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Steps to getting your first license: 18 and over

How to get a new Washington (WA) driver license

  1. Find out if you can pre-apply online.
    • You can pre-apply, if:
      • You’re a WA resident with a street address, 18 or older, never had a WA driver license, instruction permit, or ID card. Pre-apply online will save you time at a driver licensing office where you finish the application.
    • You can’t pre-apply, if:
      • You’re not a resident, have other address issues, have or have had a WA driver license, instruction permit, or ID card. Apply at a driver licensing office, or
      • To apply for an Enhanced card, visit a EDL/EID office.
    • You may be able to pre-apply, if:
  2. Visit a driver licensing office to finish or start your application. Bring the following with you:
    1. Proof of identity.
    2. WA residence street address.
    3. Social Security number (mandatory to help enforce child support laws).
      • You don’t need to show the card. We’ll still be able to verify it.
      • If you don’t have a Social Security number, you must verify your WA residence address before you can proceed.
    4. Pay the fees.
  3. Pass a knowledge test at a training and testing location then schedule a drive test. Additional fees may apply.
  4. Pass a vision screening.
  5. If you plan to practice driving, apply for an instruction permit.
  6. Pass the drive test at a training and testing location. Additional fees may apply.
  7. Get your license:
    • Online. If you have a WA photo instruction permit and don’t have any driving violations or license suspension/revocations.
    • or
    • At a driver licensing office.

When will I get my license?

You’ll get your temporary license:

  • In an office - before you leave.
  • or
  • Online - When you print your receipt (temporary license).

We’ll mail your permanent license within 7–10 days. If you don’t receive it within 30 days, please go to a driver licensing office.

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