Washington state law offers free IDs for the unhoused

Feb 2, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: 6:10 pm
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) is offering state ID cards to residents for no cost, including renewals. The only requirement for getting a one-time free ID is that you live in the state of Washington or plan on living here for a while.

“Thanks to a new law this year, anyone who is unhoused and is expecting to live within Washington state is eligible for a one-time, no-cost ID card,” said Rob Wieman, supervisor for DOL. “Then, anyone who is receiving public assistance may be eligible for reduced ID for $5. In order to get the reduced fee ID, you would need to present a letter from DSHS and just bring it into any driver’s licensing office.”

You do need an address though

“Yeah, [not having an address] that can be a challenge for sure. And you do need a mailing address,” Wieman said. “If you’re connected to a shelter, or community organization, or church, we would encourage anyone who is experiencing homelessness to ask if you can use their address, and we’ll be happy to mail it there.”

He also said you can request to pick up the ID directly from the licensing office.

More from Micki Gamez: Seattle awarded $25.6 million for Safe Streets Grant

Walk-in or make an appointment

If you can’t make an appointment online, you can always walk and get help. You can make an appointment here.

What if you don’t have the necessary paperwork for an ID? 

Wieman said the requirement that must be met is proof of identity, which can be an issue for some unhoused people.

“We can connect them with a licensing supervisor who may also be able to help a person think of qualifying documents that they might have access to and just haven’t thought of as well,” Wieman said.

Follow Micki Gamez on Twitter or email her here.

Local News

Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Half of Tacoma’s homicide victims under 18; city and youth programs hoping for change

Flemming de Sandoval says in order to fix this issue, they have to listen to the youth and provide the right resources for them.
23 hours ago
milwaukee park...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man arrested after police respond to shooting near Milwaukee Park in Pacific

According to police, officers were called to an area near the park at 522 Milwaukee Blvd. S. for a shooting around 2:45 p.m.
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Man charged with murder in deaths of missing mom, girl

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The man named as a person of interest in the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her 7-year-old daughter was charged with two counts of murder in their deaths, police in Washington state said Friday. Detectives from the Vancouver Police Department booked Kirkland Warren for two counts of first-degree murder Friday after […]
2 days ago
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Manufactured roadblocks lead to attempted kidnapping in Pierce County

The woman described the suspect as a Hispanic male between 20 and 30 years of age. He is approximately 5-foot-7.
2 days ago
human trafficking...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Vashon Island man arrested on ten federal charges related to human trafficking

According to the media release, Ruiz-Hernandez used force, threats of force, and physical violence to force an adult to work for him.
2 days ago
the last of us...
Frank Sumrall

‘The Last of Us’ Season 2, set in Seattle, to be filmed in BC

The series premiere was watched by 4.7 million viewers on the first day it was released — the second-biggest for HBO since 2010.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Washington state law offers free IDs for the unhoused