Important: Processing times recently changed for both routine and expedited passport applications.

Will the new state drivers' license suffice as a passport?

by Courtney
(St. Pete, FL. USA)

Question: I heard that a few states (including Florida) are participating in a program that intensifies the identity requirements in order for a state driver's license to be issued. I understand that this more involved identity verification process provides for this form of I.D. to replace the need for a passport.

Answer: An enhanced driver's license is recognized as a WHTI-approved document and can be used for entry into and return from Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico by land or sea. This document cannot be used for international travel by air. Americans are required to possess a valid passport book for all travel abroad by air.

As far as we are aware, the only states that currently issue an enhanced driver's license are Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website does not list an enhanced driver's license as an option.

If you are a Florida resident and plan to travel abroad by land or sea only, you can apply for a passport card. If you plan to travel abroad by air, you must apply for a passport book.

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