Washington DOL Wants to Ensure Residents Are Prepared for REAL ID by May 2025

Residents Should Understand Their ID Options and Prepare Now.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (August 8, 2023) – The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) wants to remind residents that the REAL ID ACT will go into effect nationwide on May 7, 2025. Starting from that date, standard Washington driver’s licenses and IDs will no longer be valid for domestic air travel, U.S. border crossings, or accessing certain federal facilities.

The DOL encourages all residents to plan and prepare now by learning about REAL ID requirements, available ID options, and how the new law will affect future travel plans, specifically air travel.

“We want people to prepare now to avoid the rush later,” said DOL Director Marcus Glasper. “REAL ID is a federal law and not an actual piece of ID. There are various REAL ID-compliant documents, and it’s important to check as many folks may already have what they need.”

Residents should know their options.

Identification documents that will work for domestic air travel include:

  • Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)
  • Enhanced Identification Card (EID)
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • DHS Trusted Traveler Cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs Issued to Dependents
  • Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
  • U.S. B1/B2 Border Crossing Card
  • Federally Recognized, Tribal-Issued Photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV Card
  • Foreign Government-Issued Passport
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)

When is an EDL/EID necessary?

Residents who don’t plan to fly domestically, or who already possess an acceptable identity document listed above, do not need an EDL or EID. A standard license will still allow people to drive, and a standard ID will continue to serve as a valid form of identification within the state.

An EDL or EID is an enhanced form of identification that meets federal REAL ID standards and can serve as a valid alternative to a passport for re-entry into the U.S. Specific documents are required to apply for an EDL/EID, including proof of citizenship, identity, Social Security number, and Washington State residency.

“We understand everyone’s situation is unique,” Glasper said. “It’s crucial that we inform everyone about the 2025 deadline, as well as the travel restrictions that will apply to those not getting a REAL ID.”

Resources and tools are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese, Tagalog, Somali, Russian, and Ukrainian at REALIDWA.com.

For more information on the REAL ID deadline and to determine which existing identification documents are compliant, visit REALIDWA.com.


Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to address terrorism and identity theft in the aftermath of 9/11. The law established new requirements for the identification that federal agencies will accept for domestic air travel and entrance to certain federal facilities. All states must comply with the law before it takes effect on May 7, 2025.

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