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?

Just Moved?

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

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:

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).

Pass The Written Test On Your First Try

To help you prepare for the knowledge test, the DOL offers a basic practice test. In addition to this test, we recommend studying with an online practice test from our approved partner.

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.

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