For domestic flights, standard state
licenses acceptable until fall 2020,
then federal rules change
Washington residents have until October 2020 to determine what type of identity document they
will need to travel on commercial flights within the United States or to access certain federal
facilities. This is when federal requirements will be enforced regarding what kinds of state-issued
identification are acceptable.
The new identification requirements are part of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005.
Currently, Washington state residents can obtain a standard driver’s license or ID, or an
enhanced driver’s license or ID. Proof of identity and residence is required to obtain a standard
card, while an individual must also show proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain an enhanced card.
Beginning in July 2018, Washington State must clearly mark its standard driver’s license and ID
cards as noncompliant with federal requirements. By fall of 2018, the Washington State
Department of Licensing expects to be in full compliance with the law, and it will apply for
certification from the Department of Homeland Security. In October 2020, after REAL ID
certification is granted, Washington residents flying domestically or accessing some federal
facilities will be required to show an enhanced ID or other form of acceptable federal identification.
This timeline is part of the agreement state and federal officials have reached after several years
DOL notes Washingtonians are not required to get an enhanced driver’s license or ID card, and
encourages residents to consider their options and look at other forms of federally acceptable ID
they may already have.
Other forms of federally acceptable ID are:
U.S. passport or passport card
Homeland Security-issued trusted traveler card
Foreign government issued passport
Border crossing card
Airline or airport ID issued under a TSA-approved security plan
Federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID
Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 Personal Identity Verification card
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.