Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in Washington
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the DOL's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the DOL's most recent updates for the latest information.
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?
Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.
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, Taiwan or Japan), you don't need to pass any kind of driving test—just a vision screening. New residents from Taiwan and Japan will need to take a few additional steps before they can apply for a license.
In addition to providing all required documents and passing the vision 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.
- 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) is only offered to U.S. citizens. It serves the same purpose as a standard driver's license, but offers more protection and security.
Apply for a WA Driver's License
As an applicant who 18 years old and older has a few options for applying for a WA driver's license. If you have not held a permit you can chose to:
- Pass the knowledge and skills tests (without taking a driver training course).
- Pass the knowledge test, get your permit, practice driving with a licensed driver, then pass the skills test.
- Complete an approved driver training course, get your a permit, and then pass the skills test.
Once you decide which route you will take to get your license you may be eligible to begin your application for a driver's license online. This can save you some time but you'll still need to head to a driver's licensing office to complete the process.
When you go to the driver's licensing office 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. $78 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.
NOTE: Only U.S. citizens are eligible for an enhanced driver's license (EDL).
Once you've completed your application and passed your driving test, the Washington DOL will mail you your standard driver's license or enhanced driver's license within 10 days.