Last Updated: May 23, 2024. Report error / Make suggestion

A Washington State ID card is a card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL) that serves as proof of identity. A state ID card does not authorize you to drive a car (although a driver’s license also functions as an ID card, so if you have a driver’s license, you do not need a separate state ID). You will almost certainly need some form of state ID to get a job, rent an apartment, or open a bank account, so getting your ID is very important.

Find a Department of Licensing (DOL) office near you.

The DOL also has information on what documents you need to get your state ID card.

Renew your ID card online.

Can I start the process to get my Washington state ID card while I am incarcerated?

While you can start the process of getting a Washington State ID card while you are still incarcerated, keep in mind that you will need to visit a Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) office as soon as possible after you are released to complete your application and receive your ID.

Six months prior to your release from a facility, you should be given an official notice that provides information regarding how the Department of Corrections can assist you in obtaining a Washington State driver’s license, ID card, and/or a replacement Social Security card.

Once you have received this notice, and before you are released, make an appointment to talk with your counselor about obtaining a Washington State ID. Your counselor should submit an electronic verification letter to the DOL no earlier than 45 days prior to your release.3It is very important to know when your counselor submits this letter. The electronic verification letter will stay on file at the DOL for 60 days from the date it was filed, meaning that it may expire as soon as 15 days after your release.

After you are released, bring your Department of Corrections (DOC) Identification Badge to your local DOL office as soon as possible. You can find DOL office locations. If you have other forms of identification, such as a Social Security card or birth certificate, it may be helpful to have them with you. The DOL will use your badge and the verification letter that your counselor sent to them in order to verify your identification. There is a fee associated with getting your ID, so you will need to bring a form of payment as well. It costs $54 to get an ID card, which is valid for six years before it must be renewed. It costs $20 to replace a lost or stolen ID card.

How do I get or renew my Washington state ID card after I am released?

You can get your Washington State ID card after you are released by visiting a DOL office. Make sure to bring the following:

  • Acceptable Proof of ID
  • Form of payment to pay the $54 fee
  • If you are under 18, you must bring your social security or proof you have a valid Washington address

The information on this website is not legal advice. You should not and are not authorized to rely on this website as a source of legal advice. While Civil Survival goes to great lengths to make sure the information on the website is accurate, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of this website. We recommend that you consult with an attorney for assurance that the information on the website and your interpretation of it are appropriate for your situation.

More Identification Guides

Driver’s Licenses Guide

Getting a driver’s license can be a critical step toward being able to get to a job, run errands, and travel.

Washington State ID Cards

A Washington State ID card is a card issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL) that serves as proof of identity. A state ID card does not authorize you to drive a car.

Social Security Cards

You will need your Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, and access government services, but if you know the number, you do not need to show your Social Security card very often.

Birth Certificate

A birth certificate can usually help you prove your age and citizenship (if you were born in the United States), and is very useful when you are trying to get a state-issued photo ID.

U.S. Passport

Passports allow you to travel internationally. Some impacts of incarceration may impact your ability to get or use a passport.