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REAL ID information

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses." The Act:

  • established minimum security standards for driver licenses and ID cards,
  • prohibits Federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet these standards.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced all Washington state driver licenses and ID cards can be used for all federal purposes, including commercial air travel, under a REAL ID Act ( compliance extension that runs through October 10, 2018.

The Department of Licensing (DOL) expects to be in full compliance with the REAL ID Act by fall 2018, under Legislation signed ( by Gov. Jay Inslee. DHS has said states that have been determined to be compliant will not be subject to REAL ID enforcement at airports or federal facilities until October 2020 under current federal regulations. Enhanced Driver Licenses and Enhanced ID Cards are federally approved for entering federal buildings and for air travel under the REAL ID Act.

You'll be able to continue to use your standard driver licenses and ID cards to board all domestic commercial flights until enforcement begins in October 2020. After that, it will become important for Washington travelers to ensure they have acceptable identification, which could include:


Rule and status Public hearing or comments
Chapter 308-104 WAC: Drivers' Licenses
See Preproposal Statement of Inquiry for information about submitting comments.

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