Learn how to get your license to be a driver training instructor.
Who needs a license?
Anyone who provides driver training instruction for a fee.
How to apply
Follow the steps below to get your driver training instructor license.
1. Meet requirements
You must be at least 21 years old to get a driver training instructor license.
Complete your instructor training with one of the following:
- A licensed Driver Training School (DTS)
- An approved secondary school (currently only Western Oregon University)
- Office of the Superintendent of Public Schools (OSPI) to become an active fully endorsed Traffic Safety Education (TSE) instructor
If you have completed a training program that is not listed above, you may submit documentation to us for review.
2. Pass the required exams
Review the following to prepare for the knowledge and skills exams:
- Washington Driver Guide
- Washington state laws:
- Drive Right (10th edition), available at commercial driving schools
Take your exams
Schedule an appointment with a licensing service office to complete your instructor written and skills exams. You will pay a $25 testing fee at the licensing office.
You must receive a minimum score of 87% on the Knowledge Exam before taking the Skills Exam. You will need a minimum of 90% on your Skills Exam to pass.
3. Gather the necessary documents
- A complete driver's abstract from all states outside of Washington where you have had a driver's license
- Proof of your completed instructor training
- Payment for the application fee
4. Submit your application
You can submit your application online or by mail.
Submit your application online
You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.
Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.
Submit your application by mail
Mail your form and a check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:
Driver Training Schools
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401
5. Submit your fingerprints
You must pass your test before submitting your fingerprints for background checks.
Schedule an appointment through Idemia, our electronic fingerprinting vendor. You'll pay a fee for the fingerprinting service and background checks required for your license type.
See Fingerprinting and background checks for steps to send your fingerprints from out-of-state. You'll also find instructions for disputing your FBI criminal history record.
After we’ve received your application
- We'll wait for the results from the Washington State Patrol for state and national background checks. This can take up to 6 weeks. For questions, call 360-902-3703.
- We will notify you when we approve your license.
- Once you establish your association to a school in License eXpress for Business, your printable license will become available on your dashboard within 24 hours.
Post your license
- Log into SAW to print copies of your license.
- Your license must be posted at your place of business before instructing any students.
- You can also request a copy of your license be mailed to you ($5 fee).