Real ID Forum at Radio KDNA in Granger will look into concerns

Two groups of community leaders are hosting a public forum about Real ID 3-5 p.m. Aug. 25 at radio KDNA in Granger.

Community Response Teams (CRTs) representing Yakima and the Lower Yakima Valley are composed of locally elected officials, law enforcement officials, community leaders and students from Heritage University.

They were recruited and assembled by a partnership between the Dispute Resolution Center and Heritage University, with support from the Yakima Valley Community Foundation. 

Their aim is to address critical community issues in a timely, informed and unified manner. 

Starting July 1, 2018 drivers in Washington state began seeing “federal limits apply” on their renewed driver’s licenses, unless they purchase an enhanced driver’s license or enhanced identification.

To be eligible for the new enhancement, individuals are required to show proof of U.S. citizenship, identity, and Washington state residency. 

The new identifications will not display the “federal limits apply” designation.

Some Washington state drivers who are not able to supply documentation to purchase the identifications are asking if this new display of “federal limits apply” on the upper right side of their drivers’ licenses will help police officers identify illegal immigrants during routine traffic stops. They fear being discovered.

According to the Department of Licensing the enhanced identification “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.” 

It is not meant to identify a driver’s immigration status in the state, since this enhancement is optional for everyone, including U.S. citizens and residents.

However, many drivers in the Yakima Valley are afraid that this new form of identification will lead to unwanted encounters with federal immigration authorities. 

There are already person-to-person and larger group conversations in the Yakima Valley where workers in the agricultural industry are questioning whether they should avoid renewing drivers’ licenses. 

It is a misdemeanor to drive without a license in Washington state.  Driving with an out-of-date or expired license is determined to be driving without a license according to RCW 46.20.015.


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