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REAL ID enforcement date delayed (again) until May 3, 2023

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is giving you more time to get your REAL ID-compliant identification.

Enforcement of the REAL ID Act, which strengthens ID standards for air travel, now won’t begin until May 3, 2023. When it goes into effect, anyone 18 years of age or older will need a compliant ID to board a domestic flight. You’ll also need one to access federal facilities such as military bases.

We offer 2 forms of identification that meet these standards:

  • The enhanced driver license (EDL)
  • The enhanced ID card (EID).

You can get these only by visiting a driver licensing office.

Right now, driver licensing offices in Washington are appointment-only. Appointments are for people with urgent needs who cannot go online or get what they need some other way.

It may be quicker and easier to get a different type of REAL ID-compliant document. There are many options, and you may already have what you need.

All the following are REAL ID compliant:

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • Foreign passport
  • Permanent resident card (green card)
  • U.S. military ID
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • Border crossing card
  • U.S. citizenship and immigration services employment authorization card (I-766)
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. merchant mariner credential
  • Veteran health identification card (VHIC)

If you’re seeking a qualifying document, we encourage you to explore options other than an EDL or EID. If you want to upgrade to an enhanced version, renew your standard license/ID online. You can upgrade in person later. You’ll pay only the difference in cost, $4 a year for the term remaining.

If your Washington driver license/ID expired after March 1, 2020 and you can’t renew it, the Transportation Security Administration will accept it up to a year after it expired.

After REAL ID goes into effect, your standard driver license/ID will still allow you to drive in the U.S. and ride a train. You can access courthouses, Social Security offices, national parks, and health care facilities. It will still work for most day-to-day purposes.