Enhanced Driver's License

Saw mention of this on the BBTC Listserve and thought it warranted repeating. Washington State is making it possible to purchase an Enhanced Driver's License that doubles as an acceptable passport for crossing back into the US by land/sea, assuming your port of entry is in Washington. There's been a lot of confusion about the deadlines for needing a passport to get back into the US by ground-based transit and whether or not a driver's license and birth certificate will suffice, but this should take a lot of the guesswork out for those who travel by car or ferry to BC frequently. Which many people do because of the proximity to mountain biking and snowboarding in Whistler and beyond.

The following security enhancements included in the EDL/ID are industry best practices:

- An icon on the front of the card to indicate that it is an EDL/ID.

- The back of the card will have a Machine Readable Zone, just like a passport, that can be scanned at the border.

- Passive vicinity radio frequency identification (RFID) will be embedded in the card. This RFID is required by the federal government to facilitate rapid identification checks at the border.

- The RFID tag embedded in the EDL/ID will have a unique reference number and will not contain personal information.

- Data encryption, secure networks, and firewalls will protect the transmission of EDL/ID information.

Not sure if other border states are going to do this, but I imagine if it's successful here in WA, that it won't be long before the more populated states like Michigan and New York follow suit, if they haven't already. The EDL/ID will cost an additional $15 over the price of renewing a regular old driver's license, but it's definitely worth it for those who want the convenience of not bringing a passport along on road-trips to Canada or for those who have no need or desire to have a real passport.

Get more information about the EDL/ID here.

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