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How to get a Washington Driver's License

Washington Drivers License
  • Washington Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

WA Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the Washington Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your WA Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years old to get a Washington driver's license.

If you are under age 18, you must have had an instruction permit for at least six months and show proof of your successful completion of a state-approved driver education program. Plus, your parent or guardian must certify that you received at least 50 hours of driving practice, ten of which must have been completed after sunset before you can take the road skills test.

If you are over age 18, you will be required to pass a knowledge test on Washington traffic safety laws plus take a vision, hearing and color recognition test before you can take the road skills test.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Washington practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Washington Residents

New residents with an out-of-state license must obtain a Washington license within 30 days of establishing a permanent residence in WA. When heading to the DMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

A vision and color perception test are required to change a valid out- of-state license to a WA driver's license.

If your out-of-state license is expired you may have to apply as a new driver and take the written test and road test.

International Drivers

If you have a valid license issued by another country you may operate a motor vehicle in this state for up to one year.

If you have moved to Washington State from a country other than Germany, or a Canadian province other than British Columbia, you must complete all the steps to getting your first license.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Washington DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age).
  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age).

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Washington Driver's License Resources

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