If you were planning on border hopping to our neighbors in the north, Washington State is ready for the new Enhanced Driver License / ID card for WA residents and U.S. citizens only. An EDL/ID is an approved alternative to a passport for re-entry into the U.S. land and sea borders between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. With the Federal Government passing the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), you are required to have a passport or other federally-approved identification or proof-of-citizenship document for all travel into the United States. There are some requirements that you need to meet and the task is more tedious than getting a regular driver’s license. However, if you’re someone that likes to have a solitary spot for your important documents while traveling, this may be the way to go. There is no need to worry about misplacing any of those important documents. Just don’t leave your ID at a bar or club after a night of drinking.

With all of these new enhancements, the price for one of these all-in-one cards will cost you more than a regular driver’s license. The fee for your first EDL/ID is US$35. You also have an option to upgrade from a WA State driver license or ID card to EDL/ID for US$15.

For more information, visit the WA State Department of Licensing site.