Washington State Enhanced Driver's License

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with McHugh Realtors

 In January 2008, The Washington State Department of Licensing will begin issuing a new Enhanced Driver License and Identification card (EDL/ID). The EDL/ID provides travelers with a low cost, convenient alternate travel document to a passport for entry at land and sea ports between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

The EDL/ID is voluntary. The cost is $15 more than a driver license or identification card and you can make an appointment to apply by calling any of the 11 participating Licensing Service Office locations throughout the state. Applicants must provide documentation to prove U.S. citizenship, identity and Washington State residency. They must provide their social security number and have a digital photo taken, along with an interview with a Licensing Service Representative.

The EDL/ID has similar security features to a U.S. passport, such as embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ). The RFID is required by the federal government to facilitate rapid identification checks at the border. The MRZ can be scanned when the RFID reader is not available at the border crossing station. The RFID tag will only have a unique reference number and will not contain personal information about the applicant.

Washington State is first in the nation to create a viable solution to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requiring people traveling into the U.S. to present a valid passport. The requirement for air travel went into effect in January 2007, and for land and sea border crossing, the passport requirement will start in early 2008. The EDL/ID is designed to improve security and facilitate border management to address the WHTI requirements and maintain trade and tourism across our borders.

Go to http://www.dol.wa.gov/about/news/priorities/edl.html for more information.

Edit 3/20/08: I have recently learned that the married ladies who are applying need to bring with them a copy of their marriage certificate.  This verifies the legal name change the the interviewers are looking for.

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Rainer
33,629
Melissa Olson
HOPE Lending LLC - Bellevue, WA
HOPE Lending LLC
Kathy - thank you for posting.  This is good to know and I think I'll be getting one for myself.  :)
Dec 12, 2007 02:21 PM #1
Ambassador
535,705
JO SOSS
HOMEFRONT Realty - Bremerton, WA
Kitsap County WA Real Estate - HOMEFRONT Realty
I read about this somewhere and think it is great!! Will help with the boarder towns.
Dec 12, 2007 03:26 PM #2
Rainer
19,620
Alan Burwell
McHugh Realtors - Sequim, WA

My husband and I are considering getting this.  Our licenses are up next year so the timing is right.  Living in Port Angeles, we've gone to Victoria on the MV Coho a couple of times and plan more trips so it will be helpful. 

Thanks for commenting Melissa and Jo.  :)

Dec 12, 2007 03:40 PM #3
Rainmaker
392,143
NW Real Estate |Colleen Fischesser & CO Serving Seattle-Tacoma area Since 1990!
RE/MAX Select R.E | Designated Broker/Owner - Renton, WA
Serving Seattle-Tacoma Home Sellers & Buyers since

Wow, I'd not heard of this. Good information to have. Thanks for brining my attention to it!

-Colleen

Dec 25, 2007 10:17 PM #4
Rainer
19,620
Alan Burwell
McHugh Realtors - Sequim, WA
Colleen, You are very welcome.  The information came to me through our Chamber of Commerce.  I wanted to pass it on. :)  Thanks for commenting.
Dec 25, 2007 10:33 PM #5
Rainmaker
256,463
Alexander- Slocum
RE/MAX equity group - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
REMAX Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate
Thanks Kathy for the post. We do have Victoria and the other Vancouver in our travel plans for the near future. John
Dec 29, 2007 10:58 AM #6
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Alan Burwell
McHugh Realtors - Sequim, WA
That is wonderful John.  I hope the enhanced license works well for you.  Kathy
Dec 31, 2007 12:42 PM #7
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