New Washington driver license and ID cards


(Post updated March 13, 2:13pm with new sample driver license image)

Washington state is starting to issue newly designed driver licenses and ID cards aimed at better protecting residents from identity theft.

“This new card system has incredible security features in it that will really decrease the amount of counterfeit cards that exist in the world,” said Pat Kohler, director of the state’s Department of Licensing.

Those security features include fine-line printing and ultraviolet ink.

The state will roll-out the new cards over the next several months, beginning at its licensing office in Shelton.

“And sometime this summer, we would finish the roll-out at all of our 56 offices,” Kohler said.

The new licenses and ID cards have a new look, but their functions haven’t changed. The Enhanced Driver Licenses and Enhanced ID Cards (EDLs/EIDs) can be used for all federal identification purposes, including: entering secure federal facilities and, following the January 2018 federal compliance deadline, boarding domestic flights at commercial airports. Standard driver licenses and ID cards are still not valid for these federal purposes.

flyer is available to learn more about these changes and to make sharing this valuable information easy.

 

                                                                       NEW LOOK DOCUMENTS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

New header colors on WA driver licenses, enhanced driver license, ID cards

New header colors on WA driver licenses, enhanced driver license, ID cards

Want the new driver license before its available at your local licensing office?

Residents who are eligible to renew their license online will automatically receive the new-look license.

In fact, all documents purchased online will now be issued with the state’s new updates. Those documents also include ID cards, enhanced driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and temporary licenses.

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT MY CURRENT DRIVER LICENSE OR ID CARD?

You might be wondering, So, what about my current driver license?

Kohler said people don’t need to worry because all current licenses will remain valid until they expire, so nobody needs to make a special trip to have their license or ID card replaced.

 

TEMPORARY LICENSE WILL NO LONGER HAVE A PHOTO

Temporary licenses issued in driver licensing offices will now be printed on a full sheet of paper instead of being a paper copy of the actual license. This is similar to how it’s already done online, and will no longer include a photo.

Kohler said removing the photo should help prevent identity theft.

“The current temporary driver’s license is so similar to your original driver’s license that you get in the mail, it creates a false sense of security (because it is simply a temporary document).”

 

“HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE FOR THE CUSTOMER?”

Kohler said the process of updating the state’s Central Issuance System also presented an opportunity at its licensing offices.

“It was great opportunity for us to look at process improvement, and look at how our customers flowed through the office,” she said.

A decision was made to change that flow.

Upon arriving at a licensing office, a customer’s first contact will now be with someone who will review their documents.

Kohler said this change is aimed at ensuring the customer arrived with the correct documentation needed for obtaining a driver license or ID card.

“This will save our customers a lot of time,” Kohler enthused. “They won’t have to sit around and wait, then come up and find out that they didn’t have the required documents.  They’ll immediately be able to find that out and be able to know what they need to come back with.  And at the same time, it doesn’t back up the line.”

Expect to see this new customer flow, wherein documents are reviewed upon the customer’s arrival, at all licensing offices by this summer.

 

VIDEO

The video below offers additional information about the state’s new driver licenses and ID cards.

 

DOL ONLINE

The Department of Licensing’s website is dol.wa.gov.

16 Responses to New Washington driver license and ID cards

  1. Ray Faria says:

    will the Federal government accept this for boarding at airports

    • olybrad says:

      The new licenses and ID cards have a new look, but their functions haven’t changed. The Enhanced Driver Licenses and Enhanced ID Cards (EDLs/EIDs) can be used for all federal identification purposes, including: entering secure federal facilities and, following the January 2018 federal compliance deadline, boarding domestic flights at commercial airports. Standard driver licenses and ID cards are still not valid for these federal purposes.

      • Are there plans to make standard licenses Real ID compliant like in other states? Only US citizens can get enhanced licenses currently which excludes people like me who are permanent residents or on visas

      • olybrad says:

        That’s a good question, Mark. At this time, our Enhanced License and Enhanced ID are our state’s option for federally approved ID, and that may continue in the future. As you noted, these cards are only available to U.S. citizens. However, federal rules specify that other types of ID can be used for federal purposes, including foreign passports and permanent resident cards.

  2. Steven K says:

    In addition to the Real ID compliance question, would there be a charge to update a current drivers license with what looks like a new Veterans designation?

  3. sullim4 says:

    Seems like a gigantic waste of money. Why redesign the license before any REAL ID legislation passes this year? They are going to have to spend more money to change the design again.

    • ricciad says:

      The REAL ID legislation (SB 5008 and it’s companion) that progressed past the cut-off date last Friday, thus making it the only legislation that has a realistic chance of passage, essentially only reduces the fee for an EDL and makes no changes to the broader structure of licenses and identicards, beyond repealing previous 2006-2008 era legislation which prevented DOL from complying with REAL ID until certain high barriers to security certification were met. Legislators seem to be hoping that DHS will grant an extension once this has been passed, but if it does not, an EDL will be people’s only option for air travel come 2018.

  4. LS says:

    How can a Drivers Lic. be Valid without a Photo or a signature?

    • Lisa Malden says:

      LS, if you read the information (or watch the video if reading isn’t your thing) only the temporary document will not have a photo or signature. The official license you get in the mail will have both.

      Similar to registering your vehicle online. You get a document to print. It is proof of registration until your tab arrives in the mail; it can be shown to police if pulled over for expired tabs.

      • Victoria says:

        The flyer shows both adult and minor CARDS that say “Valid Without Photo” on a blue square where the photo would normally go, and on the adult card it also says “VALID WITHOUT SIGNATURE”. They are not a full size sheet like the temporary license shown.

      • Victoria says:

        Both the flyer and the video show the “No Photo Required” cards.

  5. Mark says:

    I finally moved to my last home. I have been holding off changing my addresses on my drivers license until this time. When/where can I find out when my office will have the new licenses available? Will I have to pay twice if I don’t wait and update now with the old style? I’m not eligible for online update.

  6. Lucille McCornell says:

    I don’t understand why a DOL ID without a photo or signature is considered valid? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of showing your ID that many times when asked to see a photo ID serves as being officially who we are??

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