Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in WashingtonPage Overview
- Regular Driver’s License; sometimes referred to as a Personal Drivers License (PDL)
- Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) which doubles as a border passport
- Commercial Driver Licenses (Class A, B, and C)
- Motorcycle Endorsement
NOTE: If you are a teen driver, please see our Applying for a New License for Teens section.
While you’re not obligated to take a driver’s ed class, it would be a smart idea, since driver's education will help you pass the written test and driving test.
DOL offices don’t let you make an appointment to take the written test. Try to go in during their less busy times, like in the middle (not lunch) of a workday.
Before you take the test, be prepared to:
- Complete a driver education course and provide an Affidavit of Parental Authorization to prove you have parental permission Your parents or guardian must accompany you to sign the affidavit and will need to provide proof of identification. (These requirements are for applicants younger than 18 years old.)
- Provide proof of identification and age.
- Complete an application (available at an LSO office).
- Provide your Social Security number or proof of Washington residence.
- Pass the written test and driving test. The driving test requires you to make an appointment, and you need to bring your own vehicle to use for the test.
- Take a vision test.
- Provide proof of citizenship.
- Pay required license fee.
Now that you’ve passed the test, you need a car to practice driving. Lots of people consider used cars to have the best value. Just remember to get a Vehicle History Report first. Though you do have to pay a fee for the report, it’s worth it to learn more about the car you're considering buying. The report tells you whether the car has been in any big accidents or if it’s a flood or salvage title. And you'll pay one fee for month-long access to all the cars you look at (all you need is the VIN).
Car insurance is the next step. Shop around for deals. See if anyone has a good driver or good student discount. Find out how much the auto insurance will be before you buy the car; some cars cost more to insure than others.
Make an appointment to take a road test. Bring an insured, registered car that’s in good working condition (no broken lights or seat belts), plus an already-licensed driver.
Your WA driver's license will be sent to you by mail.Other Topics in This Section