Getting a learners permit in Washington is a procedure that can be completed through the state Department of Licensing (DOL). In general, a drivers permit is a restricted driving credential issued to novice drivers at the start of their driving careers. Furthermore, it is important to note that while getting a permit license is a mandatory step for drivers who are younger than 18 years of age, adult motorists can also apply for one if they believe that they need to refine their driving skills.

In order to successfully obtain a learning license in WA, novice drivers will have to meet several types of requirements, such as fulfilling the age criteria, passing the applicable tests and submitting certain documents. Moreover, be mindful that the requirements for a permit credential may vary to a certain degree depending on the applicant’s age. Learn more about the Washington drivers learners permit and its restrictions by reading the following sections.

Washington Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines

The state DOL will issue a learners permit in Washington only to applicants who meet the full set of eligibility criteria. The list of standard drivers permit requirements is as follows:

  • You are at least 15-and-a-half years of age. If you are still only 15 years of age and would like to begin your application process, you must be enrolled in a state-approved driver training school.
  • You are a state resident and can prove your legal status in the U.S.
  • You are mentally and physically capable of operating a motor vehicle.
  • You have the theoretical knowledge needed to safely operate a vehicle.
  • You have the supporting paperwork and fee payments that apply to your situation.
  • You have parental consent to apply for a learning permit, if younger than 18 years of age.

One of the more important learners permit requirements in WA is collecting the documents needed to prove your identity, legal U.S. status, date of birth, state residency and Social Security Number. You can choose from several options as your primary identification proof. For instance, you may submit documentation such as a passport or birth certificate, which include your name, date of birth, photograph and signature.

To finalize your driving permit application paperwork, you will need to provide proof of your Social Security Number. In the event that you have never been issued one or do not qualify for an SSN, you will need to fill out and sign a declaration stating those circumstances.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you will also need to submit proof of your state residential address, such as a utility bill or credit card statements.

How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Washington

Drivers wondering where to get a learners permit in Washington must note that they will be required to submit an in-person request through a local DOL office. That way, their paperwork can be immediately verified by the department.

You can also expedite the application process by pre-applying online via the department’s website. The standard steps to apply for learner permit include:

  1. Sign up for a driver training course if you are between 15 and 15-and-a-half years of age. You will need to send the course provider your confirmation ID number, so that your test waiver can be forwarded to the DOL.
  2. Visit a nearby DOL office.
  3. Fill out the corresponding application form. If you are younger than 18 years of age, your parent or legal guardian must sign the DOL Parental Authorization Affidavit.
  4. Pass the knowledge test, if you have not completed a driver training program.
  5. Complete the eye test and the medical screening.
  6. Have your photograph taken.
  7. Submit the supporting paperwork.
  8. Pay for the applicable licensing fees.

Once the state DOL verifies your WA learners permit eligibility, it will issue you a renewal permit license with a one-year validity period. You can utilize this learning license to practice driving in controlled situations, which will help you prepare for the official WA driving license exam.

The Washington Drivers Permit Test

Passing the DMV permit test in Washington is a mandatory step when applying for a drivers permit. Depending on whether or not you have enrolled in a driving school, you will either take the drivers permit test with your driver training provider or at a Department of Licensing branch.

In any case, you will have to schedule your knowledge test at a location that provides the department’s testing services. The exam includes 40 multiple-choice questions covering areas such as road rules and regulations and safe driving practices. To pass the WA learners permit test, you will have to answer correctly at least 32 questions.

While studying with the driver’s manual is the most effective method of preparing for the written exam for a learners permit, you may also supplement your study time with other strategies. For instance, you can obtain a drivers permit practice test, which will reflect the structure of the official exam.

Washington Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions

Holders of Washington learners permits will be required to abide by certain restrictions when operating their vehicles with this license. For instance, one of the more important driving permit rules relates to the fact that you can only operate your motor vehicle if you are accompanied by a licensed motorist who has held a license for five years or more.

This experienced driver must sit beside you in the front of the car. Additional WA learners permit rules may also apply, such as only being able to drive during a certain period of the day and carrying only adult passengers.

Washington Learner Permit Fees

The last step when getting a learning license in Washington is paying the applicable licensing fees. The learner permit fee currently amounts to $25 for a one-year credential.

In order to renew your drivers permit, you will have to pay the same $25 fee. Conversely, replacing your permit costs $20.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 5 2019.

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