Screw You, Washington State Department of Licensing!

This if effing ridiculous!

My wife has decided to start taking classes at the local community college. It’s not costing us anything because she’s disabled and qualifies for a lot of financial assistance. But she discovered that her state-issued photo ID card had expired. I gave her $20 to get a new one and she went to the DOL. No biggie. The last time either of us needed an ID card, rather than a driver’s license (I didn’t have a DL until 2006) it was like $10 or $15, and good for 4-5 years.

She got to the DOL and then texted me, “It’s 54 dollars!”


Yeah, it seems the DOL just recently changed the fee. Now it’s $9 per year and the ID is good for six years. So it’s $54 up front. I’m thinking, “Holy shit, that’s what I paid for my driver’s license!” I loaded up the DOL web site, thinking there was some misunderstanding, but sure enough, a plain old photo ID now costs $54 for a six-year card. So now, the only difference in price between a driver’s license and a simple photo ID is they’ve also now added a $25 “processing fee” to the cost of a driver’s license.

It seems to me that this is something worth appealing to the state supreme court. Charging that much up-front for a simple photo ID is just plain discriminatory against low-income people. Obtaining almost any kind of services requires photo ID, even something like checking into a homeless shelter. Where is your average homeless person going to come up with $54 all at once just for an ID? And even if you’re not homeless, just poor, having something like this when you’re worried about being able to pay the damned rent just sucks.


I’m rather surprised they don’t have some kind of lower price for disabled people. $54 seems like the threshold, IMHO, for which a cost isn’t a big deal for most people, but it is a big deal for some people who really need an ID.

They do. If she’s on disability, she should have a caseworker through DSHS. All she needs to do is call her caseworker and ask for the paperwork she needs to receive a reduced fee for her state ID. If she doesn’t have a caseworker through DSHS (which would be surprising), she should get one. Otherwise, she can ask her local office to assign someone to assist her with this particular issue.

My, my! Don’t you know that’s the reason for the fee? Why should the rabble be allowed to vote?

Washington votes by mail.

Good to see that Democrats are allowed to vote in Washington.

Soon I will renew my Thai Driver’s License. With one exception the procedure will be very simple and the fees very low. The exception is an Affidavit of Address which I must get from a U.S. Consulate, paying the Consulate a fee of U.S. $50.

Behold the silliness of this requirement: I’ve had the same address for decades; the local police and government officials know my address; Thai Immigration knows my address. The DMV certainly knows my address since this is the 3rd time I’ve renewed the license. The only relevant organization which does not know my address is the one providing the “proof of address” — the U.S. Consulate! And this $50 form doesn’t change that; the only real meaning of their notarial seal is “The guy who signed this piece of paper has a face that resembles the photo in passport #8765xxxx.” (Nevermind that the cost and inconvenience of travel to the Consulate is more than $50.)

BTW, this $50 fee is per notarial seal. If you need every page of a 10-page document stamped, that will be $500 please.

Well, we have to put up with this kind of shit in order to have no state income tax. I hope you can get that reduced fee bobkitty mentioned.

Note that Washington does not require ID to vote, and note that the Washington State governor, lieutenant governor, and Speaker of the House are all Democrats. The upper chamber is tied, 24-24 R and D, with the Democratic lieutenant governor able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

And that’s the state government that created the license fee of which the OP complains,


Seems strange to complain about fees on a state-produced item, while enjoying the lack of income taxes in that state. How do you think the costs for producing that item should be collected?

Comment: Your “subtle” jab at Democrats is real clever.

The high cost of a lot of the services in WA is due to being entirely sales tax dependent.

And yes, as bobkitty mentioned, there is a way to get a reduced cost ID (it used to be $5):

Actually, some states allow homeless people to obtain ID info (birth certificates and the sort) for free. All they have to do is complete an affidavit of homelessness, signed and notarized by a homeless shelter / provider.

My comment is that Democrats who don’t believe in funding services through a system of progressive taxation aren’t liberal enough. We’d be better off with some real Progressives who aren’t content to screw over the poor.

But I do give our state legislature credit for vote-by-mail, which is far superior to the system much of the country uses, and ought to be adopted nationwide.

The photo ID really has to be current?

More accurate, informative, and on target than Musicats’ point was.

There are too many Republicans in the Senate.

She’s lucky it wasn’t expired when she got arrested, that would have been a whole other pile of expensive crap for you all to deal with. If she’s getting Pell grant tuition money it can be used toward something like this since it’s a condition of going to school.

You really think the current Democrats in the WA state government are the ones that setup the ID fee structure in the state? :smack:

Psst: The Republicans control the WA State Senate. And that’s the state government that created the license fee of which the OP complains, Comments?

Yeah, equally stupid comment. I know. But just as valid.

I’m glad they have alternatives for those who can’t afford the $50.00+ fee (Mentioned above by another poster and confirmed here -

On the whole I’d be fine with free ID’s for everyone if it would get rid of the stupid ‘it’s all about suppressing the voters’ argument that’s rampant in some quarters these days. I’d also like to see ID’s required to vote, assuming the above free for everyone were true.

As it stand though, I’m glad there’s all alternative like I said. Some of these fees get ridiculous, especially if you’re pinched for cash.

Cite? How could the Republican “controlled” Senate (24 D, 24 R, 1 I that caucuses with the Rs) be solely responsible for a passed law?

It was in response to a subtle jab at Republicans, which you let pass without comment.