Washington Driver License

Washington Driver License

If you want to drive a car on the roads of Washington, you need to obtain a Washington Driver License. Before applying for the license, however, you should have passed driving lessons and taken a road test. Let’s have a look at some of the frequently asked questions.

What do I need to obtain a driver license in Washington?

First of all, you need a learner’s permit to start the process. It allows you to practice driving until you obtain a license.

In order to get the learner’s permit you must meet the following requirements:

  • be at least 16 years old
  • be a Washington State Residence (must be proven by your residence address)
  • must schedule an appointment and visit the local licensing office
  • pass a medical-check up test
  • pass a vision test
  • pass a knowledge test
  • pay application fee of $25.00

Note: Applicants under 18 should submit a Parental Authorization Affidavit.

If you successfully pass all the above-mentioned processes, your photo would be taken for a learner’s permit.

After holding your learner’s permit for six months and if you’re under 18, you are allowed to apply for an intermediate driver’s license.

Intermediate drivers should

  • have their instruction permit not less than 6 months
  • be accompanied by an experienced driver (at least 5 years)
  • complete 50-hour driving course (10 hours at night/40 hours daytime)

Intermediate drivers should NOT

  • drive between 1:00 am and 5:00 am
  • text or talk on a cell phone
  • carry a passenger for the first six months
  • carry more than 3 passengers after the first six months

Note: Intermediate drivers are not allowed to have more than 3 passengers aged under 20 (unless they are immediate family members).

If you are over 18 and have had your learner’s permit for at least 6 months you can apply for a driver license.

To obtain a driving license in Washington you must take the following steps:

  • submit your Driver License Application
  • pass a knowledge test
  • must have successfully completed your driving course
  • pass a vision/color recognition test
  • have your photography taken

If you have successfully completed all these steps, you will be granted a temporary license for 45 days.

You’ll get your official driver’s license in 7-10 days.

How much must I score from my knowledge and driving tests?

You must score a minimum of 32 out of 40 to pass your knowledge test and 80 out of 100 to pass your driving test.

Note: Knowledge test results are valid for 2 years. Driving test results are valid for a year.

What are the requirements of driver training?

The minimum age of applying for driver training is 15. Students must have an instruction permit to practice driving.

Driver training programs must include:

  • 30 hours of classroom instruction
  • A minimum of 6 hours of practice driving
  • A minimum of 1 hour of behind-the-wheel observation.

Washington State does not approve online training and parent-taught education. Teen drivers must be supervised by their parents for a minimum of 50 hours of out-of-class driving practice, from which 10 hours must be practiced at nighttime.

How much does it cost to obtain a driver license in WA?

First, you need to pay $35.00 to apply for a driver license. Then, to actually get a license you need to pay $45.00. This fee allows you to pass your knowledge and driving tests only once.

You need to pay an extra $35.00 each time you want to retake your tests.

What types of driver licenses are there in Washington?

For now, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) has the following types of driver licenses:

  • PDL/ Personal driver’s license

The most common type of driver’s license allows people to drive a passenger car on their own, without any supervision. It is the most “standard” driver license:

  • Class M. Motorcycle endorsement

Class M License

Class M allows you to ride a motorbike or any other motor vehicle with a seat or saddle and no more than 3 wheels:

  • Class A, B and C. Commercial driver licenses, CDLs

Commercial Class A

You may drive a combination vehicle with GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds. In short, you can drive tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tank vehicles, livestock carriers, and flatbeds.

Commercial Class B

With a class B license you are allowed to drive straight trucks, box trucks, large school buses, city buses, or tourist buses, and dump trucks with small trailers.

Commercial Class C

You may carry 16 and more passengers including the driver. A special endorsement is required for carrying passengers, double-trailers, triple-trailers as well as to be allowed to haul hazardous material.

Noncommercial Class A

Class C driver license allows you to drive any vehicle that is categorized under Class C, travel trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs. GVWR, and 5th-wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 lbs.

Noncommercial Class B

You may drive any vehicle under Class C, and any house car with endorsement.

What are the requirements for CDL (Commercial Driver License) license?

To get a CDL you need to:

  • be 18 years or older
  • have a valid Washington Driver License
  • bring your current license, SSN
  • have a U.S citizenship, Permanent Residency or on-domicile document
  • pass the knowledge test for your vehicle type
  • get a CLP (Commercial license permit)
  • have a vision in both eyes (20/40 individually/ glasses and contact lenses are allowed)
  • self-certify the type of driving: medical documents can be requested
  • submit the training certificate to [email protected]
  • pass the color test
  • get a minimum 40 out of 50 on a CDL exam
  • have a maximum blood pressure of 160/100
  • pay the required amount for getting a CDL
  • have blood sugar not higher than 200

Additional endorsements may be necessary depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive or the goods you want to transport.

Endorsements are required for the transportation of people and the carriage of hazardous items.

Can I transfer my driver license from another state to Washington?

Yes, you are allowed to transfer your driver license to Washington. You just need to bring your out-of-state license, proof of identity, show your social security number and documents proving you are a WA resident. The $35 application fee ($64 for Class D drivers) is a must.

If you have all the required documents, follow the steps below:

  • Visit DOL office
  • Submit your documents
  • Surrender your license
  • Pass the vision test
  • Have your photo taken
  • Make a payment
  • Receive your temporary license

How can I renew my driver’s license?

Depending on the fee you have paid for your driver license, you need to renew your driving license every 1 or 5 years. If your license needs renewal, DoT will notify you in advance. You can renew it online, by email or in person.

In case you have your license expired, you should visit DoT and apply for your license renewal.

To renew your driver’s license after the 6 months of the expiry date you must visit the local DoT office, provide your proof of identity, fill in the Driver’s License Application form, pass a vision test and pay the required fees.

Note: If your license has expired more than 5 years you must reapply for a new license.

Can I renew my learner’s permit?

No, the learner’s permit cannot be renewed.

Hailey H.

Hailey H.

Hailey is a creative content writer who previously worked for various companies generating content in different industries. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is passionate about helping people understand about the written topic through her easily digestible content. Not only does she make her written pieces understandable by different audiences, she also puts lots of effort into making it easily understandable by her friend Google.