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Published on Friday, June 2, 2017

REAL ID makes it past the finish line, Governor signs bill

Legislation to move Washington State closer to compliance with federal REAL ID laws was signed by Governor Inslee on May 16.

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, which established national standards for state-issued driver's licenses and personal identification cards. One of the requirements of the REAL ID Act is a state must verify the lawful presence within the United States of an applicant for a driver's license or identification card. Up to this point, Washington has not verified lawful presence in the United States of applicants for standard driver's licenses and identicards. Washington has been operating on a limited extension from REAL ID enforcement, but that extension was set to expire.

Under SB 5008, sponsored by Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima), the Department of Licensing is 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 bill also lowers 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.

The passage of this bill allows Washington to continue to refine its driver license requirements in order to fully comply with federal REAL ID standards in the future.

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