State to change Washington licenses to comply with Real ID Act

  • Mon Jul 9th, 2018 7:00am
  • News

Submitted by The Washington State Department of Licensing

The Washington State Department of Licensing staff will mark all standard driver licenses and ID cards with the language “federal limits apply” to help bring Washington into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. DOL staff expect Washington to be in full compliance by fall 2018.

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. There are a variety of identity documents that can be used to board airplanes or enter secure federal facilities, including:

• U.S. or foreign passport.

• U.S. passport card.

• Military ID.

• DHS-trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST).

• Enhanced driver license.

• One of several other types of federally approved forms of identification found at

“There is plenty of time to educate yourself on all options and choose the identification that works best for you,” said Pat Kohler, DOL director. “Our ID 2020 campaign was created to help educate Washington residents about the Real ID Act requirements and their options for Real ID-compliant documents if they plan to travel within the United States.”

The main goal of the ID 2020 campaign is to help Washington residents decide which identity document best fits their lifestyle. Even though Real ID goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2020, it only affects people who want to travel by plane or access certain federal facilities. A standard driver license or ID card will work for other U.S. travel like driving in Washington, across state lines or riding a train.

Washington’s enhanced driver licenses, known as EDLs, and enhanced ID, EIDs, cards are Real ID-compliant, and valid for air travel within the United States and can be used to cross the borders of Canada and Mexico by land or sea. Some commonly needed documents to get an EDL/EID are certified birth certificates, U.S. passports or military IDs. A full list of document options to obtain an enhanced driver license or ID card is available on the DOL website.

Visit to view informational videos, take a quiz to help determine which ID you need, and learn more about REAL ID.

For more information about REAL ID and what it means for Washington, visit the DOL website at Visit for more information.


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