Governor signs bill allowing police to access driver’s license photos for ID verification

Approved Senate measure identical to Klippert's House bill


Rep. Brad Klippert says law enforcement officers in Washington will soon have another tool to fight crime and ensure public safety following the governor's approval today of Senate Bill 5262.

The measure authorizes the Department of Licensing (DOL) to make driver's license photos available to law enforcement officers to help them properly confirm the identity of individuals. The Senate bill is identical to House Bill 1224, which Klippert introduced in the House of Representatives.

“Computers are now common in police vehicles and have given law enforcement officers the ability to obtain quick information during a traffic stop or when questioning an individual. One of the first things an officer wants to establish is the correct identity of the individual. Until now, however, officers have not been allowed to access driver's license photos from the Department of Licensing to make a proper identification,” said Klippert, who also serves as a Benton County deputy sheriff. “This legislation changes that practice and will not only allow officers to properly identify criminals, but could help them from mistakenly arresting innocent citizens.”

Under the bill, DOL may make negative files of pictures available to official government enforcement agencies for the purpose of verifying identity when the officer is authorized by law to request identification from an individual.

“People who are stopped and questioned by officers are not always truthful about their identities. This new law gives officers an additional tool to correctly verify a person's ID. I believe it will help law enforcement to catch more criminals and to keep officers and the public safer,” added Klippert, R-Kennewick.

The measure takes effect July 26.

Contact: John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer, (360) 786-7257


Washington State House Republican Communications