Washington Department of Licensing takes steps to comply with Real ID Act

Enhanced license required for domestic flights in 2020

  • Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:00am
  • News

Starting July 1, the state Department of Licensing (DOL) will begin marking all standard driver licenses and ID cards with the language, “federal limits apply.”

The change aims to bring Washington into compliance with the federal Real ID Act, which requires all states to mark identification documents that do not comply with the federal law, according to a state DOL blog. Under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, DOL expects to be in full compliance with the REAL ID Act by fall.

Over the next two years, all Washington residents will have to make a choice about their identity documents. By Oct. 1, 2020, standard driver licenses and ID cards will no longer be an acceptable form of identification for boarding domestic flights and entering some secure federal facilities, like military bases and nuclear power plants.

DOL’s enhanced driver licenses (EDLs) and enhanced ID (EIDs) cards are Real ID compliant, and valid for travel as are passports, permanent resident cards and military IDs.

A standard driver license costs $54 for six years. An enhanced license costs $78 for six years.

Standard driver license and ID cards can continue to be used for the following:

■ Driving

■ Applying for or receiving federal benefits

■ Entering a federal facility that does not require ID (post office)

An enhanced driver license or ID card is completely voluntary and optional. Some commonly needed documents to get an EDL/EID are certified birth certificate, U.S. passport or military ID.

A full list of document options for obtaining an enhanced driver license or ID card is available on the DOL website at dol.wa.gov.

“If you know you will not be flying or already have a federally approved document such as a U.S. passport, passport card or military ID, you do not need an enhanced driver license or ID card,” said DOL Director Pat Kohler. “There is plenty of time to educate yourself on all options and choose the identification that works best for you.”

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