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
|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.|
|Pass the required 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:
- Get a permit if you're:
- Enrolling in driver training.
- Going to practice driving.
- Find out if you can pre-apply online (some restrictions may apply). If you have a permit, skip this step.
- 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.
- Decide if you want a standard driver license or an enhanced driver license (EDL).
- An EDL is an alternative to a passport card. You use it to re-enter the U.S. by land and sea after traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. EDL complies with the Real ID Act. It is an acceptable document for domestic air travel after May 7, 2025. See steps to getting your EDL/EID.
- Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office to apply for a license. If you have a Washington instruction permit, you may be able to get it online.
- Schedule a drive test at a training and testing location — additional fees may apply.
- Pass the drive test.
- Get your license:
- You must have a WA photo instruction permit.
- You can't have any driving violations, license suspensions, or revocations.
- Print the receipt. It's your temporary license.
- By making an appointment to visit a driver licensing office.
- Choose this option only if you can't get your license online.
- Be prepared to wait in line. See Tips for visiting an office: Driver licensing offices. You'll get your temporary license before you leave.
- 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, call us at 360.902.3900 (TTY: call 711).
- Facial recognition
- Tips for visiting an office: Driver licensing offices
- Military personnel
- Mandatory insurance
- Medical and vision screening
- REAL ID