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Washington driver's license don't follow REAL ID rules

Washington driver's license don't follow REAL ID rules

Washington - As soon as next year, your driver’s license may not be enough to get you on a plane.

Washington is now in a REAL ID grace period until Jan. 22 because the state’s extension officially expired today, October 10.

Congress passed the REAL ID act in 2005, to set better standards for identification following 9/11.

The act requires people to have a valid REAL ID when traveling or entering a federal facility.

However, Washington’s driver’s licenses currently don’t follow federal REAL ID rules.

Department of Licensing Spokesperson Christine Anthony said Washington is now working toward implementing the REAL IDs.

"This last session they passed a law that said that Washington state could move forward and begin to offer REAL ID compliant documents," she said.

Anthony said Washington currently offers enhanced driver's licenses that require proof of citizenship and allow people to cross over into Canada, and these follow REAL ID rules.

But in order for Washington to become fully compliant, it needs to put restrictions on standard driver's licenses.

"Next year when we start marking our standard driver's licenses with not valid for federal purposes language, then we will be considered REAL ID compliant," Anthony said.

Anthony said it will then be up to the public as to which ID they need.

Yakima Airport Director Robert Peterson said with Washington under the current grace period, everyone can fly with the state identification they have, for now.

"So right now, the state of Washington does have an extension so therefore anybody flying out of the Yakima airport or any airport throughout the United States can use your valid driver's license to board an aircraft and obtain your boarding pass," he said.

Washington is among 29 other U.S. states and territories that have an extension but are non-compliant with the REAL ID act.

If Washington doesn't become complaint by October 2020, you'll need to have another form of identification if you plan to travel.

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