WA experiments with a high-tech license

Real ID-conforming license boasts RFID, carries a range of biometric data.

Not every state is fighting the Real ID law, which mandates states to produce high-tech driver's licenses capable of containing a range of digital information.

The state of Washington's experiment with high-security driver's licenses could set a precedent for other states, reports the Concord Monitor.

The new licenses will carry proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border.

If the experiment works, other features may be added such as radio frequency ID chips which would allegedly make them less vulnerable to forgery. At about $40, they also would be less expensive than a $97 passport.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has endorsed the project, which comes as border states prepare for new federal security requirements mandating a passport for travelers.

"I'm quite sure other states that want to use the same technology and the same approach will be welcome to do so," Chertoff told a news conference. "The whole idea here is giving a series of alternatives, as long as they meet the same basic standards."