Real ID Act

Oregon is one step closer to complying with a 12-year-old federal law that governs the security of drivers' licenses. The Oregon Senate approved a bill Monday that would allow the Oregon DMV to issue licenses that meet federal approval.

The majority of Washingtonians with a regular driver's license will have an interesting choice to make the next time they renew—a choice possibly coming to Oregon too. Continue with the same old license they have grown accustomed to or apply for a so-called "enhanced driver license."

Washington state legislators appear to have bought extra time for travelers who use a standard driver's license to pass through airport security. The Oregon Legislature is plodding down a similar path to make identity card security upgrades demanded by the federal government.

After years of resistance, Washington and Oregon lawmakers are finally acknowledging they have to accept stricter federal driver’s license security standards. Both states appear to be settling on having two kinds of licenses.

Washington state is moving toward a showdown like Oregon went through two years ago about issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Washington legislators were warned Monday that current state Department of Licensing policy to not check for legal residency could lead to trouble for everyone at the airport in just over a year.

Oregon Department of Transportation / FLICKR Creative Commons

Oregonians will be able to use their drivers licenses to enter federal buildings until at least next June. That's because of an extension granted by the U.S. government this week.

A vote by Idaho lawmakers Monday showed Northwest states are moving toward full compliance with driver's license security upgrades demanded by Congress more than a decade ago.