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What is an Enhanced Driver License?

Date posted: 08/10/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Drivers License & ID

4430 What is an Enhanced Driver License?

An enhanced driver license (also known as a passport card) eases your ability to travel in and out of the United States by land and sea, doubling as a drivers license and passport.

With it, no other documents are needed for proving citizenship and identity when entering the U.S. or any other of the following participating Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) countries, territories, and islands:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Boniare, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES)
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Dutch Caribbean
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Turks and Caicos

Bear in mind that you cannot use an EDL for international air travel. Passports are still required for when flying to and from the U.S. You can, however, use an EID when flying domestically for boarding planes.

States Offering an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL)

The following US states currently offer EDLs:

  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Applying for an Enhanced Driver License

Applying for an enhanced driver license or enhanced ID is on a voluntary basis.

Requirements vary by state, but in all cases you must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the state you’re applying in. An EDL generally costs about $30 more than a regular driver’s license, a considerable saving over a $130 passport. As an added bonus, it conveniently fits into the wallet.

To apply, visit your local¬†Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. In most situations, bring the same identification as you would when applying for a regular driver’s license. Play it safe, however, and call your DMV before visiting for a complete list of needed documents.

Do you have an EDL?

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