What is Real ID?

“Real ID” refers to a law that was passed by the government in Washington which states that all people who enter airports or other federal facilities must have documents proving their “identity.” That is, that they are who they say they are.

REAL ID starts on October 1, 2020.
Washington is compliant with the REAL ID Act. Federal agencies can accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Washington at Federal facilities and nuclear power plants.

Why does Real ID matter to me?

Real ID compliant IDs require delicate information to be shared with government officials issuing such Identifications, such as immigration Status, passports and Birth Certificate. Washington State has a long history of allowing anyone who resides in the state to get a driver’s license and identification without checking those kinds of documents. As a compromise, the State of Washington has decided that we will use the “enhanced driver’s license” as our state’s identification for Real ID and leave everything else in place.

What Choices do I have?

When it is time to renew your license you will have the option of choosing a Real-ID compliant document like the Enhanced Driver’s License or a regular Driver’s License. The regular driver’s license costs less and doesn’t require you to present immigration documents, birth certificate, or a passport, you simply need to prove you live in Washington State. Anyone with any immigration status may obtain it.

What are the consequences if I do not chose an “enhanced driver’s license?”

Airports and some government facilities will now allow you in without proving identity starting in October of 2020. However, you can get around these restrictions by carrying a secondary document proving your identity. A passport from your home country is enough for this purpose. Thus, a person may travel on an airplane with a regular driver’s license and a passport from Mexico. The facilities that will require this also include secure military bases, shipping ports, and some government offices. Court Houses and police stations will still remain open to the general public.

Where Can I get a passport?

  • The Consulate of Mexico is located at 807 E. Roy St, in Seattle WA 98102
  • The Consulate of Guatemala is located at 18000 International Blvd #1005, SeaTac WA 98188
  • The Consulate of Ecuador is located at 235 Montgomery St, Suite 944, San Francisco CA 94104
  • The Consulate of Colombia is located at 9203 12 th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98115
  • The Consulate of Peru is located at 3717 NE 157 th St, Suite 100 Seattle WA 98155
  • The Consulate of Taiwan is located at 1 Union Square, Suite 2020 600 University St, Seattle WA 98101

Where do I go for more information?