You have 30 days after you move to Washington to get your driver license. You will also need your Washington driver license before you can register any vehicles here.
Before you get started
We have separate locations for driver and vehicle licensing. Be prepared to make two trips to the different office locations.
Depending on where you are moving to Washington from, your may need to take a driver test. Learn if you need to take a driver test.
If you're under the age of 18 with a valid driver license or permit from another state or country and you want a Washington driver license, visit the driver license application: 16-17 years old page for more information
Follow the steps below to get your new Washington driver license.
1. Establish residency in Washington
You're considered a Washington resident if you:
- Have a Washington address
- Are registered to vote in Washington.
- Receive state benefits.
- Receive in-state tuition fees.
- Get any WA state license at resident rates (Fishing license, hunting license, etc.).
2. Decide which license is right for you
You will need to decide if you want a standard driver license or an enhanced driver license (EDL).
Enhanced driver license
An EDL meets REAL ID standards. You use it to re-enter the U.S. by land and sea after traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Getting an EDL has additional requirements. Learn more about getting an EDL or learn more about the REAL ID law.
3. Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office
You must make an appointment to go into the office. Bring all of the following:
- Proof of identity, including your out-of-state license
- Payment for the driver licensing fee
- Additional documents, if needed for EDL or name change
At the office, you'll need to:
- Tell us your Social Security number (SSN).
- Pay fees (cash, check, or card).
- Decide if you want to register to vote or become an organ donor (optional).
- Pass any required driver tests.
- Prepare for your test by reviewing the Washington State Driver Guide.
4. Get your license
Before you leave the licensing office, we'll punch a hole in your out-of-state driver license or ID card and return it to you. You'll get a temporary license that allows you to drive for 45 days. You probably won't be able to use your temporary license for ID purposes. Some businesses may:
- Accept your hole-punched out-of-state card for identification.
- Ask you to provide something else for proof of ID.
5. Get WA plates for your vehicle, if needed
See Moving to Washington: Get a license plate to find out what you need to do.
Register to vote in Washington
Print and mail a voter registration form or register in person at your county elections department.