It's a federal law passed in 2005 to help reduce fraud by improving ID documents.
On May 3, 2023, the REAL ID law takes effect nationwide.
Yes, we'll continue to offer standard driver licenses and ID cards that can be used by Washington residents to drive, or serve as identification. They don't indicate a person's residency, or legal status. However, beginning May 3, 2023, they will no longer be accepted as valid forms for ID for boarding domestic flights.
An EDL or EID is a form of identification with enhanced security features that shows proof of identity and proof of citizenship. An EDL/EID meets federal requirements under REAL ID, and is an approved alternative to a passport for re-entry into the U.S. at land and sea borders between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen and provide proof of citizenship, proof of identity, social security number, and proof of residency in Washington.
If you don't plan to fly domestically, or already have a passport or one of many other acceptable identity documents, you may not need the EDL or EID. The standard driver license will continue to serve as a permit to drive and your standard ID will continue to serve as a valid form of identification within the state.
We started marking standard driver licenses and ID cards with the language, "Federal limits Apply", in July 2018.