Seattle - Obtain a Washington State Identification (ID) Card (2023)


  • 1 Procedure
  • 2 Required Documents
  • 3 Eligibility
  • 4 Instructions
  • 5 Required Information
  • 6 Need for the Document



  1. You may pre-apply online to save you some time when you go to the driver licensing office to complete the processing of your application.
  2. Bring your proof of identity, including your out-of-state license.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Have your photo taken:
    1. You will be asked to remove anything that covers your face or head (like a hat or sunglasses). The licensing office will make exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
    2. The office uses facial recognition technology to help prevent identity theft. This biometric technology focuses on facial features that arent easy to alter, such as eye sockets, cheekbones, and the sides of the mouth. It measures characteristics such as the distance between pupils and the size and shape of facial features.

To learn more about facial recognition technology, see:


Required Documents[edit]

  • Proof of Washington Residence
  • Proof of identity.
  • Evidence of Social Security number. If you don't have one, youll need to show proof of Washington residence.

Proof of Washington Residence

For applicants who do not have a Social Security number, bring as many of the following documents as possible to be reviewed as proof of your Washington residence address:

  • Home utility bill (gas, electric, water, garbage, land-line telephone, or ISTA. etc):
    • Not acceptable: Cable, internet or satellite TV bills.
  • A college or university document that has your current residential address on file.
    • Off-campus students: Bring the printout from the SEVIS database which:
      • States the address where you currently live.
      • Proof it was printed by the Designated School Official or Responsible Officer.
  • Selective Service card with your current residential address.
  • Vehicle title (not a Quick Title with a tamper proof tape over the VIN and Title number).
  • Bank-issued documents that include your name and current residential address (or your previous address if youve recently moved). Examples:
    • Account statement
    • Credit card statement
    • Mortgage statement


  • Your documents must include your name and current Washington residential address.
  • If you recently moved to a new address, bring both your current and previous documents to prove you were living in Washington.
  • Documents other than the ones listed above may be taken into consideration if they show you reside in Washington.
  • Its illegal to present fraudulent documents. If the Licensing Office find that your documents are fraudulent, you wont be able to reapply for 364 days.

Proof of identity:

Documents that will be accepted:

  • Original or certified copies of the documents listed below.
  • Multiple documents issued by a foreign government or organization, must be approved by the Licensing Office and will be accepted as separate documents. Currently accepted multiple documents are those issued by the:
    • Mexican government
    • Guatemalan government


  • The Licensing office may ask for more documents.
  • The list may change without notice.

Stand-alone Documents:

  • Washington State driver license, ID card, or instruction permit Valid or has expired within 1 year, has your signature, date of birth and photo.
  • Out-of-state driver license, ID card, or instruction permit (if you have a Social Security number) Valid or expired within 60 days and has your photo. Give the Licensing Office your Social Security number so they can verify it.
  • U.S. armed services ID card with photo Valid.
  • U.S. passport Valid, has your signature and photo (an emergency passport isnt acceptable).
  • Immigration ID with signature Valid, from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, with:
    • Your signature and photo which are identifiable (I-327, I-551, I-571, I-766). or
    • A Signature Waived notation or encrypted signature on the back of the card.
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization An original with your signature and photo.
  • Department of Social and Health Services Childrens Administration (DSHS CA) ID letter If you're in:
    • Court-ordered foster care with DSHS, or
    • Another supervising Washington agency as your legal custodian, then
    • You may prove your identity with an ID letter from DSHS CA.

A-List Documents:

  • Out-of-state driver license, ID card or instruction permit (if you dont have a Social Security number) Valid or has expired within 60 days and has your photo.
  • Driver license from a foreign country Valid or has expired within 60 days, has security features and is verifiable.
  • Federal or state employee ID card Valid, shows your signature and photo.
  • Foreign passport Valid and stamped U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) entry form I-94/I94W or Temporary I-551 ADIT stamp.
  • Tribal enrollment ID card Must be federally-recognized Indian tribal enrollment card, or U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card (Must have your signature and photo).
  • Original U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Where your signature and photo arent identifiable.
  • Verification letter If youre on work release, or supervised by an agency that we have an agreement with, you may provide a verification letter from that agency. DOL currently have agreements with:
    • Washington State Department of Corrections electronic version only.
    • U.S. Federal correction authorities (FDOC).
    • Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (DSHS JRA) electronic version only.
    • DSHS Childrens Administration (CA) for foster youth only.
    • Western State Hospital (WSH).
  • Washington city or county police employee ID card Valid, has your signature and photo.
  • U.S. Passport card has your name and photo.

B-List Documents:

Documents that establish your name and date of birth

  • Certified birth certificate. (Puerto Rico birth certificates must have an issue date of July 1, 2010 or later to be accepted.)
  • Certified Washington birth registration card.
  • A valid concealed weapons permit issued by a Washington county.
  • Consular report of birth abroad.
  • Court-issued adoption papers.
  • Military DD 214.
  • U.S. driver license, photo instruction permit, or ID card (invalidated or expired within the past 5 years).
  • U.S. passport (expired within the past 5 years).
  • Valid U.S. visa.
  • Veteran Administration ID with your name, photo, and date of birth.
  • Ward of the Court decree/Order of Dependency.
  • Washington State driver license, photo instruction permit, or ID card (invalidated or expired within the past 5 years).

Other acceptable B-List Documents with your name and date of birth, signature, photo, or current WA residence address:

  • Divorce decree that has your name and signature (filed with the county).
  • Driving record from another state issued within the past 30 days.
  • Foreign passport that has expired within 5 years, or without an I-94/I-94W form or temporary I-551 ADIT stamp.
  • Foreign driver license expired not more than 5 years. The license must have security features and be verifiable.
  • Valid Guatemala Consulate ID card.
  • Marriage license or certificate (filed with the county).
  • Medicare card.
  • Valid Mexican Matricula Consular ID card.
  • Mexican Federal Electoral Card issued 1991 or later. (Your photo must be readily identifiable.)
  • Mexican school record with a seal and your photo at the age when issued.
  • Mortgage document or mortgage coupon payment book.
  • Nexus, Sentri, or Fast Border Crossing card.
  • Professional license (nurse, physician, engineer, etc.)
  • Property deed or title (filed).
  • Property tax bill or statement issued wi



Every resident of the state of Washington is eligible for a state identification card.



  • To obtain Washington State identification card you must appear in person at a state drivers licensing office with identification
  • Obtain the required proof of identification.
  • The state of Washington only accepts original or certified copies of identification.
  • The requirements vary based on your age and can be found on the official website of the Washington State Department of Licensing.
  • Bring the required identification and $20 (the application fee) to your local state licensing office.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Your application will be complete and your card will be mailed to you.
  • You can pre-apply online if you are getting your first Washington State ID card
  • Youll save time at the driver licensing office if you apply for a license or ID card online before you go. When you get to the office, tell us the confirmation ID you got when you pre-applied online. Well pull up your information, and you wont have to fill out an application at the office.

Required Information[edit]

  • Full Name
  • Permanent Residential Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Age
  • Social Security Number


Need for the Document[edit]

The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) issues identification (ID) cards for people residing in Washington State. The ID card serves as official identification. It can be useful to have legal identification from Washington for activities such as banking, domestic travel, proving your age (such as at 21-and-over venues), etc.

Following are procedures on how you can obtain a Washington State Identification (ID) Card.

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