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  1. Letters to the Editor

Do you have a gold star yet?

Published Jan. 22, 2018

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver's license, and are you REAL ID compliant?

Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver's license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confirmation of a person's identity. Any customer, who during the past several years, has renewed a driver's license or ID card in person at one of our offices has had to produce documentation the federal government requires.

These documents include a birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport, marriage certificate or divorce decree, and proof of residency.

A gold star in the upper right corner of your driver's license or ID card shows law enforcement that you are federal ID compliant. Those who renewed online or through the mail may not have the gold star. However, it will be required to provide the documents upon renewal of your current driver's license. Once you have the gold star, you will never need to show the documents again unless you change your name or address.

The Pasco Tax Collector's Office has worked to make this process as painless as possible. Nonetheless, for some customers, meeting the requirements of the federal law can be burdensome. This is especially true for those who have had a name change, moved to Florida from out of state, or no longer have their original birth or marriage documents.

The most common concern we hear is, "I did not know I needed that (document)." Over the past few years we have done our best through press releases, mailings, inserts in registration renewal notices and more to advise customers of what they need to bring.

If you have questions about the documents you need renew your license, please visit our website, www.pascotaxes.com, or call our call center.

A second concern expressed by customers is that they don't know where to find the documents they need. For Florida-born customers, our office can provide a copy of a lost or misplaced birth certificate. Those from other states can visit the website unique to their state of birth or prior residence to secure the documents.

If you do not have a gold star on your license it may be tempting to wait, since there is no penalty for not having one. However, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, starting Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler will need to present a REAL ID driver's license or ID card or other federally acceptable form of identification, if they wish to use a domestic airline.

If you have any questions, please call our call center Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The phone numbers are (727)847-8032, (352)521-4538 or (813)235-6076.

Mike Fasano, Pasco County Tax Collector

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