REAL IDs to go into effect nationally in Oct. 2020

Lack of identification will restrict individuals from flying back home



The REAL ID law will require people to show an enhanced driver’s license or other forms of certified identification to travel across states after Oct. 1, 2020.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

Washington State Department of Licensing offices anticipate a rush of residents trying to get their enhanced identification as Oct. 1, 2020, approaches, marking the REAL ID law going into effect.

The REAL ID law requires every Washington resident over 18 to show certain identification, such as an enhanced driver’s license, when crossing the border, flying domestically and accessing federal facilities, such as military bases, said Rob Wieman, Washington State Department of Licensing spokesperson.

“We anticipate lines at licensing offices will continue to get longer and longer as the deadline approaches,” he said.

The law goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2020.

Washington residents might already have what they need for air travel to comply, like a foreign passport, permanent resident card, U.S. military ID, passport, tribal-issued photo ID, or a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card, according to the Washington REAL ID website.

Gary Jenkins, Pullman chief of police, said local law enforcement agencies will still accept a government ID, such as a regular driver’s license. The new law will not affect driving to a different state, getting into national parks, health care facilities, or accessing a court.

Idaho uses Star Cards as compliant identification; the card has a star in the right upper corner, but Washington does not, said Cherri Gentry, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport administrative assistant.

“No compliant identification, you can’t fly,” she said. “I know there will be upset people.”

Every state is required to offer ID options that comply with the law. In Washington, an enhanced driver’s license and ID card complies, Wieman said.

On, residents can take an interactive quiz to see if they are prepared for the REAL ID law and learn more about what the law is, he said.

The REAL ID federal law came from the 9/11 Commission in 2005 to enhance security protocols, Wieman said.

“We are trying to get the word out to as many residents as possible, so they take care of their identification needs sooner than later,” Wieman said.