Clarification to come soon on when you will need a new license in Washington to board a flight

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SEATTLE — The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make an announcement in mid-July on when Washington residents will be required to be in compliance with the Real ID Act, according to the Department of Licensing.

The Real ID Act would require you to either have an enhanced license, or have a passport, permanent resident card or military ID to show with your non-compliant license when boarding a domestic flight.

Right now, the deadline for when you will need the new ID is up in the air.

Washington officials asked for an extension until 2020 but the federal government wants Washington residents to comply much sooner, by July 2018.

Tuesday, federal officials said they would make a decision in mid July on whether or not to grant the extension.

If Washington is not granted the extension there will be a big scramble for everyone to get an enhanced license. The Department of Licensing says they are not prepared for the four million people in our state expected to come in and get one.

The Real ID Act is a 2005 federal law that requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States. It was passed after the September 11 terrorist attacks to strengthen rules for identification needed at airports and federal facilities.



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