How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License in Washington
A CDL renewal must be performed in Washington once every six years in order to retain the ability to operate commercial vehicles. WA CDL requirements for renewal is different than that of a standard driver’s license. Therefore, it is important to review the requirements that you must meet in order to complete your renewal, how you can perform your renewal, the fees that you can expect to pay and any additional steps that you may face if you have a hazardous material endorsement. While a CDL expiration grace period is in effect in Washington, it is better to stay informed on the renewal process and avoid the expiration of your license altogether.
In order to answer, “What do you need to renew your CDL license in Washington?” it is important to familiarize yourself with the renewal process, including any documents you may be able to complete ahead of time in order to shorten your wait at the DMV, as well as determine whether or not you may be eligible to complete an online renewal.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Washington
A CDL renewal must be completed in Washington once every six years. A renewal notice is sent shortly before your current license is set to expire. However, you may not receive this notice unless you notify your local DMV of any changes to your mailing address.
You need not wait to renew until you have received your renewal notice. However, as renewals are accepted up to one year prior to the expiration date of your current commercial driver’s license.
The CDL expiration grace period in Washington is six months following the expiration of your CDL. However, you will not be permitted to operate a vehicle with an expired license. If you do not renew during or before the grace period, you will face a $10 late fee and additionally, you may be required to complete all of your CDL and endorsement knowledge tests and driving exams.
If your license remains expired for six years or longer, you will need to start over in obtaining a standard driver’s license, commercial learners permit and CDL.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Washington
Washington CDL renewal requirements include additional testing that must be completed, depending on the type of CDL that you possess and when you renew. If you have a hazardous material endorsement, you will be required to successfully pass the knowledge exam for that endorsement with each renewal.
If you miss the CDL expiration grace period, you may also be required to successfully complete all of your knowledge and driving exams related to your CDL and the endorsements that you hold.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Washington?
When you renew a commercial drivers license in Washington, you will be asked to provide proof of lawful permanent residency or United States citizenship, if you have not already done so. Additionally, you will be required to complete a self-certification document, if your self-certification needs to be changed.
Before performing a CDL renewal, it is important to review whether or not the address that the Washington DMV has on file for you. If it is incorrect, be sure to perform an address change with the DMV prior to requesting a renewal. You can do this either online or in person. Finally, you must complete a renewal application for your commercial driver’s license and pay the renewal fees.
CDL Renewal Process in Washington
When you renew a commercial drivers license in Washington, you may be able to complete your renewal both in person at a participating DMV or online, depending on whether or not you meet additional eligibility requirements. Therefore, it is important to review your options in order to better prepare for the renewal process as well as determine the renewal method that provides you with the greater level of convenience.
How to Renew Your Commercial Driver’s License Online in Washington
When performing a CDL renewal in Washington, you may be able to skip the line at the DMV and perform your renewal online. Generally, an online application is considered to be the most convenient way to apply for a renewal as this form of renewal can be performed on your own time and from the comfort of your own home.
You may only renew a commercial drivers license online if you do not need to do any of the following:
Upgrade your CDL to a higher class, add an endorsement or remove a restriction.
Renew a hazardous material endorsement (HME) as a knowledge test must be completed at the DMV in order to renew.
Provide the WA DMV with proof of lawful permanent residency or U.S. citizenship.
Change your self-certification.
How to Renew Your Commercial Driver’s License in Person in Washington
If you are not eligible for an online CDL renewal in Washington, you will need to apply for the renewal in person at a Washington DMV location. When applying in person, the DMV gives some tips to reducing your potential wait time, including:
The best days to visit the DMVs are weekday mornings and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Avoid the busiest times at the DMV, such as during the lunch hour, the first day the office is open following a federal holiday or weekdays after 3 p.m.
Washington CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
If you are wondering, “How long is a CDL permit good for in Washington?” then it is worth knowing that a commercial learners permit (CLP) will only remain valid for 180 days from the date the permit is issued. However, should you wish to renew that permit, you may do so at your local DMV within 30 days from the date that the CLP is set to expire.
If the CLP expires before you renew or successfully obtain a CDL, you will need to obtain a new CLP, should you still wish to work towards obtaining a commercial drivers license. It is also worth knowing that Washington requires CLP holders to have the permit for a minimum of 14 days before attempting skills tests for a CDL.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Washington
If your WA CDL renewal includes the renewal of a hazardous material endorsement, you will need to complete additional step before attempting to renew your license. Your HME clearance will only remain valid for a period of five years before it must be renewed.
To renew a commercial drivers license hazardous material endorsement, you must contact the TSA to submit an application for a federal background check. You can either do this online or by calling the TSA at 855-347-8371. After you submit your application, you must visit a TSA hazmat fingerprint location to be fingerprinted.
This process can be lengthy and, therefore, the Washington DMV recommends that you begin the federal background check application at least six months prior to the expiration of your current CDL. After you have been approved by the TSA, you will be able to submit an application for renewal for your CDL at your local DMV. As stated previously, you cannot renew online if you have a HME on your CDL.
CDL Renewal Fees in Washington
In Washington, the CDL renewal cost is $156.00 for a six year CDL license. This amount includes any endorsements that you may need to renew. However, this amount does not include the fees for the TSA background check and fingerprinting if you need to renew a hazardous material endorsement.
TSA fees are $86.50 and must be paid upon your application for the background check with the TSA. Should you need to apply for a commercial license permit, the cost for a CLP is $40.00.
Washington CDL Renewal Forms
- Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
- CDL Intrastate Medical Waiver Application
- Medical Examination Report Form
- Medical Examiner's Certificate for Commercial Driver Medical Certification
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Renew, Replace, or Get a Duplicate CDL from DOL.WA.gov
- Commercial License Permit (CLP) from DOL.WA.gov
- Hazardous Materials Endorsement (Hazmat) from DOL.WA.gov
- Driver Licensing Fees from DOL.WA.gov