Updated On July 7, 2021
Washington State, not to be confused with Washington D.C. on the east coast, has a little over 5.7 million licensed drivers. The state requires a driving permit for all teenager drivers between the ages of 15 and 17, but if you’re an adult the permit is not mandatory.
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According to GoBankingRates online, the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford F-Series are the top two vehicles in Washington State. The Subaru Forester comes in at number five. For several years now, Washington has had a decline in car crashes. In fact, in the last five years drunk driving, distracted driving, and teen driver involved accidents all dropped.
Washington Driver’s License Renewal Guide
What do I need and how do I renew my Washington driver’s license? Good questions.
How to Renew a Washington Driver’s License
The state Department of Licensing (DOL) makes it easy when it comes to renewing your drivers license in Washington. You may be able to renew online if you are eligible.
If not, you can renew by mail or in person. Read on for more information on how to renew a Washington driver’s license.
Renewing an Expired License in Washington
Washington driver’s licenses are valid for 6 years and they expire on your birthdate.
You can renew your driver’s license up to one year before it actually expires. However, if you miss the date, you have an extra 60 days to complete a Washington drivers license renewal.
Expired Driver’s License Renewal Fees
There is not a late fee, but don’t forget that if you are caught driving with an expired license, the fines can be steep.
If you go past 60 days, you will have to pay a $10 late fee, and if you go a full six years past the expiration date, then you will just have to start over as a brand new driver, including taking the driving tests.
Washington Driver’s License Renewal Requirements
Check your address to make sure it is the most current. You can use the online license eXpress tool if you know you need to change it. You can also change your address in person.
One thing to remember is that your license address and your vehicle address must both be maintained. If you registered a vehicle with a new address and did not change your license address at the same time, you are likely out of date.
Renewing Your Driver’s License Online
You can use License eXpress to complete your Washington license renewal if you are between the ages of 24 and 70 and have no other restrictions.
If you’re not sure if you qualify, you can go to the Washington DOL website and use their eligibility tool. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Driver’s license number.
- Social security number – last four digits.
- Date of birth.
- Eye color, as stated on your license.
Once you complete the process, your temporary license will be sent to your email address. Be sure you can print it, so you can carry it with you until your standard license arrives.
In Person DMV License Renewal
If you are under 24 or over 70 years old, you’ll have to complete your Washington driver’s license renewal in person at the DOL office.
Also, if you need to pass the vision screening test or you need a new photo, you will have to come in person to the office.
When you go to the DOL office be sure to bring your current driver’s license. Here’s what will happen when you get there:
- Pass the vision exam.
- Take a new driver’s license photo.
- Pay the required license renewal fee.
Renewing Your Washington License by Mail
Driver’s who have received a renewal notice in the mail are eligible to complete the Washington driver’s license renewal process via mail.
The instructions to complete the process are on the renewal notice. Simply follow the instructions and include your payment.
Required Driver’s License Renewal Fees in Washington
A standard Washington license is $54 and is valid for six years.
Renewing a Military Driver’s License in Washington
For military personnel, Washington driver’s licenses remain valid as long as you remain on active duty. The criteria include:
- Member of Armed Forces or National Guard.
- Reservist on Duty for 180 Days or More.
- Spouse or Dependent of an Active Duty Member.
Because the state makes it so easy when renewing your driver’s license in Washington, you should never find yourself illegally driving.
If you haven’t received a renewal notice, make sure you check for yourself to make sure you have a valid license and avoid costly fines and fees for letting your license expire.