will be used to track illegal immigrants.
But Isaias Diaz, chairman of the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, said his group has been monitoring the situation closely and doesn’t believe Connecticut will misuse the program.
Currey said if someone, who may not be in the country legally, is already a Connecticut resident and has a drivers license they can come in and renew that license without the additional identity documents.
Currey also encouraged drivers to use the AAA offices around the state for license renewals. She said she still can’t understand why anyone would want to wait in line for hours.
She estimated the SelectCT ID will take residents about 10 to 15 minutes longer in line while staff verifies the identification.
For the best times to go to the DMV, Currey said they are posted on the website.