December 19, 2016
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Sen. King, Rep. Clibborn announce bipartisan legislation to comply with federal REAL ID Act

Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, and Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, have proposed a bill to bring Washington state into compliance with a federal law requiring changes to how driver's licenses are issued. Because Washington state does not require proof of citizenship or legal immigration status to get a driver's license, this bill would mean that a standard Washington driver's license would not be an acceptable form of ID to board an airplane, starting in 2018.

The proposed bill would expand on the state's current enhanced driver's license or ID card system, which does require proof of citizenship. Enhanced IDs are, and would still be, acceptable for crossing the Canadian border and for air travel.

Last week the federal Department of Homeland Security announced that it would begin posting signs warning air travelers that by early 2018, they will need ID from states in compliance with federal law. Washington's current driver's license wouldn't qualify.

The proposal from Clibborn and King would differentiate between standard Washington licenses and enhanced licenses by changing the color and design of the IDs.

“To ensure citizens have uninterrupted access to air travel and federal facilities like JBLM, we needed to get our state in compliance with the federal mandate,” King said. “We’ve had extensive deliberation on the best approach and I’m pleased with the result.”

“It’s important for travelers to know that this isn’t a problem today, or even next year—and that we are working together on a bipartisan solution.” Clibborn said.

The Seattle Times has more. The bills are House Bill 1041 and Senate Bill 5008.



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Taking beer and building to a new, sustainable level, a craft brewer demonstrates how a time-honored cold beverage can take the edge off the climate.

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Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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