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Published on Friday, March 3, 2017

Legislature takes on REAL ID compliance

SB 5008/HB 1041 sponsored by Sen. Curtis King, (R-Yakima) and Rep. Judy Clibborn, (D-Mercer Island), would update Washington’s driver’s license requirements so that the state can begin to comply with federal REAL ID requirements.

Congress passed REAL ID in 2005 after the 9/11 Commission recommended the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” Washington State has not been in compliance with the federal standards, and after failing to receive a compliance extension in 2016, the state must fall in line or risk its residents not possessing the appropriate identification to do things like board airplanes and access federal buildings.

Under the provisions of the bill, the Department of Licensing would be required to mark standard driver’s licenses and identicards in accordance with REAL ID Act regulations indicating they are not compliant with REAL ID Act standards beginning July 1, 2018. The bills would also lower the fee for enhanced driver’s licenses and identicards to $90 for the next four years. Enhanced driver’s licenses and identicards do meet federal REAL ID standards.

Both bills are moving through the legislative process.

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