Find a Licensing Center
You can obtain Washington State driver’s license at a local Department of Licensing (DOL) service center. The DOL licensing offices are located in every county and enables new drivers to obtain a license for the first time. The licensing offices also enable new residents to obtain their Washington State driver’s license or state ID.
Getting a License for the First Time
When you are trying to get a driver’s license for the very first time, you will need to undergo different steps based on age. Teen drivers have to complete a graduated licensing program while adults over age 18 have more options for completing the learning component for first-time licensees. An adult driver has four options to obtain an initial driver’s license:
- Successfully complete a driver training course.
- Learn from a licensed driver who has more than 5 years of driving experience.
- Pass knowledge and skills tests.
- Transfer a license from another state.
When adults who are age 18 and over have completed the perquisites to obtain a Washington State driver’s license, they just have to go to a respective licensing center to get it done.
A teen driver must obtain and hold an instruction permit for at least six months and successfully complete a driver training course that is approved by the DOL. Teen drivers also need to complete at least 40 hours of driving during daytime hours and 10 hours of driving during nighttime hours while accompanied by an adult who has held a license for at least five years.
Once the teen successfully completes the preliminary steps, he or she must pass vision, knowledge and skills tests. Successful completion means the teen driver can gain intermediate driving privileges that limit the times that a teen can drive and the number of passengers carried until earning full driving privileges.
Renewing Your License
You can renew your Washington State drivers license at any licensing service center or online. You can renew your driver’s license up to a year prior to its expiration date and up to 60 days afterward with no additional fees or penalties applied.
Do You Need a REAL ID?
As of Oct. 1, 2021, federal law requires either a REAL ID-compliant state ID or a state-issued ID and a federal ID, such as a passport, to board commercial aircraft at airports, enter federal courthouses or enter other restricted federal facilities. Washington State does not require residents to obtain a REAL ID, and those who have a passport just need to provide the passport along with the state ID to enter areas that require a REAL ID or a state and federal ID.
Upgrade Your Probationary License
Once you have completed the probationary terms to obtain your driver’s license and successfully passed required knowledge and road tests, you can obtain an unrestricted driver’s license. You will need to schedule an appointment at a DOL licensing center or utilize third-party services providers to obtain your new driver’s license.
Replace a Lost or Stolen License
If you lose your license or it is stolen, you can obtain a replacement at a local services center or online. Whenever you are without your ID due to loss or theft, it usually is best to handle it in person at a DOL licensing center to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.