Renew your driver license while out of state

Requirements

If you’re out of state when your driver license expires, you may be eligible to renew or extend it if:

  • It isn’t suspended.
  • It isn’t revoked.
  • It isn’t surrendered.
  • It isn’t cancelled.
  • You don’t have any outstanding fees.

How to renew or extend your driver license while you’re out of state

If you’re out of Washington when your driver license expires and you meet all the requirements, you may:

Get a 12-month extension
  • Driver licenses: You can get an extension that will be valid for 12 months from the expiration date on your license. You must carry the extension document with your expired license.
  • Motorcycle endorsements: You can get a 12-month extension for your license with a motorcycle endorsement. When the extension expires, you must reapply in person, take any necessary tests, and pay applicable fees.
  • Enhanced driver licenses (EDLs): If you get a 12-month extension for your EDL, it will be valid only for driving. You won’t be able to use your EDL for border crossing after the original expiration date.
  • Commercial driver licenses (CDLs): You can’t get an extension for your CDL while you’re out of state. However, you can surrender your CDL and get an extension for your regular driver license.
    • To get a 12-month extension for your driver license without a CDL, submit a completed Commercial Driver’s Notice of Surrender with your Driver License Extension Request. You’ll have up to 1 year to reinstate your CDL without providing proof of training or taking required tests.
    • When you return to Washington, visit a driver licensing office to renew your license and reinstate your CDL.

How to apply for a 12-month extension

  1. Complete and sign a Driver License Extension Request.
  2. If you have a CDL, also complete and sign a Commercial Driver’s Notice of Surrender.
  3. Mail your completed forms with a check or money order for the fee to:
    Driver Records
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 3907
    Seattle, WA 98124-3907

To have the forms sent to you, call 360.902.3900 or email drivers@dol.wa.gov.

or
Renew for 5 years by mail

You may be eligible to renew your driver license by mail if:

  • You don’t plan to return until a year or more after your current license expires.
  • You have a valid Social Security number.
  • and
  • Your last license renewal was done in person (instead of by mail or online).

A license renewed by mail won’t contain your photograph or signature, and will be labeled “identity not verified.” It will be valid for driving, but not for identification.

Special licenses

  • Motorcycles: You can renew your license by mail if you have a motorcycle endorsement.
  • Commercial Driver License (CDL): You can’t renew your CDL by mail. However, you can surrender your CDL and renew your regular driver license.
    • To renew your driver license without a CDL, submit a Commercial Driver’s Notice of Surrender with your license renewal request. You’ll have up to 1 year to reinstate your CDL without providing proof of training or taking required tests.
    • When you return to Washington, visit a driver licensing office to reinstate your CDL.

How to renew by mail

  1. Complete and sign a Driver License Replacement/Renewal Request While Out-of-State
  2. If you don’t want to keep your motorcycle endorsement when you renew, also complete and sign a Notice of Surrender.
  3. If you have a CDL, also complete and sign a Commercial Driver’s Notice of Surrender.
  4. Mail all the necessary completed forms and a check or money order for the fee (payable to “Department of Licensing”) to:
    Department of Licensing
    301 E Wallace Kneeland Blvd
    Suite 224, PMB 296
    Shelton WA 98584-2987

To have these forms sent to you, call 360.902.3900 or email us at drivers@dol.wa.gov.

Military personnel

You don’t need to renew your driver license during your term of military service if you’re:

  • A member of the armed forces or National Guard on active duty.
  • A reservist called to active duty for 180 days or more.
  • The spouse or dependent of a member of the military on active duty.

Your driver license will remain valid as long as you’re on active duty. For more information about driver licenses for service members, including how to request a driver license with a “military” expiration date, see Military personnel.

Frequently asked questions

How can I replace a lost or stolen license while out of Washington State?
See Replace your driver license while out of state.

If I change my name while I’m out of state, can I update it on my license?
No, you can only change the name on your license in person at a driver licensing office. You can still request a license extension or renewal, but it will show the name currently on your license.

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