New Washington State Driver's License - What You Need To Know

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Please be advised that on Monday, February 13, 2017, the Washington Department of Licensing began rolling out a new driver license issuance online system. The new issuance system is responsible for the production of all Washington driver license and ID cards, including enhanced ID and driver licenses.

Cards issued by this new system will have an updated look and many new security features to help protect Washington residents and businesses from fraud. Washington state is starting to issue newly designed driver licenses and ID cards aimed at better protecting residents from identity theft. The state will roll-out the new cards over the next several months, beginning at its licensing office in Shelton. And sometime this summer, the Department of License will finish the roll-out at all of their 56 offices.

But What About My Current License? Will I Need To Get It Replaced?

No. All current licenses will remain valid until they expire, so nobody needs to make a special trip to have their license or ID card replaced.

Residents who are eligible to renew their license online will automatically receive the new-look license.

In fact, all documents purchased online will now be issued with the state’s new updates. Those documents also include ID cards, enhanced driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and temporary licenses.

About the New Cards

This new card system has incredible security features in it that will really decrease the amount of counterfeit cards that exist in the world. Security features include fine-line printing and ultraviolet ink.

The new licenses and ID cards have a new look, but their functions haven’t changed. The Enhanced Driver Licenses and Enhanced ID Cards (EDLs/EIDs) can be used for all federal identification purposes, including: entering secure federal facilities and, following the January 2018 federal compliance deadline, boarding domestic flights at commercial airports. Standard driver licenses and ID cards are still not valid for these federal purposes.

A flyer is available to learn more about these changes and to make sharing this valuable information easy.


Temporary Licenses Will No Longer Have a Photo

Temporary licenses issued in driver licensing offices will now be printed on a full sheet of paper instead of being a paper copy of the actual license. This is similar to how it’s already done online, and will no longer include a photo. Removing the photo should help prevent identity theft.

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