washington driver license

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Thanks to coronavirus, one dreaded chore is temporarily off limits. No need to brace for long lines at the DMV to renew a driver license because those offices are closed for now in Washington state and perhaps soon in Oregon.

The infamous long lines at the DMV produced wait times exceeding one hour at several Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services field offices Tuesday, despite federal Centers for Disease Control guidance to minimize gatherings of groups of more than 10 people to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Washington Department of Licensing

Washington, Oregon and Idaho are trying to figure out how to keep their state driver’s licenses from becoming obsolete in the eyes of the federal government.

Washington Department of Licensing

A new report reveals the state of Washington issued nearly 3,000 fictitious driver’s licenses to police agencies over the last 25 years.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed a law that will allow the state’s fictitious driver license program to continue – but only for undercover law enforcement activities. At the bill signing Inslee backed away from a previous statement that he would apply a broad definition of the term “law enforcement.”

Central Intelligence Agency

Washington’s Department of Licensing has released a list of federal agencies that have received fictitious driver licenses for undercover operations. But the list made public Friday does not include the Central Intelligence Agency – even though the state agency previously acknowledged its work with CIA.

Washington Department of Licensing

The US Attorney in Seattle has stepped in to block the release of information about a once-secret program under which fictitious driver licenses were issued by the state of Washington. In a letter to the state, Jenny Durkan’s office says the documents are “classified national security information.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he would apply a "broad" interpretation to the term “law enforcement” when issuing fictitious driver licenses to undercover agents. The governor’s comment follows our report that the CIA has obtained nearly 300 so-called confidential Washington driver licenses since 2007.

Washington Department of Licensing

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington House has voted to allow the Department of Licensing to continue to issue fictitious driver licenses to undercover police officers. But with new safeguards. Even so, the vote Tuesday came over the objections of some Republicans.

The Department of Licensing has issued so-called confidential driver licenses for decades. But it never had direct authorization from the legislature to do so. The program is supposed to be for law enforcement officers.

Central Intelligence Agency

Editor's note: This story does not contain any identifying details of undercover officers from law enforcement agencies or agents of the Central Intelligence Agency. Instead, it includes aggregate numbers of confidential licenses issued by the state of Washington to local, state and federal agencies. This is consistent with what the Washington Department of Licensing has proposed to release under pending legislation in Olympia.

Washington Department of Licensing

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Stricter guidelines may come to a program that lets undercover police officers in Washington obtain fictitious driver licenses. The Washington House could vote soon on a measure that would require additional safeguards to ensure the false IDs are not misused.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For decades, police officers in Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the Department of Licensing only recently came to light. It turns out the confidential ID program was never approved by the legislature. Now two state lawmakers are calling for more oversight to prevent possible abuses.

As a street cop in the early 1980s, Mitch Barker went undercover to work drugs and vice. The Washington Department of Licensing helped him assume a fake identity.