Washington state issues enhanced licenses for border crossings

Border crossings seem to be on my mind this week. For those of you lucky enough to be residents of Washington state (like myself), you are now able to surpass all the identification hullabaloo when crossing up to Canada.

Last year Washington governor Chris Gregoire, in an effort to maintain travel and cultural ties with British Columbia, signed a law launching a pilot program between the state and the Department of Homeland Security. As of this month, the Washington State Department of Licensing is now issuing enhanced driver’s licenses, which are equipped with radio frequency identification technology and therefore approved by the DHS for crossing back and forth over the US Canadian land border. Kiss those border-induced identification fears goodbye.

Washington drivers have to provide a social security number, proofs of residency and citizenship and undergo an interview with Department of Licensing staff. But at $40, the enhanced license costs less than half of the price of a U.S. passport. So keep your fingers crossed, hope that the pilot program works and maybe one day soon enhanced driver’s licenses will be coming to a Department of Licensing near you.