Washington is among 17 states granted a yearlong extension from enforcement of federal requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards, state officials said Wednesday.
The news comes a few weeks after the Department of Homeland Security notified the state that it was under a grace period through Jan. 22 as the federal government continued its review of states’ progress.
Now the state — along with Oregon and Idaho — has an extension through Oct. 10, 2018, according to REAL ID website .
The decision “gives our customers more time to decide if they will need a new type of identification that is acceptable for federal purposes,” said Christine Anthony, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Licensing.
The federal law requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States.
Washington lawmakers this year passed a measure, creating a two-tiered licensing system, that Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law.
The state offers, but does not mandate, enhanced driver’s licenses and IDs that require proof of U.S. citizenship and are valid under the federal law.
Starting in July 2018, the state’s standard licenses — which aren’t in line with the federal requirements — will be marked to indicate they are not REAL ID compliant and unacceptable for certain purposes by federal authorities.
Residents will have a choice of which license they want and are not required to get the enhanced licenses, Anthony said.
Those with the non-compliant licenses eventually will need additional documentation — such as a passport, permanent resident card or military ID — to board domestic commercial flights and for other federal purposes.