Is your driver license expiring soon? Renew your license online!
Limited in-person appointments available. Learn more.
Apply for a first-time instruction permit online.

If the information on this translated website is unclear, please contact us at 360.902.3900 for help in your language of choice.

Steps to getting your first license: 18 and over

When you're ready to get your license, skip the trip and get it online (some restrictions apply, see below). If you're unable to get your license online, you can get it at a driver licensing office.

How to get a new Washington (WA) driver license

You have 4 options if you're over 18 and getting your first driver license:
Options How to do it
Take a driver training course Complete a driver training course, get a permit, and then pass the drive test.
Learn from a licensed driver with 5+ years of 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.
Transfer your license from another state If you have a license from another state you may have different options, see Moving? Get WA license.

Steps to getting your license:

  1. Get a permit if you're:
  2. Find out if you can pre-apply online (some restrictions may apply). If you have a permit, skip this step.
  3. Pass the knowledge test at a training and testing location. If you're taking driver training or you've passed the knowledge test, skip this step.
  4. Decide if you want a standard driver license or an enhanced driver license (EDL).
    • An EDL is an alternative to a passport. You use it to re-enter the U.S. by land and sea after traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Getting an EDL has different steps and requires a trip to an EDL office. See steps to getting your EDL/EID.
  5. Visit a driver licensing office to apply for a license. If you have a Washington instruction permit, skip this step.
    1. Bring your proof of identity.
    2. Tell us your Social Security number (SSN) - required to help enforce child support laws.
      • You don't need to show the card. We'll still be able to verify it.
    3. Pass a vision screening.
    4. Decide if you want to register to vote and be an organ donor (optional).
    5. Pay the fees.
  6. Schedule a drive test at a training and testing locationadditional fees may apply.
  7. Pass the drive test.
  8. Get your license:
  9. Keep your temporary license with you until you receive your permanent license. We'll mail it within 7-10 days. If you haven't received it after 30 days, please visit a driver licensing office.

Related information:

Questions? Need help?

Call us: 360.902.3900 (TTY: Call 711)

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