Passport Processing and Real-ID Mandate
Current passport processing requires 6-9 weeks for routine applications and 3-5 weeks for expedited service.
- Schedule an appointment at City Hall (895-4656) between 11:00 and 3:00, Monday through Friday. Make sure an agent is available.
- Schedule an appointment with the Seattle Passport Agency, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 600 (passportappointment.travel.state.gov) if travel is less than four weeks.
A federally-approved ID is required by May 7, 2025 to meet mandates to access federal buildings, military installations, and TSA checkpoints for domestic travel. State-issued ID cards and State-issued driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted.
Alaska residents, 18 and older, will need a Real ID driver’s license, Real ID-compliant identification card, or other accepted federally-approved ID:
- U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card
- U.S. Military ID card
- Permanent resident card, aka “green card”
- DHS-designated Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Enhanced non-driver photo ID card (EID)
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- Foreign government-issued passport
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
*** Drivers and passengers, ages 16-18, may not need identification at airports, but they must carry a federally-approved ID to access military installations. ***
What is the difference between a passport and a Real ID driver’s license or Real ID-compliant ID? Real ID cards meet federal mandates, but not any international travel. Passport cards meet federal mandates, plus border crossings, but not international air travel. Passport books meet federal mandates, plus all international travel via land, sea, or air.
Many people purchase both the passport book ($130) and the passport card ($30) at the same time. Passport cards are more convenient to carry and the passport book can be safely stored and used only for international flights. It costs time and money to apply for a book or card at a later date because it requires attachment of the valid passport (book or card), a new passport photo, extra fees, and postage. Adult passports have a ten-year life. They do not need replaced if passport-holder moves, whereas a driver’s license does.
Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles (895-4424) or Swift Tag & Title (616-1417) for information about the Real ID.