July 9, 2009
Early indications are starting to show that demand for Washington’s Enhanced Driver License is returning to normal levels following the large upward spike that followed the June 1 implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
That’s not say that some offices aren’t experiencing unusually long wait times. They are. In short, a lot of people are opting for the convenience and affordability of an EDL instead of a passport.
Now, here’s a look at the latest average wait time numbers. These figures represent average wait times at DOL offices on July 7, 2009:
- Bellingham: 58 minutes
- Bothell: 1 hour, 4 minutes
- Everett: 46 minutes
- Kennewick: 57 minutes
- Lacey: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- Lynnwood: 39 minutes
- Mt. Vernon: 60 minutes
- Parkland: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- Renton: 3 hours, 2 minutes
- Seattle (west): 53 minutes
- Seattle (east): 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Smokey Point: 1 hour, 3 minutes
- Spokane: 45 minutes
- Vancouver (north): 41 minutes
- Wenatchee: 48 minutes
EDL SCREENINGS UNDERWAY BEFORE DOORS OPEN
In a July 6 news release, DOL announced immediate actions to reduce wait times at several locations. Those actions included, “Screening applicants waiting outside beginning at 7:15 am.”
Since that news release went out, we’ve learned some customers thought DOL would open office doors at 7:15am. That’s not the case. The screenings are taking place outside and prior to regularly-scheduled business hours.
The outside screenings are taking place at DOL offices in:
- Mount Vernon
- Smokey Point
- West Seattle
Due to low volume, the DOL’s Wenatchee office is no longer offering screenings prior to normal business hours.
July 6, 2009
Customers at several DOL offices are experiencing longer than usual wait-times since new rules affecting international travel were implemented on June 1, 2009. Those rules are part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (“WHTI”). Many people in Washington state are responding to the new rules by applying for the convenient Enhanced Driver License. The “EDL” is also a cost-friendly alternative to a passport.
This video aims to assist Washingtonians by providing useful information that can help make obtaining an EDL as smooth as possible. Thank you for your interest. And happy traveling!
July 1, 2009
Perhaps you already know that Washington was the first state in the nation to offer an Enhanced Driver License or “EDL.” This video reveals the uphill and determined battle that state, federal and private partners overcame in their quest to make the EDL dream come true. All involved were well-aware of the looming June 2009 implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
This video features interviews with more than a dozen people, including two travelers we found at the Blaine, Washington border crossing; each shared why he is happy to have an EDL. Maybe the EDL is a good idea for you, too.
Remember, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver are fast-approaching!
June 22, 2009
KENNEWICK—Officials at the Kennewick Licensing Service Office (LSO) urge customers to come prepared when applying for the new Enhanced Driver License (EDL) or Identification Card. Staff in this office are sending many people back home for additional documentation when applying for these new cards.
The new enhanced licenses and ID cards meet new federal travel requirements under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which requires travelers crossing the U.S. border at a land or sea border crossing station to have a U.S. Passport or other WHTI compliant document. WHTI went into effect June 1, 2009.
“Summertime is always the busiest time of the year with people moving and teens getting permits and new licenses, but the additional rush of people applying for EDLs has made the Kennewick office unusually busy.” said DOL District Manager Pamela Byrd. “We’re helping everyone as quickly as possible, but they can also help themselves by making sure they have all of the documents they need before they come in.”
To apply for an EDL/ID, people must bring proof of… (Read more)