Moving to Washington: Get a driver license

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.

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:

At the office, you'll need to:

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.

We'll mail your permanent license within 7–10 days. If you don't receive it within 30 days, call us at 360-902-3900 (TTY: call 711).

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.

Other resources

Register to vote in Washington

Print and mail a voter registration form or register in person at your county elections department.

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

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