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How to get a Washington Learners Permit

Washington Learner's Permit
  • Washington Learner's Permit Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

WA Learners Permit Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your WA driving permit, pass your DMV written test and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

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.

First Time Drivers

Under Washington DMV guidelines, you must be 15 ½ years old to get an instruction permit. You can get an instruction permit at age 15 if you present traffic safety education certification on the Instruction Permit Application as proof of enrollment in an approved course.

You then must hold your instruction learners permit for at least 6 months and log 50 hours of driving before applying for an intermediate license.

Prepare for the Written Test

Applicants who are at least 15 ½ years of age, who have not taken the driver's education class, must pass a written exam on traffic laws, rules, and regulations in order to get an instruction permit.

The test is based on the latest edition of the Washington Driver Manual. If you fail the knowledge test, some states require you to wait until at least the next day to take the test again and charge a re-examination fee.

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 permit test now and test your driving knowledge.

Required Paperwork for your Instruction Permit

Before you head to the Washington DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your learners permit:

  • Documents that establish your identity must contain your name, date of birth, signature, photo, and current residence address, in whole or in combination.
  • Parental/guardian permission.
  • Visit the Washington DMV website to verify that you meet all the requirements.

On the Road

During the learners permit phase, the licensee must complete 50 hours of driving time, 10 of which should be done at night to be eligible for a restricted license.

The licensee must be at least 16 years and 6 months old to qualify for an intermediate license. The nighttime restriction for the intermediate license is not being allowed to drive between the hours of 1 AM to 5 AM. For the first 6 months, the licensee is not allowed to have passengers under the age of 20. For the next 6 months, the licensee is not allowed to have more than 3 passengers under the age of 20.

In order to remove the nighttime and passenger restriction, the licensee must be 17 years old.

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