Dear friends and neighbors,
Have you been to the airport lately? If so, you may have noticed signs popping up at Sea-Tac informing you that beginning in 2018 your Washington state driver’s license will no longer be considered valid identification for air travel.
This is because our state is noncompliant with federal identification regulations established by the 2005 REAL ID Act. This law requires proof of U.S. citizenship in order for a state-issued driver’s license to be valid to go through airport security or to enter a federal facility. This includes access to military bases.
The problem is that Washington state is the only state in the nation that does not require proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain a driver’s license.
To bring our state into compliance, I cosponsored Senate Bill 5008. SB 5008 allows travelers to use Washington’s enhanced driver’s license for federal identification purposes. The legislation also reduces the cost of these enhanced licenses, making them more affordable. Standard driver’s licenses will still be available to those who choose not to fly or who would rather use their passports when they travel.
I am confident that this legislation will bring us into compliance with federal regulations. Having passed the Senate, the bill now heads to the House for consideration by that chamber.
Thank you for your engagement,