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Due to flooding, the Everett Driver Licensing Services Office is closed. It'll reopen for business on June 11. In the meantime, customers are encouraged to access our online services or visit these nearby offices: Smokey Point, Lynnwood, and Shoreline.

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.

Source: dhs.gov/real-id

Starting this year, there are 2 major changes to standard driver licenses and ID cards.

Federal marking

Staring July 1, 2018, all standard cards will be marked with language to indicate it isn't valid for federal identification purposes. You may continue to use your standard license for boarding airplanes and accessing secure federal facilities until October 1, 2020. The sample is shown with the proposed federal marking language, Federal Limits Apply.

Driver license/ID card numbers

Starting September 4, 2018, all driver license and ID cards issued will receive new driver license numbers. All will have WDL as the first 3 letters, and will be followed by 9 randomly chosen alphabetical characters and numbers. Those who already have a driver license or ID card will get the new number when they renew or replace it after September 4. The new driver license format will help protect customers' personal information because the randomly-generated number will not relate to an individual's name or birthdate like the current ones.

New identification card with federal marking and identification number New driver license with federal marking and driver license number

What you need to know about Real ID in Washington State

Rulemaking

Rule and status Public hearing or comments
Chapter 308-104 WAC: Drivers' Licenses

Public hearings held May 8, May 9, May 10, May 11, May 22, and May 23, 2018

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 (dhs.gov) 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 (app.leg.wa.gov) 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:

Find out more

Washington Healthcare Finder
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Access Washington – official state government website