Steps to getting your first license: 18 and over

How to get a new Washington (WA) driver license

You have 4 options if you're over 18 and getting your first driver license:
Option How to do it
Take a driver training course: Sign up for and complete a driver training course, get a permit, then take and pass the drive test.
Learn from a licensed driver with 5 years of licensed driving experience Pass the knowledge test, get a permit, practice driving with a licensed driver, then pass the drive test.
Just take the tests Pass the knowledge and drive tests without taking a course or practice driving.
Transfer your license from another state If you have a license from another state you may have different options, please see Moving? Get WA license.

Steps to getting your license:

  1. Decide if you want to take driver training.
  2. If you're enrolling in driver training or you'd like to practice driving, get a permit.
  3. Find out if you can pre–apply online (some restrictions may apply). If you have a permit, you can skip this step.
  4. Pass the knowledge test at a training and testing location. If you’re taking a driver training course or you already passed the knowledge test, you can skip this step.
  5. Decide if you want a standard driver license or an enhanced driver license.
    • An enhanced driver license (EDL) is an acceptable alternative to a passport for re-entry into the U.S. at land and sea border crossings. A standard driver license can’t be used for border crossings. Getting an EDL has different steps and requires a trip to an EDL office. Follow the steps to getting your EDL/EID if you’d like an EDL.
  6. Visit a driver licensing office to apply for a license. If you have a permit, you've already done this and can skip this step.
    1. Bring your proof of identity and your WA residence street address.
    2. Tell us your Social Security number (required 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.
    3. Pass a vision screening.
    4. Decide if you want to register to vote and be an organ donor (optional).
    5. Pay the fees.
  7. Schedule a drive test at a training and testing locationadditional fees may apply.
  8. Pass the drive test.
  9. Get your license:
    • Online: If you have a WA photo instruction permit and don’t have any driving violations, license suspensions, or revocations. Print the receipt. It’s your temporary license.
    • or
    • At a driver licensing office. You’ll get your temporary license before you leave.
  10. Keep your temporary license with you until you receive your permanent license. We’ll mail your permanent license within 7–10 days. If you haven’t received it after 40 days, please visit a driver licensing office.

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