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.
So what does that mean for residents traveling domestically?
Simply, until 2020, you just need your driver’s license, either standard or enhanced. Even though new standard licenses issued after July this year will be marked noncompliant, they will still get you aboard a domestic flight until 2020.
2020 is when enforcement for the new law starts, and that’s when the state's standard licenses will not be accepted by TSA.
But TSA will accept Washington’s enhanced driver’s licenses. Many residents in the state already have these.
If you’re not interested in an enhanced licenses, you can still board with other documentation. Here’s a list from the TSA of other acceptable identification:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards -- Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST
- U.S. military ID -- active duty or retired military and their dependents, and civilians who work for the Department of Defense
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Permanent resident card
- Border Crossing Card
- Department of Homeland Security-designated enhanced driver's license
- Airline or airport-issued ID, if issued under a TSA-approved security plan
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 Personal Identity Verification card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card -- I-766
How to prepare yourself for the change:
- How's Washington state fixing its out-of-compliance standard licenses?
- Passport to fly domestically? What Washington residents need to know
- What kind of identification does a Washington resident need to get on a plane?
- How do I get a Washington enhanced driver's license?
- New standard WA driver's licenses still won't get you through airport security after changes
© 2020 Cox Media Group