Designations for military personnel and veterans

Learn how to get a veteran designation on your driver license and a DOL Authorization card for you and your family if you're on active military duty.

Veterans designation

To get a veteran designation, you'll need one of the following:

  • Your DD Form 214 or a separation document equivalent to a DD Form 214
    • It must show "honorable" or "general under honorable conditions" status
  • Your U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs identification card
  • Next Generation Uniformed Services ID - Retired or letter from Washington Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA)

If you don't have any of these, you can request your military service records on the National Archives website.

You can also get your veteran designation by making an appointment to visit a driver licensing office.

Additional fees

If you're only getting your veteran's designation, it is free. If you need to get more than a veteran's designation, there may be an additional fee. There's is an additional fee for the following:

  • Adding other endorsements at the same time
  • Updating information on your card such as name or address
  • Renewing your license – you can renew up to a year in advance

View driver licensing fees.

Active military personnel

Learn about the options for keeping your driver license up to date while you are serving outside of Washington.

License without photographs

If you got a license without a photo while you were stationed outside of the state, you can get a photo license when you return to a driver licensing office. You'll need to make an appointment and bring your Washington license.

Enhanced driver license

Military personnel may get an Enhanced Driver License (EDL), with the correct documentation.

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

When traveling, make sure you carry your military ID, traveling orders, and a DOL Authorization card. You'll carry your DOL authorization card to indicate your license is valid through your term of military service and 90 days after discharge. When you return to WA, make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office to get a new one.

Expiration date

We no longer issue licenses with a "Military" expiration date. All driver licenses now show an expiration date. When you're on active duty your license will remain valid regardless of the expiration date.

If your license is "expired", it's still in effect for the length of your service. You should carry your military ID and Department of Licensing (DOL) Authorization card as evidence that your license is valid through your term of military service and 90 days after discharge.

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.

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:

  • Washington license
  • Military active duty or dependent ID card
  • DOL Authorization card

Qualify for the Authorization card

To qualify for the card you must fulfill one of these requirements. You must be:

  • 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

Expiration date for the Authorization card

You or your family don't need to renew your driver license during your term of active military 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 Washington license.

Replace a lost Authorization 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 form.

Commercial Driver License expiration for active duty military personnel

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 Washington to renew it at full cost.

Motorcycle endorsement for active duty military personnel

You can add a motorcycle endorsement to your license while serving outside of Washington. See how to get your 2-wheel motorcycle endorsement or permit.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-902-3900
(TTY: Call 711)
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