Drivers License Replacement in Washington
If your license has been recently lost or stolen, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. Without a valid license, you will not be able to drive legally in your state or present a valid form of identification when necessary. The two most common methods of replacing your lost or stolen license are visiting your local licensing location in person or applying for a replacement online. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to replace your license or ID by mail. However, the fastest and most efficient way to replace your driving credential is online. To learn how to replace your license online, you can refer to our helpful drivers license guide. In addition to helping you through the replacement process, our guide will also teach you how to renew and change the name or address on your license.
2. By Mail
Most states offer a mail-in application option to residents who have lost their license while out of the state. In most cases, military service members stationed outside of the state will also be able to apply for a replacement by mail. To apply, you will need to mail in a primary and secondary proof of identification, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form. You will also need to send proof of a residential address such as a deed, voter registration card or utility bill. Depending on your state, you will be required to provide any combination of the aforementioned documents, in addition to other documents and information. You will also need to keep in mind that it may take several weeks to obtain your replacement license, as mail can often be delayed or unreliable.
3. In Person at a DMV Office
Finally, you can replace your lost or stolen license at your local DMV or licensing office. You will be required to bring all the documents previously mentioned as proof of identification and residency. If you are uncomfortable mailing these important documents to the DMV, then an in-person visit is more secure. However, you may need to reschedule an appointment if you forget your passport, citizenship certificate, car title or any other documents that you are using as proof of identification or residency. Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your form, you will not be able to receive your replacement license or ID the same day you apply for it at the DMV.
A lost drivers license in Washington means motorists cannot show evidence of their driving privileges. Drivers who do not replace lost drivers license cards and continue to operate a vehicle may receive a traffic ticket if pulled over by a law enforcement officer. Since a license is often a cardholder’s primary form of identification, proving identity for day-to-day activities can become difficult with a missing card. Drivers will need to seek a replacement card in the event that theirs is lost or has been stolen. Likewise, cardholders need to request a duplicate if their information or photo is no longer legible or current.
Eligible Washington license holders can get copy of drivers license documentation online while others may submit a request by mail, in person or from out-of-state. Continue reading below to learn how to replace drivers license credentials in Washington.
When is a replacement drivers license required in Washington?
You will want to replace lost drivers license cards as well as cards that have been damaged. The written words on your copy of drivers license documentation should be legible and your picture should be recognizable. You should also request a replacement if any of the details on the card are obsolete, such as your appearance has drastically changed, you have had your name changed or you live at a different address. All drivers in Washington are responsible to submit a name correction and address change on drivers license records to ensure the department has up-to-date information on motorists with state-issued driving privileges.
How to Replace Your Drivers License Online in Washington
Washington drivers license replacement credentials can be obtained online. However, you may only get a drivers license copy online if you meet certain qualifications. To use online services, you must be 18 years of age or older and have no negative history with the DOT, such as outstanding tickets or a license suspension. Each licensed driver can use the online method to request a duplicate once every 12 months.
To apply for a replacement drivers license online, have your Social Security Number, credit card and working email address available. Keep in mind that if your credentials are within 90 days of expiration at the time of loss, then you should apply for an online drivers license renewal rather than request a replacement card.
How to Replace Your Drivers License by Mail in Washington
The process of replacing drivers license credentials by mail is a simple process. To get copy of drivers license credentials by mail, send in the completed application form, which should be filled out on the computer and then printed out on white paper. Sign the form and include payment when you mail the application to the address printed on the form.
Your duplicate drivers license will be returned to you in the mail but allow a few weeks of processing time. Getting a drivers license copy online is always the preferred method, especially in emergency situations.
How to Replace Your Washington Drivers License in Person
If for any reason you cannot obtain your drivers license copy online, you may apply for a copy in person at a WA driver licensing office. There are some downsides to this method, including the chance that you might have to wait a long time in line. Second, you will be issued a temporary card will not include your photo. A replacement drivers license with a photo will come in the mail within two to four weeks. The Washington State Department of Licensing suggests replacing drivers license in person before 3:00 p.m. on weekdays when the offices are not as busy.
Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Washington
You may be wondering, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license if I am out of state?” If you have a stolen or lost drivers license and you are in another state besides Washington, then credentials are available by mail. Documentation is available to out-of-state drivers whose license is in good standing and who will not be returning to Washington within 30 days. Motorists must also have a valid Social Security number on file. However, you cannot get a copy of a drivers license from out-of-state if you have an enhanced drivers license (EDL), commercial drivers license (CDL) or if your license is revoked, surrendered, canceled or suspended.
Additionally, the Washington State Department of Licensing defines license restrictions, including medical or vision certification. If you are required to submit medical certification to get your copy of drivers license credentials, include the appropriate form with your application. Examples are a Visual Examination Report form or a Physical Examination Report form, both of which can be found online.
You can replace drivers license credentials from out-of-state by completing the application form, making sure to answer all the questions to the best of your ability. Send the form along with payment for the DMV duplicate license fee and any supporting documents to the address printed on the form.
How to Report a Missing Drivers License in Washington
If you have been a victim of a stolen drivers license or believe your lost drivers license in WA was stolen, then you are required to apply for a replacement immediately. The WA Department of Licensing does not automatically place alerts on a lost drivers license application that indicates theft unless fraudulent activity is detected. If you become aware of fraudulent activity or become a victim of identity fraud due to someone illegally using your license, then report the issue immediately to a local law enforcement agency.
Washington Drivers License Replacement Fees
A WA replacement drivers license is provided for a fee of $20. An additional service fee will be applied when you request a copy of drivers license in person and pay with a credit card.
Some offices accept cash or check only, so check your local office’s policies before you go.