Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
No, you are not. Riders have the option of enrolling in an approved rider training course, and taking the knowledge and written exams during this time, or simply taking the written and road skills tests by themselves.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Yes, you must always wear a helmet. In addition, riders with a motorcycle license are not allowed to wear novelty helmets. All helmets must by certified by the Washington Department of Transportation (DOT) and feature the DOT sticker on both the outside and inside of the helmet.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
No, you may not. The WA Department of Licensing requires all commercial drivers to apply for a renewed CDL license in person at a local licensing office. Once here, drivers will be asked to take a new medical exam (if necessary) and provide any updated information, such as their home address. Furthermore, if the driver is applying for a new endorsement, they will also be required to pass an additional knowledge exam.

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Washington

Can I take the DMV written test online?
No. The Washington Department of Licensing requires that all driving permit applicants take the written knowledge exam in person. The test can be taken at a testing location or a driver training school classroom. If you choose to take the exam at the training school, be sure to find out the amount of their additional examination fee.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
For personal reasons, a driver can operate a motor vehicle anywhere inside the United States, as long as they have a drivers license. However, to be able to operate a commercial vehicle anywhere in the US, one must possess an interstate Washington CDL license. This document allows drivers to drive between states, whereas the intrastate credential only gives them the ability to drive professionally in one area.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
Yes, you do. The only exception to the rule is if your two-wheel motorcycle or scooter is 50cc or smaller and has a maximum speed of 30 mph. In the event your scooter or moped exceeds either or both of these stipulations, then you must get a two-wheel motorcycle endorsement in Washington. On the other hand, if your two-wheel motorcycle or scooter comes with a stabilizing conversion kit installed, then you must apply for a three-wheel motorcycle endorsement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
Only drivers under the age of 15½ (15 at the minimum) are required to enroll indrivers ed in order to apply for a WA learners permit. Applicants who are 15½ to 17 years of age may simply take the written knowledge test and provide a parent s signature on their permit application. Drivers who are 18 or older only have to pass the written test.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
Currently, the state of Washington does not provide an option for adding a veteran designation to identification cards. However, legislation has been approved, which will allow for this designation to be put on credentials in the year 2017.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
The process for obtaining a commercial driving license in Washington is as follows. You must:

  1. Meet all the standard drivers license requirements.
  2. Complete the CDL license application and submit it in person to a licensing office.
  3. Pass the CDL knowledge test at a Department of Licensing testing center.
  4. Pass a vision test.
  5. Enroll in a commercial driversed course.
  6. Pass a road skills exam.
  7. Pay the licensing fees, which will vary based on the kind of license and endorsements you apply for.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
In order to apply for a learners permit in Washington, you must follow these steps:

  1. Drivers can pre-apply online to save time when they visit the DMV office.
  2. Complete the learning permit application at the office.
  3. Show proof of ID.
    • If under 18:
      • Parents must provide proof of ID and their relationship to the applicant.
      • Parents must sign an authorization form.
      • Parents can also fill out a notarized Parental Authorization Affidavit (DLE-520-003) form if they cannot come in person.
    • If 18 or older:
      • Bring proof of residence if you do not have a Social Security Number.
  1. Pass a vision test.
  2. Pass the written knowledge exam, unless you have a waiver.
  3. Pay the $25 fee (which may vary).

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
The Washington DOL offers two ways for applicants to get a motorcycle license endorsement. The first option is to complete a motorcycle safety course at an approved institution, pass the knowledge and road skills exams and bring proof of course completion to a local licensing office within 180 days.

Applicants also have the option of simply passing the knowledge and riding skills tests at an approved motorcycle training school and bringing the green score sheet to a licensing office within 180 days. As a note, a motorcycle learning permit is obtained by passing the knowledge test and bringing the pink score sheet to the licensing office.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
Residents can replace ID card documents in three ways: online, at a local driver licensing office or at a self-service station.

Online

If you have not renewed or replaced your identification card in the last 12 months, you can go online and pay the $20 replacement fee with a credit card to receive a WA ID card replacement within seven to ten days. Applicants will be asked to provide credit card information, an email address and the last four digits of their Social Security Number.

Driver Licensing Office

As long as you bring proof of ID and payment for the replacement fee, you can apply for a duplicate ID card at a licensing office. The card, with your new photo, will be mailed within seven to ten days.

Self-Service Station

Certain offices have self-service stations for your convenience, which employ the same service as replacing online. These can only be used if your ID card has not expired and your current address is on file with the Department of Licensing.

To apply, simply provide the necessary information, pay the fee, and your ID card replacement will be mailed within seven to ten days.

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

How do I renew my driving permit?
There is only one that a driver can renew a learners permit in Washington. They must go in person to a local driver licensing office and pay the $25 renewal fee. The renewed permit for driving will last for a period of one year.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

How do I renew my ID card?
Residents can renew ID card credentials online, if they receive a renewal letter from the DOL. Otherwise, they must go in person to a local driver licensing office with their current ID card and payment for the renewal fee.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
In order to renew the medical report on your CDL license, you must find a qualified medical examiner and have them complete a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form. Once you have done so, you will need to take the results to a local licensing office.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
Motorcycle riders must take the same steps as standard vehicle owners when it comes time to renew a WA motorcycle license. Applicants can either renew online, by mail or in person. When renewing in person at a local licensing office, you must do the following:

  1. Provide your current drivers license.
  2. Show proof of residence, if necessary.
  3. Show proof of name change, if applicable.
  4. Pass a vision test.
  5. Pay the renewal fees (for both the driving license and the motorcycle endorsement).
  6. Drivers who wait 60 days or more after their license has expired will be charged a late fee.

When applying by mail (if out-of-state), send a completed Driver License Renewal Request While Out-of-State form and a check or money order with payment to the Driver Licensing Services Office.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
The steps for applying for a motorcycle driving licenseas a member of the military depend on your situation. If you are not a resident of Washington but are stationed in the state on active military duty, then you must:

  1. Complete an approved training course at the military base.
  2. Apply for a standard Washington driving license.
  3. Provide proof of course completion to a licensing office within 180 days.

On the other hand, if you are a Washington resident that is stationed out-of-state, your requirements are as follows:

  1. You must pass a military motorcycle safety class or a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course.
    • If stationed in Idaho or Oregon, the course is known as a Basic Rider Training course.
  2. Mail in a written request for a WA motorcycle license, including the following information:
    • Current out-of-state mailing address
    • Current Washington residential address
    • Active email address.
    • Proof of military status as active.
    • A copy of your Washington driving license (both sides).
    • A copy of your course completion card (both sides).
      • Course completion card must be dated within 180 days of finishing the class.
    • Check or money order to the Department of Licensing.

The mailing address is:

Department of Licensing 301 E Wallace Kneeland Blvd, Ste 224 PMB 296 Shelton, WA 98584-2987

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
Each WA drivers permit is valid for the same amount of time. The length of validity in the state of Washington is one year.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
The amount of time you must wait to obtain your new Washington ID card varies. If you have just purchased an Enhanced ID card, it will arrive in the mail within three weeks. If you are renewing or replacing identification cards, they will be delivered within four weeks. Finally, if you simply purchased a standard identification card, one will be issued immediately.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

How often do I need to renew my CDL license?
A Washington commercial driving license must be renewed every five years. The process can be completed up to one year before the expiration of the license.

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Washington

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
To replace ID card credentials while out of state, Washington residents must apply online. The steps for WA ID card replacement are as follows:

  1. Provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your credit card information and your email address.
  2. Pay the $20 replacement fee.

Your new card, with the same photo, will be mailed within seven to ten days. You should contact the DOL if it does not arrive within 45 days. Also, remember to provide your current mailing address so that it goes to the right location.

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

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
Yes, there is. A driver must be at least 18 years of age to operate a commercial vehicle in Washington. If the prospective professional operator wants to apply for an interstate commercial drivers license, which would allow them to drive from state to state, they must be at least 21 years of age.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
In the state of Washington, all prospective riders must be at least 16 year of age when they apply for a motorcycle permit. Additionally, any applicant under the age of 18 must have parental consent and pass an approved motorcycle riding course before applying for a WA motorcycle endorsement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
Applicants seeking a license to drive commercial vehicles can also apply for various CDL endorsements. These include:

  • Hazardous Materials endorsement (Class H).
  • School Busendorsement (Class S).
  • Towing a Double or Triple Trailer endorsement (Class T).
  • Tank Vehicles endorsement (Class N).
  • Combination endorsement (Class X).
  • Passenger-Carrying Vehicle endorsement (Class P).

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
There are two prices associated with Washington DMV ID cards. This is because there are two options available to residents of the state. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Standard identification card: $54
  • Enhance identification card: $72

Of the two options, the enhanced ID card offers better identity protection, justifying the slightly higher price. Both cards are valid for a period of six years.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
During your time driving with a learning permit in Washington, you must log at least 50 hours of supervised training. This includes 10 hours of driving at night. The most important restriction to keep in mind is that a licensed supervisor must accompany you in the vehicle at all times, and he or she must have at least five years of licensed experience.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
As of the date January 30, 2014, all drivers with a CDL license are required to self-certify at a local licensing office. In addition, it is also required that these drivers obtain medical certification by having a qualified medical examiner fill out a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form. In the event one does not meet the medical requirements but still has a WA commercial drivers license and is stable, he or she can apply for a medical waiver for intrastate commercial driving.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
If you are charged with a violation and traffic ticket fines while only holding a learners permit, the consequences are as follows:

  • First violation (tickets or accidents): You and your parent/guardian will receive a warning letter.
  • Second violation: You will incur a six-month drivers license suspension (or until you reach 18).
  • Third violation: Your license will be suspended until you are 18.

For more information: Traffic Tickets and Violations in Washington

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
In order to obtain a motorcycle drivers license to operate a three-wheel motorcycle, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. They must complete a sidecar/trike safety course at an approved institution.
  2. They must bring proof of course completion to a licensing office within 180 days.
  3. They must pass the knowledge and driving exams administered by the training school, and bring their green score sheet to a licensing office within 180 days.

Additionally, riders under 18 must complete an approved rider course and obtain parental consent.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
Applicants will not be allowed to receive a driving permit if they do not provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of ID:
    • Passport
    • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Proof of parent s ID, their relationship to the applicant and an authorization form (if applicant is under 18)
  • Proof of WA residency (if applicant is 18 or over but does not have a Social Security Number):
    • Utility bills
    • College or university documents
  • A test waiver (if enrolled in drivers ed)
  • A completed learners permit application

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
Each applicant must present a variety of documents in order to apply for a motorcycle license endorsement. These include:

  • Your current drivers license.
  • Proof that you passed the written and road skills exams.
    • If you took a training course, you would bring the course completion card.
    • If you simply took the exams, you would bring the green score sheet.
  • Riders under 18 must provide proof of parental consent.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
All motorcycle operators in the state of Washington are required to pass two exams in order to receive a motorcycle driving license. These exams are the written knowledge test and the riding skills exam.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Washington

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
If convicted of driving under the influence in WA, your CDL license will be disqualified. The disqualification periods are as follows, based on the situation in question:

  • One year, if it is your first incident
  • Three years, if it is your first incident, and it occurred while transporting hazardous materials
  • Lifetime disqualification, if it your second incident or more

As long as you have not been disqualified for life, you must re-qualify by passing the CDL knowledge and driving exams, passing separate tests for endorsements and paying the $20 re-qualification fee.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What is an ID card?
A Washington DMV ID card is a photo ID that acts as a primary proof of identity for non-drivers, because it features one s name, address and date of birth. The WA Department of Licensing recommends that any resident who does not have a driving license, get ID card credentials.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

What is the passing score for a written test?
The written knowledge exam for a driving permit in Washington consists of 25 questions. These questions focus on traffic signs and road regulations. In order to pass the written test, applicants must answer 20 of the 25 questions correctly.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
In order to obtain a permit for driving in Washington, applicants must pass a vision test and a written knowledge exam, which combines traffic signs with road regulations. However, if a prospective driver passes a driversed class before they apply for a permit, they will receive a written test waiver.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
In order to apply for a CDL, one must pass a written knowledge test, focusing on regulations, and a physical driving test. In addition, in order to gain CDL endorsements, drivers must take additional knowledge exams.

For more information: Washington Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

When does my ID card expire?
As of August 11, 2014, the periods of validity for most licenses have changed from five years to six. Thus, each Washington ID card, both standard and enhanced, is valid for a period of six years.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
While residents of Washington have the opportunity to pre-apply for WA identification cards online, each applicant must go in person to a local licensing office in order to complete their application.

For more information: How to apply for a Washington Identification Card

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign for a learners permit applicant under the age of 18. The Department of Licensing will not allow a prospective driver to submit their application without such a party present.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Washington