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Steps to getting your first license: 18 and over

What you need to know before visiting an office

You must have an appointment to come into a driver licensing office. You can schedule an appointment online.

You must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Come prepared, wear a mask.

Many of our services are online. Try our online services instead of coming in person!

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.
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:

  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 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 October 2021. See steps to getting your EDL/EID.
  5. 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.
    1. Bring your proof of identity and your Social Security Number.
    2. Pass a vision screening.
    3. Decide if you want to register to vote and be an organ donor.
    4. 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:
    • Online.
      • 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.
  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, call us at 360.902.3900 (TTY: call 711).

Related information:

Questions? Need help?

Call us: 360.902.3900 (TTY: Call 711)

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