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How to Renew a Driver's License in Washington

Drivers License Online Services Guide

Washington Drivers License Renewal

Learning how to renew drivers license in Washington is a mandatory procedure for all drivers to legally operate vehicles in the state. You are encouraged to renew WA drivers license before it expires with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). When renewing drivers license, WA residents have several methods available, including in person, online or using their License eXpress account, and by mail. Should you wish for a license renewal and do not have the information needed, continue reading below.

How To Renew Your WA Driver's License

Renew Washington Drivers License

Note: Your Washington drivers license expiry date is the same as your date of birth. Locate it on the front of your current drivers license.

When renewing drivers license in Washington, applicants must first read the renewal notice carefully, and find information on whether they are eligible for a Washington DMV license renewal online, by mail or in person. Drivers of all ages are encouraged to visit a local WA DMV office and ask for a renewal in person. In case you are younger than 24, or older than 70 years of age, some restrictions may apply regarding online drivers license renewal. Since the notice will say when your next renewal period is, you must contact the nearest DMV location beforehand, provided you do not receive the renewal form on time. Your residence address is stated on your drivers license, so make sure it is regularly updated to avoid any difficulties. Minors applying to renew their WA drivers license will obtain a driving license in a vertical format.


The Washington drivers license renewal period recently changed to six years for most applicants. In order to renew your DMV drivers license in WA, you will be charged a fee in the amount of $9 per year, or $54 for six years. Drivers should submit the renewal application one year prior to expiration, or 60 days upon expiry date. In case you are more than 60 days late when renewing driving licenses, you must pay a $10 late fee. The WA DOL allows residents who are currently out of state to extend the expiration date for 12 months at a cost of $5. Be sure you are familiar with the different payment options applicable to the manner in which you apply. Since fees are subject to change, contact your nearest WA DMV location for an exact amount.

When To Renew Your Washington Driver's License

Drivers in Washington have the option to renew drivers license either one year before or 60 days after the expiration date. Note that your WA DMV drivers license expires on your birthday. If the drivers license renewal is conducted within the appointed period, the WA DOL will not charge any extra fees. The State Department of Licensing may randomly select some drivers to receive a less-than-six-year WA license to drive in the interest of making the transition as easy as possible.

Expired License

The WA DMV license renewal date corresponds with the applicant's date of birth. Be sure to make all necessary renewal changes within the allotted period of time, otherwise you will be penalized if caught driving with an expired drivers license. Vehicle operators with a WA driving license that has been expired for more than 60 days will be required to pay a $10 late fee in addition to the renewal amount. Should you not proceed to apply for a DMV license renewal within six years after expiration, you will not be allowed to renew. In such case, drivers must obtain a new WA driver's license and may need to provide a proof of identity as well.

Temporary Permits

Drivers in Washington who apply for an online drivers license renewal will receive a temporary permit. Once applicants complete the procedure to renew their driving license online, they will need to provide an email address and print temporary WA drivers license. Your temporary will not have a photo, and you cannot use it for identification. If you need one with your photograph, you will be required to visit the nearest WA DMV location.

Requirements To Renew A Washington License

When renewing drivers licenses in Washington, you must study the instructions given on your renewal notice. Once you do so, submit the required documents to the local DMV branch. Requirements for a WA driving license renewal vary depending on the manner in which drivers apply (online, by mail, or in person). Drivers of all ages are eligible to visit the nearest office and hand over the documents necessary for renewal. In-person drivers license renewal applicants must pass the vision screening and have a new photo taken as well. For further information on requirements to renew a WA license to drive read the relevant sections below.

CT Drivers License Online Renewal

In order to renew drivers license online in Washington, drivers must first see whether they are eligible for this renewal method. Note that only applicants who are between 24 and 70 years of age can apply for an online drivers license renewal. If you are out of this range, you must visit the local WA DMV office and file your application in person. WA online renewals require you to first visit the official WA DOL website and check if you are qualified, giving the following information:

  • Your WA driver's license number.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your eye color as shown on your current WA license to drive.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).

In case drivers are eligible to do so, they need to provide an email address and a printer for the temporary WA license to drive. You will need to arrange payment for the online driving license renewal fee as well. The state DOL allows applicants to renew drivers licenses in Washington using their License eXpress (LX) account (provided they have one). No additional cost applies to register or use LX. If you want to save some time when renewing WA drivers licenses, then login to your LX account and use the service to renew. If stated in the renewal notice, drivers may have the option for a drivers license renewal by mail.

Renewing Your WA Drivers License In-Person

A drivers license renewal in Washington can be obtained by all applicants in person. You can renew WA drivers licenses personally provided you appear at the nearest WA DMV office and complete the following steps:

  • Have your current WA driver's license in hand.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Have your photo taken.
  • Pay the renewal fee using credit/debit card or cash/check.

Since certain WA DMV locations only accept cash or check as a form of payment, be sure to check this information when renewing your drivers license at the office.

Note: WA DMV branches will charge an additional vendor fee for in-office credit/debit card payments.

Out-of-State Drivers License Renewal

Renewing drivers licenses by mail is an option to drivers stationed outside of Washington, unless their licenses to drive is suspended, cancelled or revoked. You can apply for a WA drivers license renewal in the following case:

  • You have a valid Social Security Number.
  • You do not intend to return to the state one or more years after your Washington drivers license expiry date.

Once you fulfill the requirements, you can mail the Drivers License Renewal Request While Out-of-State form together with a check or money order to the state DOL. Since your WA DMV license renewal by mail will not have your photo or signature, it will not be valid for identification, only for driving.

Out-of-State Military Renewals

When renewing drivers licenses in Washington, the state DOL does not apply strict requirements regarding military personnel and their spouses or dependents. You will not be obliged to renew WA drivers licenses for the length of the military service if you are:

  • An active member of the armed forces.
  • A member of the National Guard.
  • A reservist called to duty for 180 days or more.
  • A spouse or a dependent of the person on active duty.

Typically, the WA DMV office will issue an extended driving license with the word "military" in place of the expiration date. The license to drive will then be valid for 90 days after honorable discharge, unless it has been suspended, cancelled or revoked in any jurisdiction.

Note: "Military" driving licenses issued to reservists called to duty or their spouses and dependents will remain in effect only during active duty.

Drivers License Extensions

If you are unable renew your WA drivers license and you are currently out of state, you can obtain a 12-month driving license extension. In order to extend your driving license in Washington, you will need to complete a Driver License Extension Request, and mail the form with the money order or a check to the WA Department of Licensing. Note that a fee in the amount of $5 will be charged for this service. Your extension will begin on your driver's license date of expiry. Drivers in Washington must carry the extension form with their expired drivers license.

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