Enhanced driver’s license unexpectedly popular on North Olympic Peninsula

OLYMPIA — The demand for enhanced driver’s licenses on the North Olympic Peninsula is so great that the state Department of Licensing is expanding the Port Angeles office’s capacity to take applications for the card.

“We were surprised by the tremendous response we got from Port Angeles,” Brad Benfield, media relations manager for the licensing department, said after the state began scheduling appointments on Tuesday.

“We’re going to double the capacity that we had originally planned,” from 10 appointments per week to 20.

Through Wednesday — the last day for which figures were available — 94 appointments had been scheduled at the Port Angeles office at Armory Square, 228 W. First St., for the card.

The enhanced driver’s license will work like a U.S. passport to re-enter the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean as of Jan. 31.

So far, 63 appointments have been scheduled in February, 26 in March and 5 in April.

Some people chose to have appointments scheduled later, to give them time to collect needed documents, Benfield said.

Appointments still are available in February.

The Port Angeles licensing office is the only location in Clallam and Jefferson counties where applications will be taken for enhanced driver’s licenses or enhanced state ID cards.

But appointments can’t be made by phoning the Port Angeles office.

To make an appointment, phone 866-520-4365, a toll-free number that rings in West Seattle.

At least two specially trained agents will be in Port Angeles at least two days per week to process applications for the license.

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