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Tuesday, July 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Washington facing REAL ID deadline

In this photo taken April 6, 2016, a sign at the federal courthouse in Tacoma is shown to inform visitors of the federal government’s REAL ID act, which requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they’re legally in the United States. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
In this photo taken April 6, 2016, a sign at the federal courthouse in Tacoma is shown to inform visitors of the federal government’s REAL ID act, which requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they’re legally in the United States. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Associated Press

OLYMPIA – Last month, signs started popping up at airports across the country warning travelers that unless their driver’s licenses are from states already in compliance with federal identification requirements, or states with a limited extension, they’ll need additional documentation to board domestic flights starting in January 2018.

Now faced with that looming deadline, lawmakers in Washington state are trying to comply with the REAL ID Act, a 2005 federal law that requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they’re legally in the United States.

Washington is among just a handful of states that aren’t in compliance with the REAL ID act and don’t have an extension from the federal government, meaning millions of residents who currently have standard driver’s licenses now need additional ID for access to some military bases and will eventually be required to show additional documentation for air travel unless the Legislature acts.

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