Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?
No, you do not. The Department of Licensing does not require that a police report be filed for a lost or stolen drivers license in Washington. Additionally, they will not put a flag on your record or cancel your credentials until fraudulent activity is detected or you apply for a new license.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?
The Washington Department of Licensing recognizes the importance of spreading the word on road regulations. Thus, they have made their Washington Driver Guide easily accessible for those studying to become first time drivers. To access the drivers license guide, click here.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

How can I renew my drivers license?
There are three ways to renew drivers license documents in Washington:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In person

Online

Drivers between the ages of 24 and 70 years old can renew online through License eXpress. The digital system will ask applicants to provide:

  • An active email address.
  • Credit card information for drivers license renewal fee.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number.
  • Your Washington drivers license number.

By Mail

If you are out-of-state and are not eligible to renew online, fill out the Driver License Renewal Request While Out-of-State form and submit it to a DOL office, along with payment, to renew. On the other hand, those residents who are in state and received a renewal letter simply have to follow the instructions included in the notice.

In Person

The final option for renewing drivers license credentials is to visit a local driver licensing office. Drivers who choose this method must provide their current license to drive in WA, pass a vision test, have a new photo taken and pay the applicable renewal fee in order to complete the transaction.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

How do I apply for a drivers license?
In order to apply for drivers license documentation in Washington, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Go to a local driver licensing office to complete your application.
  2. Provide the following information:
    • Proof of ID:

o Learners permit

o Passport

  • Washington residential street address
  • Social Security Number
  1. Pass a written knowledge exam (if you do not have a driving permit).
  2. Pass a vision test.
  3. Take the driving test at a testing location
  4. Pay the application and issuance fees.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

How do I get a hardship license?
The state of Washington offers two types of restricted licenses to individuals facing drivers license suspension. These include the Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) and the Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL). The process to obtain either of these credentials is as follows:

  1. Install an ignition interlock device (only for IIL).
  2. Obtain proof of financial responsibility, such as SR22 insurance.
  3. Fill out a Restricted Driver License Application form.
  4. Pay the applicable fee:
    • $150 if alcohol or drug-related suspension
    • $75 if not alcohol or drug-related

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
Members of the military who are stationed out-of-state can still apply for a WA drivers license replacement by mailing in a completed Driver License Replacement Request While Out-of-State form. In addition, these applicants must also send in a check or money order made payable to the DOL in the amount of $20.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I obtain a duplicate license?
There are three options for obtaining a drivers license replacement in Washington. You can either apply online, in person or by mail.

Online

To apply online, simply visit the DOL s License eXpress website and provide the last four digits on your Social Security Number, an active email address and a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card for payment. Your receipt of this transaction will serve as a temporary driving credential, until the permanent card arrives.

One thing to keep in mind is that only certain individuals are allowed to apply online. You cannot use the License eXpress system if:

  • Your driving license will expire within three months.
  • You have moved out of the state of WA.
  • Your name has changed from the one featured on the license.
  • You are trying to replace a CDL.
  • You are less than 18 years of age.
  • Your record shows unpaid fines, fees or suspensions.

In Person

To replace drivers license documentation in person, one must visit a local licensing office and bring:

  • Glasses or contact lenses, if necessary, to take the vision test.
  • Proof of identity, either one primary or two secondary forms of ID.
  • Payment for the $20 fee.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I reinstate after a revocation as a Habitual Traffic Offender?
In order to reinstate revoked drivers license credentials, Washington residents must wait until the end of their revocation period to begin the reinstatement process, wherein they will be required to:

  • Pay the reissue fee at a local licensing office.
  • Pay off driver licensing fees and all fines.
  • File SR22 insurance for three years, depending on the violations.
  • Install an Ignition Interlock Device for at least 6 months, depending on the violations.

In addition, drivers can choose to call for a stay hearing or a reinstatement hearing, in certain instances.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

How do I reinstate my suspended license?
The process for reinstating drivers license credentials varies depending on the severity of the offense originally committed. The standard process involves waiting for the suspension period to conclude and then following steps below:

  1. Visit a local driver licensing office.
  2. Show proof of financial responsibility (SR22 insurance).
  3. Pay the reissue fee.
    • $150 if alcohol or drug-related
    • $75 if not alcohol or drug-related
  4. Pay the licensing fee.

If charged with a DUI, offenders will also need to pay additional fines and possibly serve community service/jail time.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
Military members that are stationed outside of the state of Washington are not required to go through WA drivers license renewal while away, as long as they meet one of the below criteria:

  • He or she is a member of the armed forces or National Guard and is on active duty.
  • He or she is the spouse or dependent of an active military member.
  • He or she is a reservist that has been called to serve for 180 days or longer.

As long as the military member is on active duty, their Washington driving license will remain valid.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?
In addition to bringing proof of identity and paying the WA drivers license copy fee, non-US citizens must also provide proof of legal presence in the country. Acceptable proofs include:

  • Permanent Resident Cards
  • Temporary I-551 stamps on foreign passports.
  • Employment Authorization cards.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?
If a driver is out-of-state when they lose their license, the easiest way to resolve the problem is to apply for a Washington drivers license replacement online. Simply provide an active email address, credit card information and the last four digits of your SSN, and be sure to give your current mailing address so that it arrives in the proper location.

To be sure that you are eligible for replacing your license online, verify that you adhere to the following criteria:

  • Your driving record does not show any unpaid fines, fees or license suspensions.
  • Your license does not expire within three months.
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You are not replacing a CDL.
  • You have not changed your name from what appears on the credential.
  • You have not replaced your license in the last 12 months.
  • You have not moved out of Washington.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?
When one goes to apply for drivers license documentation, a Department of Licensing representative will administer a vision screening to make sure that the driver can see well enough to operate a motor vehicle safely. In the event the driver does not pass the screening without eyeglasses, the DOL will place a restriction on the WA driving license.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

How long will I have a suspended license for not taking a chemical test?
Washington operates under the Implied Consent Law, which states that all drivers who operate a motor vehicle within the state have agreed to take breath/blood test to see the alcohol/drug content of their blood. Refusing to take this exam will result in a WA drivers license suspension of at least one year.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?
Drivers in the state of Washington are allowed to renew drivers license documentation up to one year in advance of license expiration. Renewal can be done in person, by mail, and in some cases, online.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?
Because the Department of Licensing does not require that drivers file a police report for a lost drivers license, the DOL will not waive the fee for replacing credentials. The standard fee for a WA drivers license replacement is $20.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?
No, there is no age limit for renewing drivers license credentials in Washington. As long as you are a licensed resident of the state, you are eligible to renew. However, there is one limitation to renewing online. Only those between the ages of 24 and 70 have this opportunity.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?
When applying for a duplicate drivers license in Washington, the updated license will be mailed to the address that the Department of Licensing has on file. If you want it to be mailed to a different address, because you moved or are out of state, be sure to stipulate this when applying.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?
Seniors receive the same treatment as all other drivers when it comes to renewing a license to drive in WA. It is their responsibility to renew driving credentials up to one year in before they expire, and seniors have three ways in which they may do so:

  • Online
  • In person
  • By mail

During renewal, seniors will be required to:

  • Provide their current driving license.
  • Pass a vision exam (or show proof of acceptable vision).
  • Pay the renewal fee.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

What are some violations that may constitute in a suspended license?
There are a number of driving violations that may result in a driver being slapped with drivers license suspension in WA. Some of the most common transgressions include:

  • Driving under the influence.
  • Incurring too many traffic tickets.
  • Driving without a license.
  • Operating a vehicle without auto insurance.
  • Driving recklessly.

Additionally, there are also non-driving-related reasons for suspension, including not appearing in court and not paying child support.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?
Motor vehicle owners who are caught operating a car with a suspended drivers licensewill receive an extension on their suspension period. In addition, they will also face additional fines for ignoring their mandate to stay off the roads.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?
The standard fee for replacing drivers license documents in Washington is $20. This is the price for a standard drivers license replacement, as well as an enhanced replacement. In addition, this cost also extends to military members who have lost their license.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

What are the reinstatement fees I will have to pay for a suspended license?
In addition to licensing, traffic ticket and court fees (if applicable), suspended drivers must also pay a reissue fee in order to reinstate suspended drivers license documents. The fee for alcohol and drug-related charges is $150. For charges that are not associated with drugs or alcohol, the reissue fee is only $75.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

What are the suspensions eligible for a hardship license?
The Washington DOL provides two restricted licenses to those whose credentials have been suspended: the Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL) and the Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL). To obtain an IIL, the arrest or conviction must have been one of the following:

  • Reckless driving
  • Vehicular assault or homicide involving drugs or alcohol
  • DUI
  • Physical control involving drugs or alcohol

The ORL license is stricter in who is accepted. Drivers can only obtain this suspended drivers license alternative if they meet the following criteria:

They were not convicted of vehicular homicide or assault in the seven years that preceded the incident.

Their drivers license suspension was NOT for:

  • DUI.
  • Vehicular homicide or assault.
  • Being a minor in possession.
  • Physical control.
  • Teen license violations.
  • Not paying child support.
  • Fraud.
  • Breaking too many road rules with an intermediate license.
  • Medical/vision reasons.
  • Being a Habitual Traffic Offender.
  • Violating a probation ordered by court.
  • Failing to qualify on a medical/vision/driving exam.
  • Failing to undergo dependency treatment (alcohol/chemical).
  • Canceling SR22 insurance.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?
All residents are required to pass a driving test in order to get drivers license documents. In the event an applicant fails the driving test on their first try, he or she must retake the exam. Simply contact the testing location to find out when you can take the driving test again and study accordingly.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?
Getting drivers license credentials can only be done if an applicant provides all of the necessary documentation that is required by the WA Department of Licensing. These documents include:

  • Proof of identity:
    • Drivers license from another state
    • Learners permit
    • US Passport
  • Social Security Number.
  • Washington residential street address.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?
The documentation necessary to renew license credentials varies based on the renewal method chosen. If renewing online, you will need your drivers license and Social Security Number. By mail, drivers must provide a Driver License Renewal Request While Out-of-State form, and in person, they must present their current license and proof of residence or name change, if necessary.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?
Documentation must only be presented when one chooses to apply for a duplicate drivers license in person at a licensing office. Furthermore, the only document that one must bring is proof of identity. Either one primary or two secondary proofs of ID will suffice.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?
The Washington Department of Licensing takes into account a wide variety of its drivers license applicants. Thus, it offers its driving guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Japanese. As for the languages you can choose between when taking the written exam, it is recommended that prospective drivers contact the DOL at (360) 902-3900 for more information.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?
Residents can still renew drivers license documentation after their license expires. However, if they wait more than 60 days to renew credentials, they will be charged a $10 late fee, in addition to the renewal fee (which varies based on whether it is a standard or enhanced drivers license).

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?
If a resident does not receive their renewed drivers license within 30 days of their renew license application, the DOL should be contacted at the following email address:drivers@dol.wa.gov. Before such time passes, it is recommended to simply wait, as the delivery time for renewed licenses varies.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?
All prospective drivers in the state of Washington are required to take a variety of exams before they can legally get behind the wheel of a car. These include:

  • A vision test, to make sure the driver sees well enough to safely operate a vehicle.
  • A written knowledge test, so that the driver knows all of the state s road regulations and signs.
  • A driving test, so that the applicant is familiar with the mechanics of driving before he or she is given a WA drivers license.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

What type of noncommercial license will I need?
Regarding the different types of drivers licenses, the residents of Washington have two non-professional options to choose from. they can either apply for a standard driving license or an enhanced license, which is only available for US citizens and provides more identity protection.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

When can I reinstate my license after it has been suspended?
The length of the WA drivers license suspension period varies depending on the nature of the offense. You can find a breakdown of common periods below:

  • Reckless driving conviction: 30-day suspension
  • Six moving violations in 12 months: 60-day suspension
  • DUI arrest: 90 days to two years
  • DUI conviction: 90 days to four years

In terms of reinstating suspended drivers license credentials for a non-driving-related issue, such as not appearing in court or paying child support, the suspension period will end as soon as the driver satisfies the payment/appearance requirements.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

When will I need to renew my license?
Since August 11, 2014, the length of validity for a standard drivers license has been extended from five years to six. Thus, Washington drivers license renewal must take place every six years. In addition, drivers have the option of renewing their license up to one year in advance of when it expires.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?
Once a driver has submitted their application for a drivers license copy, they can expect their new credential to arrive in two to four weeks. In the event that the Washington drivers license duplicate does not get there within 45 days, it is recommended that they contact the DOL at drivers@dol.wa.gov.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Washington Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?
If a driver in Washington has accumulated a number of tickets, there is a good chance that he or she is nearing a drivers license suspension. The easiest way to check is to obtain your personal driving record. This document will show the status of the drivers license and all committed violations. In addition, the Department of Licensing will mail out a notification letter to any driver whose license is about to be suspended, revoked or canceled.

For more information: Suspended License Information for Washington

Where can I get a new drivers license?
There are two places that an applicant can visit to obtain a license to drive in Washington. The first option is to go to a local driver licensing office with all of the necessary documents and payment. The alternative is to get drivers license credentials online. As long as you have a photo learners permit and have never received any driving violations or suspensions, the online option will be available to you.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Washington

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?
If performing your Washington drivers license renewal online or by mail, passing a vision test is not required. However, if are not eligible to apply in these ways and must go to a licensing office in person, then you will be required to pass a vision test for a successful renewal.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?
Yes, all drivers in the state of Washington should receive a WA drivers license renewal notice by mail. This notice will detail what renewal methods are available to the recipient, including online, by mail and in person.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Washington