REAL ID fix sails through Senate on 45 to 4 bipartisan vote

REAL ID compliance legislation sailed through the Senate this morning on a 45 to 4 bipartisan vote. The chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, sponsored SB 5008 to bring Washington State into compliance with the federal requirements of the 2005 REAL ID Act. The bill requires that non-compliant state licenses and IDs be marked to indicate they are not acceptable for federal purposes.

The legislation also dramatically reduces the cost of enhanced driver’s licenses, which are already REAL-ID compliant, from $108 to $66. Restrictions on the state Department of Licensing from using funds to comply with the 2005 REAL ID Act are removed.

“I think this overwhelming vote shows we addressed the concerns and allayed the fears about REAL ID,” said King. “It really is a simple fix to a big problem.”

The Senate action puts REAL ID compliance in the hands of the State House of Representatives. Federal officials have denied additional waivers from REAL ID compliance for Washington State. As a result, unless Washington passes REAL ID compliance this legislative session, beginning January of 2018, traditional driver’s licenses will not be acceptable for commercial domestic air travel.

“The Senate sent a strong, bipartisan message to the House with this vote,” King said. “This fix is fair, it saves money for motorists, and it protects the state economy. It’s taken a lot of years, but I think we’re finally all on the same page.”