Washington state is making steps toward complying with the federal Real ID Act and the Department of Licensing anticipates being in full compliance by this fall.
Starting July 1, the DOL will mark all standard driver licenses and ID cards with “federal limits apply.” By October 1, 2020, standard driver licenses and ID cards will no longer be accepted as a form of identification for domestic flights and entering some federal facilities, to include military bases or nuclear power plants. The DOL’s enhanced licenses and ID cards are Real ID compliant and are accepted — passports, permanent resident cards, and military IDs are also valid forms of identification for travel.
Obtaining an enhanced driver license or ID card is voluntary, and the standard cards will still be valid for driving, applying or receiving federal benefits, and entering a federal facility that does not require an ID, such as a post office.
“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 in a statement. “There is plenty of time to educate yourself on all options and choose the identification that works best for you.”
Washington and 16 other states were given a yearlong extension — until Oct. 10, 2018 — to enforce the Real ID requirements, a law that was passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. It’s meant to strengthen security and be issued to people who have proven they are in the U.S. legally.
For more information about accepted forms of identification, visit the DOL website.