Department of Licensing

Washington Department of Licensing

A new report reveals the state of Washington issued nearly 3,000 fictitious driver’s licenses to police agencies over the last 25 years. That’s nearly twice as many as originally reported by the Washington Department of Licensing.

The Washington House has voted to allow the Department of Licensing to continue to issue fictitious driver’s licenses to undercover police officers. But with new safeguards. Even so, the vote Tuesday came over the objections of some Republicans.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Stricter guidelines may come to a program that lets undercover police officers in Washington obtain fictitious driver licenses. The Washington House could vote soon on a measure that would require additional safeguards to ensure the false IDs are not misused.

Two Washington state lawmakers are raising questions about a quasi-secret program inside the state’s Department of Licensing. For decades, the agency has issued false IDs to undercover police officers. But the legislature never approved the program.

Osvaldo Gago / Wikimedia Commons

Last year, the Washington legislature passed a law that sponsors referred to as “driving while poor." The law aims to help people who end up with a suspended license because they failed to pay a traffic ticket. Now, it’s up to the Department of Licensing to decide which traffic violations no longer warrant a suspension.

Claire Thompson / Flickr

Get a traffic ticket, get a letter of reprimand from the Department of Licensing. That’s how it works in Washington if you are a driver between the ages of 16 and 21. The letter-writing campaign is designed to reduce crashes among younger drivers. But some parents don’t appreciate it.