Washington lawmakers pass bill for two-tiered licensing - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington lawmakers pass bill for two-tiered licensing

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -

The Washington State Legislature approved legislation to bring the state into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The bill creates a two-tiered identification system, with the enhanced driver’s license as the federally compliant version requiring proof of citizenship. The standard license will remain available to all residents but not work for federal purposes.

“Washington residents need certainty that their ID will work when they head to the airport,” said Sen. Joe Fain, who serves as Senate Majority Floor Leader. “This bipartisan solution provides options for people to select the license that best fits their needs and legal status in the country.”

The REAL ID Act passed Congress in 2005, creating standards for government-issued identification. Washington was the only state that did not require an applicant to prove citizenship and provide their social security number before receiving a state license.

While only U.S. citizens can obtain an enhanced license, undocumented immigrants and legal resident aliens on work, school, or tourist visas, can obtain a standard license.

With increased demand for enhanced licenses, the legislation also reduces the price of an enhanced license from $108 to $78. 

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