Renewing Your License in Washington
Renewing your driver license?
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You must hold a valid driver’s license to be behind the wheel. Licenses close to expiring should be renewed as soon as possible so you’re not illegal. For more on renewing, read down.
Another requirement is to have adequate car insurance. To make sure you have enough to cover yourself, consider shopping for a supplemental policy or looking for the best rate at our Insurance Center.
Whether it's a regular license or an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL), typically your driver's license expires 5 birthdays from the date of issue, with or without a motorcycle endorsement.
You can renew your license up to 1 year before it expires by either going to a drivers license office or doing it online if you are eligible. The renewal fee is $45. Please note, at driver licensing offices vendors charge and additional convenience fee if you pay with a debit or credit card.
Renewing a commercial license is different in procedure, particularly if you hold a hazmat endorsement.
If you’ve been out of the loop for any reason, you might not know whether or not your license is still good. Do a driving records check to find out.
If your license has already expired, you can renew it for up to 60 days past the expiration date, but you'll have to pay an additional $10 late fee.
Accumulating a lot of citations or getting a DUI can lead to a license revocation. Check your driving record to see how many points you have and whether you have any restrictions. You may also be eligible for a restricted license.
Getting your license back after a suspended license can involve paying extra fees. Once you’re back to driving, expect a car insurance hike. To find a lower rate, use the online insurance finder to get several quotes.
You should report your license lost or stolen, then get a duplicate immediately. The fee is $20.
Your renewal notice has important information on it. It tells you whether you can use the online service and provide you with an authorization number if you can; and what tests, if any, are due.
For your convenience, you may be able to renew your regular license on the Internet. You can do this if:
- Your last renewal was done at a licensing office.
- You’re renewing a regular license, not an EDL.
- You received a renewal notice in the mail with an authorization number on it.
- You can pay the $45 fee by debit or credit card (American Express, Visa, MasterCard).
The online site also has instructions.
Only those who are going to be out of the state for at least 12 months when your license expires (such as when you're in the military or a student out of state) can renew your license by mail.
You’ll have to send:
- A blank sheet of white paper with your signature. A copy of that signature will be placed on your renewed license.
- A note from your eye doctor if you want any vision restrictions you have on your license removed.
- A medical certificate, if required, from your doctor.
- A $45 fee. Make check out to "Department of Licensing."
Mail all of these items and the extension/renewal form at least 30 days before your license expires, to this address:
- Department of Licensing
- Driver Responsibility Technical Reporting
- PO Box 3907
- Olympia, WA 98507-9048
If you're going to be gone for less than 12 months, then you'll be granted an extension. This costs $5.
Whether you have a regular license or an EDL, you will need to:
- Take the vision test.
- Pay a $45 renewal fee.
- Bring your current license.
- Bring proof of residency (for EDL.)
Go to any Licensing Service Office to renew.
NOTE: The following office locations DO NOT accept credit or debit cards: Coulee Dam, Davenport, Friday Harbor, Forks, Goldendale, Newport, Republic, or South Bend.
You only need to renew your license every five years. What about renewing your driving skills or learning what the new traffic rules are? Become a better driver with a a supplemental traffic school course. The best part is, many insurers will give you a discount just for taking one class. If your company doesn’t, then you can shop for one that does.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.