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Obtaining a New Drivers License in Washington

If you are ready to drive the vast roads and highways of scenic Washington State, there are several requirements you must first meet. In order to get drivers licenses, you must pass certain tests and provide specific documents to the Department of Licensing.

If you are ready to drive the vast roads and highways of scenic Washington State, there are several requirements you must first meet. In order to get drivers licenses, you must pass certain tests and provide specific documents to the Department of Licensing.

Read on to find out more about:

  • The requirements to get a license to drive.
  • How to get drivers licenses in Washington.

Drivers License Requirements in Washington

Before you make an appointment to visit the Department of Licensing, there are several requirements you must meet in order to apply for a driving license. Prior to visiting a vehicle licensing office in Washington, note the following in regard to obtaining a new license to drive:

  • You must be at least 16 years old to apply for drivers licenses in Washington.
  • You must be a resident of Washington State, as your address will be printed on your license.
  • You must complete a drivers training course as approved by the DOL.
  • You must hold an instructional permit for at least six months prior to applying for a license (this applies to out-of-state or out-of-country learners licenses as well).
  • You must not have any convictions for traffic violations within six months of your driving license application.
  • You must not hold any drug or alcohol-related convictions while operating with a learners permit.

Getting Drivers Licenses in Washington

After you have reviewed the requirements set by the Department of Licensing in regard to your new drivers license application, you can proceed with the following steps to get licensed in Washington State:

  1. Get your instructional permit – You must hold your driving permit for at least six months prior to applying for drivers licenses.
  2. Complete the required driving hours – You must practice driving for 50 total hours (10 hours at night) while accompanied by a licensed driver who has five years of experience.
  3. Pass your driving test – You must achieve a score of at least 80 percent in order to pass your road skills test at a driver training and testing location.
  4. Determine if you would like to become a donor – You can choose to be an organ donor, an eye donor or a tissue donor, as specified on your license.
  5. Get your drivers license online – If you have an instruction permit with a photo or a Washington ID card, you can apply for your license to drive online, with parental consent. Pay the $89 fee ($35 for the application and $54 for issuance), and print your receipt, which will serve as your temporary license until your new license (with your old photo) is sent in the mail.
  6. Apply for a license in person – If you cannot access the online DOL portal, you can visit a driver licensing office. Bring proof that you have passed a traffic safety course and get your parent or guardian to sign a parental authorization form (or a Parental Authorization Affidavit). In addition, show proof of ID and your Social Security Number. Finally, you will be asked to take a vision test and a photo. Then pay the required $89 fee for your drivers license application and issuance.

Note that if you are between the ages of 16 and 17 with a valid out-of-state license and you want to apply for a WA drivers license, you must do the following:

  • Present a Traffic Safety Education certificate
  • Bring a parent/guardian with you to sign a parental authorization form, or a Parental Authorization Affidavit form, if they are unable to visit
  • Provide proof of ID
  • Have your Social Security Number, or sign a declaration that you do not have one
  • Pass an eye test
  • Have your picture taken
  • Pay the designated fees