OLYMPIA — With a deadline looming that could affect Washington residents’ ability to fly domestically, the state has been granted a temporary extension from the enforcement of federal requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards.
Last week’s letter from the Department of Homeland Security, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, says the extension will run through June 6. It notes that the extension was granted with the expectation that the state would pass a bill that has already cleared the Senate and is awaiting a committee vote in the House.
For years, state lawmakers have struggled on how to best 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 are legally in the United States.
“This extension is intended to provide Washington with the opportunity to take any necessary steps needed to meet all the requirements of the REAL ID Act and its implementing regulation,” the letter reads. “Failure to take these steps may result in the denial of future extension requests, thereby making Washington subject to REAL ID enforcement.”