Enhanced licenses and IDs good as gold at border

February 16, 2010

Blaine border crossingBy Brad Benfield

The Olympics are here and staff at DOL are excited to see our successful Enhanced Driver License and ID Card program fulfill its promise as a faster, easier and less expensive alternative to a U.S. Passport for Washington residents visiting the Winter Games.

Demand for the EDL has been very strong over the past few months. As the Games approached, DOL was issuing more than 2,500 of the cards every week. Today, 140,000 Washington residents carry enhanced driver licenses or ID cards.

It’s very satisfying to be living through the moments Governor Gregoire envisioned several years ago when she met with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. They discussed common concerns about promoting trade and tourism and doing everything they could to keep traffic flowing smoothly at our shared border during the Olympics this month and the upcoming Vancouver B.C. Paralympic Winter Games in March.

But the Enhanced Driver License and ID Card program isn’t over. After all of the Olympic and Paralympic events are done, the medals all have been awarded and the athletes all have gone home, enhanced driver licenses and ID cards will continue to serve Washington residents traveling by land and sea to Canada, Mexico and other popular travel destinations in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, our model has been adopted by many other states and Canadian provinces now issuing enhanced licenses and ID cards of their own.


The Enhanced Driver License: A Dream Realized

July 1, 2009

VIDEO

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!