WA State Given Temporary Exemption From Requiring U.S. Residency for Drivers Licenses
The federal government will allow a 10 month delay in implementing what is called The REAL ID Act.
Originally passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act was designed to generally tighten restrictions on issuing identification to non-U.S. citizens when it comes to driver's licenses and ID cards. The act established new requirements for a wide variety of identification also including VISA's, temporary and work VISA's, as well as updating laws of asylum and deportation for aliens.
The bill was in response to concerns over the growing threats of terrorism, and illegal immigration.
Homeland Security announced in December 2013 the first phase of the bill would go into effect January 20th 2014, but would include a one-year deferment to allow states to become compliant.
One of the requirements of the first phase of the bill stated a person must show proof of U.S. residency before receiving a driver's license. Now, Washington state, at the request of Gov. Inslee and the Department of Licensing, has been given a exemption from this rule, good through October 2015.
State officials say they plan to work out what they call a "two-tiered" system for implementing the plan, but details are still being figured out.
What we do know now is that people will not have to provide proof of legal residency in the U.S. to obtain a Washington state license, at least not until October 10th.