Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Washington
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Apply for a Washington Driver's License
If you're looking to get a new driver's license in the state of Washington you have come to the right place. Below you'll find everything you need to know from forms, to fees, to any required testing.
New to Washington?
Are you a new Washington state resident? Congratulations on the move! Now it's time to obtain a Washington driver's license. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) gives you 30 days to do so.
To apply for a Washington driver's license, you'll need to provide certain documentation. Follow the instructions in “ Apply for a Washington Driver's License" below.
If you have a valid out-of-state driver's license (or a valid driver's license from British Columbia, Germany, South Korea, or Taiwan), you don't need to pass any kind of driving test—just a vision screening.
In addition to providing all required documents and passing the written and driving tests, you will also need to surrender your out-of-state driver's license to the WA DMV.
NOTE: If you're not a U.S. citizen, you can legally drive in Washington with a valid foreign driver's license for up to 1 year. After this time, you must apply for a Washington driver's license.
Types of WA Driver's Licenses
- Instruction permit and intermediate driver’s license (for those under 21 years old).
- Standard adult driver's license.
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Motorcycle license.
- Enhanced driver's license (EDL).
Enhanced Driver's License
An enhanced driver's license (EDL) was enforced as a result of the federal REAL ID Act and is only offered to U.S. citizens. It serves the same purpose as a standard driver's license, but offers more protection and security.
You can also use your EDL in place of a passport when traveling by land or sea into the U.S.
Apply for a WA Driver's License
If you meet certain criteria, you can pre-apply online for a Washington driver's license and save some time.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be an official resident of the state with a Washington street address.
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Not have held a Washington driver's license, instruction permit, or a state ID card before.
Whether or not you're eligible to begin your application for a driver's license online, you'll need to head to a driver's licensing office to complete the process.
NOTE: Only U.S. citizens are eligible for an enhanced driver's license (EDL).
You will need:
- Proof of your:
- Payment for the fee:
- Driver's license: Valid for 6 years. $54 plus a $35 application fee.
- Enhanced driver's license (EDL): Valid for 6 years. $72 plus a $35 application fee.
- To pass a written knowledge test and driving test.
- To pass a vision exam.
NOTE: Make sure you visit a WA DOL office that administers written knowledge and driving tests.
Once you've completed your application and passed your driving test, the Washington DOL will mail you your driver's license or EDL within 10 days.
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