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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. Decide if you would like to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. Visit LifeCenter Northwest for more information.
  7. Pass the drive test at a training and testing location. Additional fees may apply.
  8. 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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Access Washington – official state government website