For domestic flights, standard state licenses acceptable until fall 2020

November 9, 2017

Story 

Washington residents have until October 2020 to determine what type of identity document they will need to travel on commercial flights within the United States or to access certain federal facilities. This is when federal requirements will be enforced regarding what kinds of state-issued identification are acceptable.

The new identification requirements are part of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005. Currently, Washington state residents can obtain a standard driver’s license or ID, or an enhanced driver’s license or ID. Proof of identity and residence is required to obtain a standard card, while an individual must also show proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain an enhanced card.

Beginning in July 2018, Washington State must clearly mark its standard driver’s license and ID cards as noncompliant with federal requirements. By fall of 2018, the Washington State Department of Licensing expects to be in full compliance with the law, and it will apply for certification from the Department of Homeland Security. In October 2020, after REAL ID certification is granted, Washington residents flying domestically or accessing some federal facilities will be required to show an enhanced ID or other form of acceptable federal identification.

This timeline is part of the agreement state and federal officials have reached after several years of discussion.

DOL notes Washingtonians are not required to get an enhanced driver’s license or ID card, and encourages residents to consider their options and look at other forms of federally acceptable ID they may already have.

Other forms of federally acceptable ID are:

  • U.S. passport or passport card
  • Military ID
  • Green card
  • Homeland Security-issued trusted traveler card
  • Foreign government issued passport
  • Border crossing card
  • Airline or airport ID issued under a TSA-approved security plan
  • Federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID
  • Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 Personal Identity Verification card

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136