Northwest NEWS

April 9, 2001


Licenses with extension stickers are valid I.D.

Although the Washington State Department of Licensing's Extension by Mail program has been in effect since July 1, some retailers have not yet accepted these drivers licenses as valid identification.
   The Extension by Mail program is a result of changes to Washington state law that were passed in 1999. The driver license renewal cycle was increased from four years to five years, and driver license renewal was increased from $14 to $25.
   To implement the five-year renewal period, and ensure consistent workloads in the long-term, 20 percent of the renewal customers have been chosen to take part in the Extension by Mail program. This randomly selected group has received a sticker to adhere to the back of their current driver license. The sticker clearly shows the license's expiration year.
   Driver licenses with the extension sticker should be accepted as valid identification. The Department of Licensing has worked with law enforcement, the business and banking communities, and other stakeholders to inform them of the sticker and its validity.
   As a deterrent to fraud, DOL has designed the stickers in a manner that is not easily reproduced and assigned each extension a unique number. The driver's record will be updated to show the extension number that was issued. Law enforcement will be checking for the presence of the sticker on the driver's license.