Starting July 1, 2018 … New (standard) Drivers Licenses will display the text “Federal Limits Apply” … unless you get an enhanced driver’s license.
“Real ID” refers to a law that was passed by the federal government in Washington, D.C. 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 compliant IDs require private 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 to offer an option of an “enhanced driver’s license” as our state’s identification for Real ID, but still allow all residents to get a standard driver’s license and ID, as have been issued in the past.
When it is time to renew your driver’s 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 a regular Driver’s License.
Airports and some government facilities will NOT allow you to enter without proving identity with a Real ID compliant identification, starting in October of 2020. However, you can get still enter, despite these restrictions if you are carrying a secondary document proving your identity. A passport from your home country is good for this purpose. Thus, for example, a person may travel domestically on an airplane with a regular driver’s license and a passport from Mexico. The facilities that will require this additional identification also include secure military bases, shipping ports, and federal government offices. City and County Court Houses and police stations will still remain open to the general public.
Foreign passports are obtained through consular offices in the United States:
The Consulate of Mexico is located at 807 E. Roy St, 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 12th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
The Consulate of Peru is located at 3717 NE 157th St, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98155
The Consulate of Taiwan is located at 1 Union Square, Suite 2020, 600 University St, Seattle, WA 98101
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