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Washington Drivers Education

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Teens and adults have to prove they know the rules of the road and can drive safely to obtain a driver’s license in Washington State. Anyone who wants to earn money as a commercial driver also needs to show they can drive safely for several hours per day while operating potentially large tractor-trailers and other big rigs. The following information will help motorists to obtain the training and education needed to obtain different licenses in Washington State.

Testing and Preparing to Drive

The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) requires motorists to successfully pass knowledge and skills tests to obtain full driving privileges. The DOL also requires special knowledge and skills testing for those who want to become a commercial driver’s license (CDL), add a motorcycle endorsement or ride a three-wheeler on public roads. A variety of third-party driver education services providers enable you to obtain the necessary education and training to pass the DOL knowledge and skills tests to get a driver’s license, CDL or a motorcycle endorsement.

Graduated Driver License

Teen drivers must obtain special driver education training and complete a graduated licensing program to obtain full driving privileges in Washington State. Teens who are at least 16 year old can obtain a learner’s permit that they must hold for at least six months while gaining limited driving experience. A learner’s permit allows teens to drive during limited periods while accompanied by a licensed adult driver. The adult driver must have a license that has been active for more than five years and ride in the front seat.

The adult driver can affirm the teen completed at least 40 hours of driving during daytime hours. The teen driver also must complete at least 10 hours of driving at night while accompanied by a licensed adult driver. After holding a learner’s permit for the required time and completing the driving requirements, the teen can seek a restricted driver’s license.

After completing the learning period and upon successful passage of vision, knowledge and road-testing, they can obtain a restricted license that enables them to drive during certain times and under certain circumstances, like going to and from work, for the first year that they have an intermediate license. If the teen completes the intermediate period with no tickets or accidents, full driving privileges are available upon turning 18.

Remedial Driver Programs

Motorists who accrue too many tickets or otherwise lose driving privileges might have to complete remedial driver programs to regain driving privileges. Remedial programs teach motorists the newest traffic laws that might be on the books, including those that target cellphone use and distracted driving. The remedial driving courses are designed to teach safe driving and affirm the motorist fully understands current traffic laws and will not be a menace on public roads.

Defensive Driving Courses

Many motorists find it beneficial to take defensive driving courses. The courses help to teach accident prevention, update knowledge of newer traffic laws, and generally improve driving skills. Successful completion of defensive driving courses often help to reduce auto insurance rates while also enhancing driving skills.

Last Verified:
Sep 17, 2022