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Getting a driver license: Veterans and Military personnel

For Veterans

Veteran designation

As of August 31, 2017, you can get a Veteran designation on your driver license or ID card. It's free if you're only adding your Veteran status.

Make an appointment to bring 1 of the following to a driver licensing office.

  • Your DD Form 214 or a separation document equivalent to a DD Form 214 that shows "honorable" or "general under honorable conditions" status.
  • or
  • Your US Department of VA ID Card.

If you don't have your DD Form 214 you can request your military service records online, by mail, or by fax (archives.gov).

There's a fee if you're:

  • adding other endorsements at the same time,
  • updating information on your card such as name or address, or
  • renewing your license – you can renew up to a year in advance.

For Military

Military personnel license/ID card expiration date

We no longer issue licenses with a "Military" expiration date. They now show an expiration date. When you're on active duty the expiration date can lapse. This means if your license "expires" it's still valid, regardless of the expiration date.

DOL Authorization card

Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office to get a DOL Authorization card for you and your family. Make sure you and your family carry their:

  • WA License or ID card.
  • Military active duty or Dependent ID card.
  • DOL Authorization card.

Who qualifies?

  • Armed forces members on active duty
  • National Guard and reservists called to active duty for 180 days or more
  • Spouse, domestic partner, and dependents who have the same residence as the person on active duty

When will the license expire?

You or your family don't need to renew your driver license during your term of military active duty. Carry your DOL Authorization card. This indicates your driver license is valid 90 days after you're discharged or until the expiration date of your WA license or ID, whichever is longer.

How to replace your card

If you're out of state or out of country and you've lost your card, complete the Driver License Renewal/Replacement Request While Out-of-State

Enhanced driver license/ID card (EDL/EID)

Due to security requirements, we can't mail a replaced enhanced card to an out-of-state address. If you're going to be out of state for more than 30 days, you may get a standard license or ID card to replace your EDL/EID.

See How to replace your EDL while out of state for more information.

How to get a license with a photograph when you return to WA?

If you got a license without a photo while you were stationed outside of WA, you can get a photo license when you return at a driver licensing office. You'll need to make an appointment and bring your WA license and another ID with your photo, such as a passport or military ID.

What do I need if I am stopped by law enforcement while I'm on active duty?

If your license is "expired", it's still in effect for the length of your service. You should carry your military ID and DOL Authorization card as evidence that your license is valid.

A spouse or dependent child should carry their Military Dependent ID and DOL Authorization card. Domestic partners should carry proof of their relation to the military personnel along with our DOL Authorization card.

Can I upgrade to an enhanced driver license if I have a "military status" license?

Yes, military personnel may get an EDL/EID, with the correct documentation. Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office.

The Department of Homeland Security allows military personnel to travel across land and sea borders with an expired EDL/EID. Make sure you carry your military ID, traveling orders and a DOL Authorization card.

When you return to WA, make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office to get a new one.

Can I have a Military expiration on my Commercial Driver License?

No, Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL) are not allowed an indefinite military expiration. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 383.73(b) (9)) does not allow expirations beyond 8 years. Once your CDL is expired you must return to WA to renew it at full cost.

Can I add a motorcycle endorsement to my license while serving outside of WA?

Yes, see How to get your endorsement or permit: Motorcycles (2-wheel).

Questions? Need help?

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