Washington State Department of Licensing

The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) handles driver credentialing, vehicle registrations, license plates, and related services in Washington state. This overview covers the major offerings from the Washington DOL.


The DOL provides standard forms and applications for:

  • New licenses and IDs
  • Registration transfers
  • Renewals
  • Address changes
  • Special commemorative plates
  • Permit practice tests

Most basic Washington DOL forms and study materials can be accessed online. Some specialized credential filings are restricted to DOL offices only.

Washington State Department of Licensing


Registration RenewalWashington State Department of Licensing

When your vehicle registration expiration approaches, the DOL issues a notice by mail. WA registrations must be renewed:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • At vehicle licensing offices
  • At authorized third party agents

To renew online or by mail, drivers need license plate and renewal notice details, current insurance, odometer reading, and payment info.

Appointment Scheduling

Many vehicle licensing offices now allow customers to schedule appointments for select high-demand transactions:

  • Driving tests
  • License issuance
  • Enhanced licenses
  • Restorations

Scheduling appointments ahead of time reserves license examiners and testing resources without long waits due to walk-in demand.

Driver Exam Stations

Washington manages over 200 DOL vehicle licensing offices offering:

  • Knowledge testing
  • Road skills exams
  • CDL testing
  • Motorcycle endorsements

Driver exam station locators with hours, directions, and appointment scheduling links can be found through the DOL website or offices finder.

2024 Drivers Manual

The state of Washington updates its official Drivers Manual every 2 years with new laws and policies. The 2024 DOL handbook covers:

  • Traffic laws and penalties
  • License application process
  • Road signs and warnings
  • Defensive driving techniques
  • Special driving conditions

Be sure to study the latest 2024 Drivers Guide when applying for your learner’s permit or taking the WA road driving test this year. Download digital or printed copies.

License Renewals Washington State Department of Licensing

WA state driver’s licenses are valid for 5-6 years based on age before expiring on your birthday. Licenses can be renewed:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In person

Some renewals require a new photo or vision exam during application processing. Fees start around $54 for a basic Class C drivers license renewal.

License Plates

Alongside regular number plates, customized Washington license plates include:

  • Hobby plates
  • Breast cancer plates
  • Pet adoption plates
  • Military support plates
  • Collector vehicle plates

Specific terms, fees, and qualifications vary widely across 60+ specialty plate categories offered to WA drivers. Details provided on the DOL specialty plates website section.

Drivers License

To get an initial Washington driver’s license, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Complete a traffic safety course
  • Pass all knowledge and driving tests

Those under 18 have passenger, nighttime and cell phone restrictions. Full unrestricted licenses issued to adults at age 18.

Contact DOL

Washington Department of Licensing contact details:

  • Phone: (360) 902-3600
  • Mail: PO Box 9030, Olympia WA 98507-9030
  • Website: www.dol.wa.gov

The official DOL website covers appointments, forms, testing, fees, office locator, renewal guidance, laws, endorsements, records requests, and other vehicle and driver account management services.

Washington DOL Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common Washington DOL inquiries:

How do I track my license status?

You can access your full WA driver record transcript online including license status, endorsements, sanctions, driving history and traffic violation ticket processing services through the DOL website.

Can I hold a driver’s license from two states?

No, it is illegal to actively hold licenses or be licensed as driver in more than one state at the same time under federal and state laws.

How old must you be to get a learner’s permit?

5 years old – Washington issues learner permits and starts graduated licensing for teenagers starting at 15 years old with driver education enrollment.

Does a vehicle emissions test need completed for registration renewal?

Yes, an emissions or smog test is required every other registration renewal cycle for vehicles in select counties. Refer to your county and model year requirements on the DOL website.

How soon can an expired vehicle registration be renewed?

If expired less than 90 days, WA registrations can still renew online or by mail without penalties. After 90 days, in-person renewal is required with late fees.

  1. Further frequently asked questions covering Washington vehicle and driver licensing policies can be found on the official DOL site.

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