How to Renew a Motorcycle License in Washington
In Washington, a motorcycle license renewal must be completed before your current license and motorcycle endorsement expire. It is important to pay attention to the expiration date on your driver’s license so you know it is always active and valid. If you drive a motor vehicle or operate a motorcycle without an active license, law enforcement can issue you a violation, since it is against the law. This violation may result in additional consequences, such as fines or a license suspension.
It is important to review the process to renew a motorcycle license well before your current license and motorcycle endorsement expire. This can allow you to choose the renewal method you want to use and prepare for the fees that will be due when renewing. If you are a current motorcycle permit holder and your permit is nearing its expiration date, you should also learn how to renew it, if needed. You may need to renew motorcycle permit credentials so you can get more practice operating your motorcycle before you can complete the requirements to earn your endorsement. To learn more about the license renewal process, including the methods available and the fees you may be responsible for paying, read through the following sections.
When to Renew a Motorcycle License in Washington
You should begin renewing a motorcycle license in Washington, along with your motorcycle endorsement, before it expires. The expiration date on your drivers license may vary, since the state is currently working to change all new license renewal periods to six years. The previous renewal guidelines allowed drivers to renew their licenses for five years. Your expiration date will coincide with your birthday, but may be five or six years from the issue date. The Department of Licensing (DOL) will send out a renewal reminder six weeks before your license is set to expire.
You can renew a bike license one year before it is set to expire. It is your responsibility to keep track of the expiration date and begin the renewal process during this time period. You can renew your license up to 60 days after the expiration date with no penalty fee. However, keep in mind that if you drive a motor vehicle or operate a motorcycle with an expired license, you are breaking the law.
If you are currently serving in the military on active duty, you do not need to renew your license or motorcycle endorsement. Your driving privileges will remain active with the DOL if you are:
- A member of the National Guard or armed forces.
- The spouse or dependent of an active military member.
- A reservist who has been called to duty for 180 days or more.
If you need to renew a motorcycle permit, you must apply for your renewal within the 90-day period that your permit is active. By renewing your permit, you can allot yourself more time to practice operating your motorcycle before completing the mandatory education and testing requirements to earn your endorsement.
Eligibility for Motorcycle License Renewal in Washington
To meet the WA motorcycle renewal requirements and successfully complete a license renewal, your current license cannot be revoked or suspended. If you owe transaction fees to the DMV or have unpaid traffic tickets on file, you may also be denied a license renewal.
You will also not be eligible for a license and endorsement renewal if you:
- Attempt to renew more than one year before your license expires.
- Are not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Have let your license remain expired for six years or longer.
- Are no longer a Washington resident.
- Are not physically or mentally fit to drive a motor vehicle or operate a motorcycle.
- Do not pass the vision test.
Your renewal reminder letter will inform you if there are documents required to renew a motorcycle license that you must present in person at a DOL office. If you are required to complete your renewal in person, you must bring your current license or another form of identification with you. You are also required to change your address before your renewal, if applicable, and bring payment for renewal fees.
Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Motorcycle License in Washington
You will not be permitted to complete a motorbike license renewal in Washington if your license has been expired for six years or longer. In this case, you must re-apply for a new license with the DOL and take all required exams again.
If your license is currently revoked or suspended, you will also be unable to complete the renewal. If your license has been lost or stolen, you may be required to apply in person at a DOL office for a new license before it can be renewed. You will be required to provide identification and additional fees.
How to Renew a Washington Motorcycle License Online
Your first question may be “Can I renew my motorcycle license online in Washington?” The renewal notification letter indicates if you are eligible to complete the renewal process online. If you are authorized to complete your renewal using the online system, you should consider taking advantage of this option.
If you qualify to renew your license online, you do not need to visit a DOL office to renew your credentials. Instead, you must:
- Visit the License Express website.
- Create an account with a username and password.
- Provide your driver’s license number.
- Review your pre-filled account information, including driver’s license status, eligibility to renew online and mailing address.
- Complete all information.
- Provide payment for renewal fees.
- Print receipt and confirmation.
Your renewed bike license should be mailed to you in 30 days once you have completed the online renewal process. You can use your new License Express online account to check the status of your renewal and remain updated on your license’s expiration date and status.
How to Renew a Washington Motorcycle License by Mail
You can complete your motorcycle license renewal in WA if you are temporarily living out of state or out of the country. To send in your license renewal while out of state, you must:
- Download, print and complete the Out-of-State or Out-of-Country Renewal Request Form.
- Gather the renewal fees you owe in the form of a check or money order made payable to the “Department of Licensing.”
- Mail these items to:
Department of Licensing PO Box 9048 Olympia, WA 98507-9048
How to Renew a Washington Motorcycle License in Person
You can begin to research where to renew motorcycle license in Washington if your renewal notification indicates you must renew in person or if you prefer this renewal method. You may be required to renew your license in person if you:
- Are younger than 24 years of age and older than 70 years of age.
- Need to take an exam, such as a vision exam.
- Need a new photo taken.
You can find a list of driver’s licensing offices throughout the state on the DOL website. When you find an office in your area, review the office’s information so you can learn about the services offered and hours of operation. While most offices do not allow you to make a renewal appointment, you can check the current wait times at the office on the site before you go.
In most cases, the best time to visit an office to renew a motorcycle license is on weekday mornings, including Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. The busiest office times are generally during lunchtime and after 3 p.m. on weekdays. When you visit the office, you will be required to:
- Bring all required documents that are listed on your renewal notice.
- Bring your renewal notice and current driver’s license.
- Have your photo taken.
- Complete the vision screening.
- Pay the renewal fees.
Keep in mind that driver’s licensing offices open one hour later on Thursday mornings. Most offices will not allow you to apply for a renewal within one hour of closing time.
How to Renew a Motorcycle Permit in Washington
You can complete a WA motorcycle permit renewal if you have held your permit for 90 days but you need more time to practice operating your motorcycle or to complete the required education for an endorsement. You must renew your permit in person at a local DOL office and pay the renewal fee. Your permit will be renewed for another 90 days upon completion.
To qualify to renew a motorcycle permit, you cannot have held more than one permit in the past five years and you must have passed the knowledge exam less than 180 days ago. You can renew your permit twice. However, if you attempt to renew your permit for a third time, you must also bring proof that you are currently enrolled in a motorcycle training course. Keep in mind, your permit must be active at all times during the duration of your course.
Washington Motorcycle License Renewal Costs
The Washington motorcycle license renewal fee you must pay is dependent upon the type of license you want to renew and when you renew it. The fees you may be responsible for when renewing your license and motorcycle endorsement are as follows:
- License renewal with motorcycle endorsement: $84 for 6 Years
- Renew Enhanced Driver License (EDL) with motorcycle endorsement: $108 for 6 Years
- Additional fee due if more than 60 days late renewing: $10
- Renew motorcycle learner’s permit: $15 for 90 days
Once you have calculated how much it costs to renew a motorcycle license, you must choose an acceptable payment method. Most offices accept cash, check and the following credit or debit cards:
- American Express
Many offices charge an additional fee for using a credit or debit card to pay fees. When renewing online, you can pay your fees using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your checking account information.
Note: The Coulee Dam, Davenport, Friday Harbor, Forks, Goldendale, Newport, Republic, and South Bend offices only accept checks or cash payments.