State drivers can now get a 'gold star'

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
Statewide - posted Thu., Oct. 6, 2011
A sample of the new gold star drivers license. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Connecticut drivers who renew their licenses can choose a new type of license that brings an added level of security and will help speed their way through security lines at airports.

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Melody Currey said the new “gold star” on Connecticut drivers’ licenses “has new security features that prove you are who you say you are.”

Those who renew their driver's license after Oct. 3 will have the option of applying for either a traditional driver's license or a new SelectCT ID driver's license, with a gold star in the upper right-hand corner. The gold star signifies your license as a state-issued security document that confirms the driver's identity.

By providing extra documents such as a birth certificate, a passport, utility bill or a W2, a driver can receive the gold star license. The new license is not mandatory, and drivers can simply renew their traditional licenses, if they choose.

Currey, who is East Hartford's former mayor, was chosen by Gov. Dannell Malloy to be the DMV commissioner. She has been working on SelectCT ID since she took the position in December 2010. Connecticut is one of 24 states to implement a Select ID program, Currey said, adding that 16 states have opposed the new program and have no plans to implement it, due to political concerns over the Federal Real ID Act of 2005, which is the basis for the program.

“I think, because here in Connecticut we are so close to New York City, people here have a better understanding of the need for greater security,” Currey said.

By 2017, those with gold star licenses will be able to move through or more quickly bypass security at airports and other federal buildings. Connecticut will have a two-tier license system, and residents will continue to have the ability to opt out of SelectCT ID program.

Many people renewing their licenses have chosen to get a gold star license, and long lines have been reported at some state DMV offices. In preparation for the new program, Currey said DMV employees have been undergoing training for several months.

Currey said there is no need to rush to get the new license, and drivers should simply wait for their regular renewal time. Drivers may also renew their licenses at local AAA offices and receive a gold star license.

For more information about SelectCT ID, go to the state website

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