Enhanced driver’s licenses (EDLs) are state-issued identification documents that meet the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). WHTI is a security measure that requires all U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to present a valid passport or other federally approved travel document when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
EDLs are issued by participating states and territories in the United States. They are similar to standard driver’s licenses, but they include additional security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit. These features include:
- A radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that stores the driver’s personal information
- A machine-readable zone (MRZ) that contains the driver’s name, date of birth, and other identifying information
- A hologram that changes color when viewed from different angles
EDLs are accepted for entry into the United States from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They are also accepted for domestic air travel and at some federal facilities.
What documents are required to apply for an EDL?
The documents required to apply for an EDL vary from state to state. In general, you will need to provide the following:
- A valid driver’s license or other state-issued identification document
- Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate or passport
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency, such as a naturalization certificate or green card
- A valid passport photograph
You may also be required to provide additional documentation, such as proof of residency or proof of name change.
How to apply for an EDL
The cost of an EDL varies from state to state. In general, it costs more than a standard driver’s license.
EDLs expire after eight years. You can renew your EDL at a participating DMV office.
In addition to being accepted for travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, EDLs also offer the following benefits:
- They can be used for domestic air travel.
- They can be used at some federal facilities.
- They may be accepted for identification purposes in other countries.
Enhanced driver’s licenses are a secure and convenient way to travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They also offer a number of other benefits, such as acceptance for domestic air travel and at some federal facilities.