Washington’s Fictitious Driver’s License Program Larger Than First Reported

By Austin Jenkins

A new report reveals the state of Washington issued nearly three-thousand fictitious driver’s licenses to police agencies over the last 25 years. That’s nearly twice as many as originally reported by the Washington Department of Licensing.

The new number captures much of the history of the state’s undercover driver’s license program. The program started in the 1980s and operated until last year without authorization. A year ago, Licensing reported it had issued some 1400 fictitious driver’s licenses to undercover police officers and federal agents. 

Now the agency says since 1988 the true number is almost double that: more than 2700. Last year, we reported that the CIA had obtained nearly 300 confidential Washington state driver’s licenses even though it’s not a traditional law enforcement agency. 

Governor Jay Inslee later signed legislation to allow the fictitious license program to continue, but said it would only be for undercover or covert law enforcement activities.

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