REAL ID update: Legislation to bring Washington into compliance with REAL ID filed for upcoming session


DOL is aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to begin posting signs in airports across the country announcing the January 2018 date for requiring a federally compliant form of identification to board domestic commercial flights under the REAL ID Act. It is important for all Washington residents to know that a regular Washington state driver license or ID card will be acceptable for commercial air travel until at least the 2018 deadline. There are many options for federally-compliant ID, including passports or passport cards or DOL’s Enhanced Driver License/ID Card. Washington residents have time to research their ID card options and determine if they already have a federally acceptable document or need to get one.

Legislation approved by Gov. Inslee to bring Washington state into compliance with the REAL ID Act was sponsored by the Chairs of the House and Senate Transportation Committees this week for consideration by the Legislature. Washington state law is not currently in compliance with REAL ID Act standards.

The legislation, similar to a plan DOL brought forward two years ago, will repeal current state law prohibiting DOL from complying with the REAL ID Act, give DOL the authority to add federally required markings to our state’s standard driver licenses and reduce the cost of enhanced licenses and ID cards for a period of four years.

If this proposed legislation becomes law, under current federal standards, our state will likely be granted a REAL ID compliance extension that will allow a regular Washington driver license or ID card to be used for all federal purposes, including boarding commercial flights, until October 2020.

Here are a few types of ID documents that are valid for air travel and other federal purposes: U.S. or foreign passports, U.S. passport cards, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, tribal-issued ID cards from federally recognized tribes, Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card) and several other types of identification. A complete list is available at the Transportation Security Administration website.

2 Responses to REAL ID update: Legislation to bring Washington into compliance with REAL ID filed for upcoming session

  1. Charles Davis says:

    If an enhanced driver’s license meets the requirement of the REAL ID Act why doesn’t the WA DOL issue them instead of non compliant licenses? I’m a CDL driver, have been fingerprinted, had to provide proof of citizenship and still my license is non compliant? It seems to me that this is just another way for the state to collect additional fees, an extra 45 dollars for the enhanced license and all you do is show your birth certificate. Come on people quit fleecing us.

    • paeuc says:

      The article explains: “add federally required markings to our state’s standard driver licenses and reduce the cost of enhanced licenses”
      Enhanced driver’s license is already compliant, so no action item for you. But not everyone can / want to apply for an EDL. For people like me (say, greencard holder but non-citizen), we are stuck with standard licenses.

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