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Steps to getting your first driver license: Proof of identity

If you want to get a Washington (WA) driver license, instruction permit, or identification (ID) card, we'll need proof of your identity. Below are instructions and the documents you'll need to bring to a driver licensing office.

1. Select an age group below to see what documents you need to bring

Under 18 years old:
  • Your parent/guardian must come with you. While you're at the office, your parent/guardian will sign an affidavit.
    • Before signing the affidavit, they must show all of the following:
      • All documents required to prove their identity, such as:
        • Their WA state driver license
        • or
        • U.S. passport
      • Proof that they're your parent/guardian, such as:
        • Your certified birth certificate
        • or
        • Adoption papers
        • or
        • A school transcript with their name on it
      • If your last name is different than your parent/guardian's or they don't have a Social Security number and their proof of identity is an out-of-state driver license, we'll require more documents such as:
        • Divorce decree
        • or
        • Marriage certificate
  • If your parent/guardian is not able to come with you to sign the affidavit, bring us document(s) from 1 of these groups:
    • Stand-alone Documents – 1 item.
    • A-List Documents – 2 items.
    • A-List Documents – 1 item and B-List Documents – 2 items.
    • B-List Documents – At least 4 items which include:
      • 1 item – Showing your name and birth date
      • and
      • 2 items – Showing your name and signature.
18–25 years old:
Show us 1 of the options from the list below:
  • Option one: 1 – Stand-alone document
  • Option two: 2 – A-List documents
  • Option three: 3 items:
    • 1 – A-List document
    • and
    • 2 – B-List documents
  • Option four: At least 4 – B-List documents, including:
    • 1 – With your name and date of birth.
    • and
    • 1 – With your name and signature.
  • Option five: All of the following:
    • 1 – B-List document with your name and photo
      or
      Your parent/guardian's verbal attestation.*
    • 1 – B-List Document with your name and date of birth:
      • Certified birth certificate,
      • Adoption papers,
      • or
      • Ward of the Court Decree/Order of Dependency.
    • Your Social Security number
      or
      Another 'B-List Document' with your name and signature
      or
      Your parent/guardian's verbal attestation.*
    • Your parent/guardian must prove their identity with a document such as:
      • Washington state driver license or
      • U.S. passport.
    • Your parent/guardian must prove they are your parent/guardian with documents such as:
      • Your certified birth certificate
      • or
      • Your adoption papers
      • or
      • A school transcript with the parent/guardian's name.
*Note: Your parent/guardian's can use a verbal attestation instead of a name and photo or name and signature document, but not both.
Over 25 years old:
Show us 1 of the options from the list below:
  • Option 1: One "Stand-alone Document"
  • Option 2: Two "A-List Documents"
  • Option 3:
    • One "A-list Document"
    • and
    • Two "B-List Documents"
  • Option 4: At least four "B-List Documents" including:
    • One from the list of documents that have your name and date of birth
    • and
    • One showing your name and signature.
18 or older and have assigned court guardians:
Prove your identity by coming to a driver licensing office with your parent/guardian and showing us all of the following:
  • All documents required to prove your parent/guardian's identity, such as their:
    • Washington state driver license
    • or
    • U.S. passport.
  • A court document assigning guardianship.
  • One "B-List Document" from the list below that has your name and date of birth, such as your:
    • Certified birth certificate
    • or
    • Adoption papers
    • or
    • Ward of the Court Decree/Order of Dependency.
  • Your Social Security number.
Enrolled in Job Corps:
Show us 1 of the options from the list below:
  • Option 1: One "Stand-alone Document"
  • Option 2: Two "A-List Documents"
  • Option 3:
    • One "A-List Document"
    • and
    • Two "B-List Documents"
  • Option 4: At least four "B-List Documents", including:
    • One from the list of documents that have your name and date of birth
    • and
    • One showing name and signature.
  • Option 5: All of the following:
    • Your valid Job Corps ID card
    • Your Social Security number (we'll verify it)
    • One "B-List Document" that has your name and date of birth, such as your:
      • Certified birth certificate
      • or
      • Adoption papers
      • or
      • Ward of the Court Decree/Order of Dependency.

2. See which documents we accept

Stand-alone Documents
  • WA State driver license, ID card, or instruction permit — Valid or expired within 1 year, has your signature, date of birth and photo.
  • Out-of-state driver license, ID card, or instruction permit (if you have a Social Security number) — Valid or expired within 60 days, has your photo and give us your Social Security number.
  • U.S. armed services ID card with photo — Valid.
  • U.S. passport — Valid, has your signature and photo (an emergency passport isn't acceptable).
  • Immigration ID with signature — Valid, from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, with:
    • Your signature and photo and are identifiable (I-327, I-551, I-571, I-766).
    • or
    • A "Signature Waived" notation or encrypted signature on the back of the card.
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization — An original with your signature and photo.
  • Department of Social and Health Services Children's Administration (DSHS CA) ID letter
    If you're in:
    • Court-ordered foster care with DSHS, or
    • Another supervising Washington agency as your legal custodian, then
    • You may prove your identity with an ID letter from DSHS CA.
A-List Documents
  • Out-of-state driver license, ID card or instruction permit (if you don't have a Social Security number) — Valid or expired within 60 days and has your photo.
  • Driver license from a foreign country — Valid or expired within 60 days, has security features and is verifiable.
  • Federal or state employee ID card — Valid, shows your signature and photo.
  • Foreign passport — Valid and stamped U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) entry form I-94/I94W or Temporary I-551 ADIT stamp.
  • Tribal enrollment ID card
    • Must be federally-recognized Indian tribal enrollment card, or U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card
    • Must have your signature and photo.
  • Original U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Where your signature and photo aren't identifiable.
  • Verification letter — Only needed if you're on a work release or supervised by an agency we have an agreement with. Contact your supervising agency and have them send us the ID Verification letter. We currently have agreements with:
    • Washington State Department of Corrections — electronic version only.
    • U.S. Federal correction authorities (FDOC).
    • Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (DSHS JRA) — electronic version only.
    • DSHS Children's Administration (CA) — for foster youth only.
    • Eastern State Hospital (ESH).
    • Western State Hospital (WSH).
  • Washington city or county police employee ID card — Valid, has your signature and photo.
  • U.S. Passport card — has your name and photo.
B-List Documents

Documents that establish your name and date of birth

  • Certified birth certificate. (Puerto Rico birth certificates must have an issue date of July 1, 2010 or later to be accepted.*)
  • Certified Washington birth registration card.
  • A valid concealed weapons permit issued by a Washington county.
  • Consular report of birth abroad.
  • Court-issued adoption papers.
  • Military DD 214.
  • U.S. driver license, photo instruction permit, or ID card (invalidated or expired within the past 5 years).
  • U.S. passport (expired within the past 5 years).
  • Valid U.S. visa.
  • Veteran Administration ID with your name, photo, and date of birth.
  • Ward of the Court decree/Order of Dependency.
  • Washington State driver license, photo instruction permit, or ID card (invalidated or expired within the past 5 years).

Other acceptable "B-List Documents" with your name and date of birth, signature, photo, or current WA address

  • Divorce decree that has your name and signature (filed with the county).
  • Driving record from another state issued within the past 30 days.
  • Foreign passport that has expired within 5 years, or without an I-94/I-94W form or temporary I-551 ADIT stamp, or a valid U.S. Visa that has the legend "Upon endorsement serves as Temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year" and a valid DH Admission stamp .
  • Foreign driver license expired not more than 5 years. The license must have security features and be verifiable.
  • Valid Guatemala Consulate ID card.
  • Valid El Salvador National ID card.
  • Marriage license or certificate (filed with the county).
  • Medicare card.
  • Valid Mexican Matricula Consular ID card.
  • Mexican Federal Electoral Card issued 1991 or later. (Your photo must be readily identifiable.)
  • Mexican school record with a seal and your photo at the age when issued.
  • Mortgage document or mortgage coupon payment book.
  • Nexus, Sentri, or Fast Border Crossing card.
  • Professional license (nurse, physician, engineer, etc.)
  • Property deed or title (filed).
  • Property tax bill or statement issued within the last 12 months.
  • Selective Service card.
  • Veteran Administration ID with your name and photo.
  • School transcript includes your date of birth.
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 for foreign exchange students.
  • School yearbook with your recognizable photo (or copy certified by the school).
  • Social Security card with your signature. We'll verify it.
  • Transportation Worker Credential (TWIC).
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner's card (valid or expired within the past 5 years).
  • WA vehicle title with your current residence address (not a Quick Title with a tamper-proof tape over the VIN and title number).
  • We may need more documents to determine your identity.
  • We typically don't accept multiple documents from the same place. Example: Driver license and ID card issued by the same state. They would be considered 1 document.
  • We don't accept copied, scanned, or photographed documents.
  • Consulate cards and passports issued by Mexico, El Salvador, or Guatemala may be counted as 2 separate documents.

* Information about Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010

  • We can't accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010.
  • We will accept Puerto Rican birth certificates as proof of citizenship issued on or after July 1, 2010.
  • If yours was issued before July 1, 2010, you can get a new copy from the Government of Puerto Rico E-Government Site (pr.gov). Processing and shipping fees may apply.

We make every effort to interpret your documents.

Unaccepted documents

If we can't accept your documents, we'll work with you to see what other options are available and acceptable.

3. Show your Social Security Number (SSN)

We verify your SSN with the Social Security Administration and use it to help enforce child support laws.

If you're over 18 don't have a Social Security Number or received a notice to prove your identity, you're required to prove you live in Washington

Follow these steps to prove you live in Washington:

  1. Gather 2 of the acceptable documents below. If your documents are fraudulent, you won't be able to reapply for 364 days.
    Acceptable documents must:
    • Show your current Washington residence address (unless noted below),
    • Be unexpired (unless noted below), and
    • Be in your or your spouse's name. If the documents are in your spouse's name you will be asked to present your marriage certificate.
    Acceptable documents (without address):
    You can bring 1 of these documents, but you must also bring 1 that has your address
    • Military orders indicating Washington base (address not required)
    • Washington birth certificate for child born within past 1 year (address not required)
    • US Visa with Washington school or business (address not required)
    • DS-2019, SEVIS, I-20 for a WA School (address not required)
    Acceptable documents (with address):
    • Previously issued WA license, ID card or permit that is not expired more than 6 years OR your spouse’s current WA license, ID card or Permit, and your marriage certificate
    • Washington vehicle registration
    • WA vehicle title (not a super service title)
    • USPS change of address letter dated within 2 months
    • Home utility bill for Washington address (gas, electric, water, garbage, sewer, landline phone, TV, internet, ISTA) dated within past 2 months. Bundled utilities on 1 bill count as 1 option. 2 separate utility bills ok
    • Washington voter card
    • Washington school transcript - current or previous school year
    • DSHS benefits letter indicating unexpired benefits (medical, food, etc.)
    • Tribal ID
    • Proof of home ownership (mortgage documents, property tax documents, deed, title, etc.)
    • Selective Service card
    • Business mail from state or federal agency dated within 2 months
    • Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) letter from Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • Concealed weapons permit (license to carry concealed pistol)
    • Home owners (not renters) insurance policy
    • Auto insurance policy or bill dated within 2 months
    • Consulate ID card
    • Pay check or pay stub with the employer's name and phone number or address - dated within 2 months
    • Washington professional license (nursing, physician, engineer, etc.)
    • W-2 form for the previous year
    • Moorage document (bill, contract, etc.)
    • Senior housing, retirement home or assisted living facilities on company letter head with a phone number that could be used in verification of the facility
  2. Go to a driver licensing office with your documents showing your WA address and sign a certification proving your residency.

After we verify your Washington address, we'll issue your card.

If you're getting a Commercial Driver License (CDL), you must have an SSN and show proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency (see list of approved documents).

4. Your photograph

We use facial recognition technology for your photo. This helps to prevent identity theft. You'll need to remove anything that covers your face or head (like a hat or sunglasses). If you don't want to remove them, we'll mark "Not Valid for Identification." on your card. We'll make exceptions for medical and religious reasons.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

Email us: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

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