Governor issues statement on licensing policy change

The Washington Department of Transportation announced Monday morning that it will no longer release records to federal law enforcement without a court order.

Federal agents have previously used the information to help determine the immigration status of people under investigation.

“DOL will not turn over personal information for immigration-related investigations to federal immigration authorities without a court order signed by a federal judge or magistrate or under the requirement of state or federal law,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “It is clear that under the Trump Administration, ICE and other federal immigration authorities are operating with very different – and destructive – intentions than in recent years. Our policies and practices must be adapted to reflect that terrible reality.”

The department will also use emergency rulemaking to end the collection of information that isn’t mandated and could be misused, such as place of birth information gathered during the driver license or ID card application process.

Washington is one of the few states that allow people without proof of legal U.S. residency to get driver’s licenses.