Renew your driver license while out of state
REAL ID Act
Starting July 1, 2018, all standard cards will be marked with language to indicate they're not valid for federal identification purposes. You may continue to use your marked or unmarked standard card for boarding airplanes and accessing secure federal facilities until October 1, 2020. Enhanced driver licenses and ID cards meet federal Real ID requirements and won't be marked.
If you're out of state when your WA state driver license expires, you may be eligible to renew or extend it if:
- It isn't suspended, revoked, surrendered, cancelled,
- You don't have any outstanding fees.
How to renew or extend your driver license while out of state (mail-in only)
- Get a 12-month extension
- Driver licenses: The extension starts on your license expiration date. You must carry it with your expired license.
- Motorcycle endorsements: You can get a license extension with a motorcycle endorsement. When the extension expires, you must reapply in person, take any necessary tests, and pay fees.
- Enhanced driver licenses (EDLs): An EDL extension is only valid for driving. You won't be able to use it for border crossing.
- Commercial driver licenses (CDLs): You can't get an extension for your CDL.
How to apply for a 12-month extension
Submit Driver License Extension Request.
- Renew for 6 years by mail — Effective August 11, 2014, your license will be renewed for 6 years instead of 5 years.
Note: Any application received after August 9, 2014 will be renewed as a 6 year license. If you don't include the correct amount we'll return it for re-submittal with the correct amount.
You can renew your license by mail, if you:
- don't plan to return 1 or more years after your license expires, and
- have a Social Security number.
A license renewed by mail won't contain your photograph or signature. It'll be labeled "identity not verified." It will be valid for driving, but not for identification.
Commercial driver licenses (CDL) can't be renewed by mail
However, you can surrender it and renew your regular driver license.
- To renew your license without a CDL, submit a Commercial Driver's Notice of Surrender with your renewal. You'll have up to 1 year to reinstate your CDL without providing proof of training or taking required tests.
- When you return to Washington, visit a driver licensing office to reinstate your CDL.
How to renew by mail
- Submit a Driver License Renewal/Replacement Request While Out-of-State.
- If you don't want to keep your motorcycle endorsement, submit Notice of Surrender (English, Español, Русский, and more).
- If you have a CDL, submit Commercial Driver License Notice of Surrender (English, Español, Русский, and more).
- Mail necessary forms with check or money order (payable to Department of Licensing):
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9048
Olympia, WA 98507-9048
You don't need to renew your license during military service term if you're:
- On active duty in the armed forces or National Guard.
- On active duty as a reservist for 180 days or more.
- A spouse or dependent of an active duty member of the military.
Your license is valid as long as you're on active duty. For more information, see Veterans and Military personnel.
Frequently asked questions
How can I replace a lost or stolen license while out of Washington State?
See Replace your driver license while out of state.
If I change my name while out of state, can I update my license?
No, you can only update your license in person at an office. You can still request an extension or renewal, but it'll show the name currently on your license.
Questions? Need help?
Email us: email@example.com