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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.

Instruction permits

Renewing a permit

If your instruction permit expired between March 1 and December 31, 2020, we've extended your permit.

Your permit is valid for 1 year. You can renew it twice for a fee.

Getting a permit

Do you have a "WDL" number?

Washington permits, ID cards, and licenses use a number that starts with WDL. This number is unique to you. You may already have a WDL number if you have:

  • A valid or expired Washington ID card.
  • Already filled out an application on our website.
  • Gotten a ticket in the past, like:
    • Minor in possession.
    • Driving without a license.

This number identifies you. You'll use it if you start a driver training course or make an appointment to go to one of our offices. If you don't have a WDL number yet, we'll assign one to you when you pre-apply.

If you don't remember your WDL number, call us for help: 360.902.3900.

Take a driver training course

If you plan to take a driver training course, wait until 10 days or less before the course starts to pre-apply. That includes weekends and holidays. Give your WDL number to your driving school.

Take a test and learn on your own

If you're not planning to take a course, you must be at least 15 1/2 years old to take the knowledge test. Pre-apply and get a WDL number so you can schedule your test. If you learn on your own, you must wait until you’re at least 18 to get your license.

Decide whether you want a photo on your permit

If you don't want a photo on your permit, you can log in and finish your application online.

If you want a photo on your permit, we need to:

  • Prove your identity in person. If you have a valid Washington ID card, you don't need to do this again.
  • Take your picture in one of our offices. We can use a recent photo of you if we have one on file.

Make an appointment, using your WDL number, to "Get a license/ID."

When your permit will arrive

After you finish your application (online or in our office), we’ll mail your permit. It should arrive in 7-10 business days. Call us if you haven’t received it after 2 weeks: 360.902.3900.

Log in to print your temporary permit or replace a lost permit card.

Practice driving

To practice driving, you must have:

  • An instruction permit with you to go on public roads.
  • A licensed driver in the front passenger seat. They must have at least 5 years of experience driving with a valid license.

You may have other passengers of any age if they wear seat belts.

Don't use a phone or other mobile device while driving, unless you need to call 911.

Your Washington permit might not be valid for driving in another state. Contact the state where you'll be traveling to find out if they'll honor your Washington permit.

Related information

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