Feds Approve Enhanced Drivers Licenses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Feds Approve Enhanced Drivers Licenses

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KENNEWICK, Wash.- After a year in pilot program status the Department of Homeland Security now approves.

You already need quite a bit of paperwork to get between Canada and the U.S., but starting in June 2009, you were going to need a passport, now you can just bring an enhanced drivers license.

DHS has approved Washington's new hybrid driver's licenses as a substitute for travel between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  

Washington lawmakers have been fighting the federal government for this since they announced new requirements a few years back because they say maintaining easy access between Washington and B.C. is vital to both's economies.   

"As the federal government tightens down identification requirements at our borders, we want to help maintain our unique relationship economic and cultural with British Columbia," said Brad Benfield with DOL.

The new licenses won't work if you're flying across the border, you'll still need a passport for that.  

The DOL notes this is just in time for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

This DOL office in Kennewick is one of only eleven in the state that is issuing the new licenses right now.

They'll run you $15 extra.