• How do I get a Washington enhanced driver's license?

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE, Wash. - For years, Washington residents have expressed confusion over whether their driver’s licenses will get them through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in the near future.

    The concerns stem from a complicated federal law passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to bring better security at airports, and Washington state is still working to get into compliance.

    Washington state offers two IDs: a standard ID, which does not require proof of residency, and an enhanced ID, which does require proof of residency. After 2020, a standard ID alone won’t get you through TSA checkpoints.

    >> Click here to read how the state is resolving the issue.

    There are a handful of other identification forms accepted by the TSA (click here to read them.) And one of the accepted forms is Washington state’s enhanced driver’s license (EDL).

    A standard ID costs $54 for six years, and an enhanced card is $78 for six years. Click here for a pricing table.

    Residents who need an EDL can pre-apply online, but they will still have to go to a licensing office.

    The DOL is preparing for higher volumes and wait times in its office as REAL ID enforcement approaches. Click here for a wait time poll from DOL.

    Here’s what DOL says to bring to the office:

    • All of the documents required for proof of citizenship, identity, and residence. If your name has changed, be sure to bring documentation of the name change.
    • Your Social Security number (You don't need to show us your Social Security card.)
    • Payment for the fee.
    • A confirmation number if you pre-apply

    When someone applies, they must be able to establish, or re-establish U.S. citizenship and Washington residence. Once approved, residents should allow two to three weeks to receive their card. For more specifics, visit the DOL website here.

    From 2015 to 2016, there was a 56 percent increase in people getting enhanced driver’s licenses. But DOL issued 305,368 people standard licenses in 2016, while DOL 122,541 people received enhanced licenses.

    As 2017 progresses, more people are still getting standard licenses than enhanced licenses. The DOL told KIRO 7 News it’s going to soon begin a public information campaign to explain the difference between the two licenses.


    How to prepare yourself for the change:


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