New to Washington
Welcome to the beautiful state of Washington!
Here in Washington you're going to find vibrant towns and cities, thick green forests, winding waterways, and tall majestic mountains―some of which are active volcanoes. Washington has a lot to offer, whether it be nature, tourism, education, or just finding the right place to live. But before we get to that, we'd like to tell you how to find the motor vehicle and driver information you need.
In Washington, the Department of Licensing (DOL) handles not just driver's licenses and motor vehicle issues but also business and professional licenses. Just about every county has a Vehicle Licensing Office (for vehicle registrations) and a Licensing Services Office (for driver's licenses), and they welcome your call so that you can handle your driving issues in the most efficient and convenient way.
These offices are where you will go to:
- Apply for a driver's license
- Apply for a commercial driver's license
- Register your car
- Register your boat
- Pick up forms
- Register to vote
However, if you're interested in Washington's new Enhanced Driver Licenses and ID Cards (EDL/ID), visit an EDL/ID office location. These licenses and IDs act as acceptable passport alternatives for re-entering the country―great news now that you live so close to land and sea borders!
Remember to get Washington auto insurance when you move to the state. It's a good idea to also peruse the Washington driver handbook in case the state has some rules that are different from what you're used to. Other manuals include those for motorcycle riders and commercial drivers, and they're available free.
Your Guide to Washington
Now that you're going to be living in Washington, you might be looking for information on schools and places of interest. Here you'll find links to some of the information you need. But first, a little bit about Washington.
Who hasn't heard of the great adventurers Lewis and Clark and their journey to find a water route to the Pacific? Of the 11 states they traveled, Washington was one of the last. In 1805, Lewis and Clark and their "Corps of Discovery" came in on the Snake River via canoe. The pioneers of the West relied heavily on Native Americans to make their exploration successful, and the history of the state of Washington is steeped in Native American heritage.
Most of the cities across the state are named after tribes from the region, such as Walla Walla and Puyallup. Washington got the interest of the Spaniards and British in the late 1700s due to its bounty of fur, and the area became a huge player in the fur trade. In 1889, Washington finally became a state after being a territory since its separation from Oregon in 1853.
Wheat, cattle, lumber, and fishing were the economic strengths of the state as it developed. Considered a gateway to Alaska, Washington encouraged new industries to develop for processing Alaskan resources so the state wouldn't have to rely on federal contracts. Despite industrial growth, the state considers protecting its natural environment a priority.
Even residents of Washington take part in tourism by visiting some of the Evergreen State's most popular places. Here are some highlights: