REAL ID is a federal law, not an actual piece of ID. Learn more about the REAL ID Act and what pieces of identification meet the requirements.
What is REAL ID?
The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses and ID cards. Starting May 7, 2025, anyone traveling by airplane or visiting certain federal facilities must use a REAL ID-compliant document.
You may already have what you need
These identification options meet REAL ID standards and can be used to board domestic flights:
- Enhanced Driver License (EDL)
- Enhanced Identification Card (EID)
- U.S. Military ID
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport Card
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- Federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- Foreign Passport
See the full list of documents accepted for air travel.
Standard driver licenses and ID cards
Yes, we'll continue to offer standard driver licenses and ID cards that can be used by Washington residents to drive or as identification. They don't indicate a person's residency or legal status and starting May 7, 2025, they will no longer be accepted as valid forms of ID for boarding domestic flights.
Enhanced driver license (EDL) and enhanced identification (EID)
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 or passport card for re-entry into the U.S. at land and sea borders between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
Who can get an EDL or EID?
You must be a U.S. citizen and provide a Social Security number, proof of citizenship, proof of identity, and proof of Washington State residency.
Do I have to get an EDL or EID?
If you don't plan to fly domestically, or already have acceptable identity documents, you may not need an EDL or EID. The standard license will continue to permit you to drive and your standard ID will continue to serve as a valid form of identification within the state.
Driver licenses and ID cards that don't comply with REAL ID
We started marking standard driver licenses and ID cards with "Federal limits Apply" in July 2018.