State gets extension for new federal ID requirements

June 16, 2017

(OLYMPIA) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a REAL ID Act compliance extension to Washington state this week based on legislation signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee last month allowing the state to comply with the remaining provisions of the federal act.

While compliance extensions are issued for up to one year at a time, Homeland Security has indicated to Washington and other states that as they make progress toward complying, they will be renewed through October of 2020. This allows all Washington-issued driver licenses and ID cards to be used for all federal purposes, including commercial air travel, until then. The Department of Licensing is working to be in full compliance with the REAL ID Act by mid-2018.

“A variety of identification documents are acceptable for federal purposes under REAL ID, including U.S. passports and passport cards, military or military dependent ID cards, valid foreign passports or legal permanent resident cards and state-issued enhanced driver licenses or enhanced ID cards,” said Pat Kohler, the Department of Licensing director.

Kohler says the agency will fully implement the legislation next year, but that all licenses and ID cards are expected to be valid for federal purposes through October of 2020.

“The extension gives our residents about three more years to decide if they will need a new type of identification. Many already have acceptable federal identification,” Kohler said.