Washington Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

Washington Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Apr 30, 2021

Is your renewal period coming up, and are you unsure about how to complete the process? Luckily, the Department of Licensing makes it super simple for anyone needing to complete the process. 

In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about renewing your license in the state of Washington. 

How Often Do You Need to Renew Your License?

You must renew your Washington driver’s license every 6 years. You will be able to renew up to one year before it expires, or 60 days after. It will usually expire on your birthday so you’ll be able to keep this date in mind at all times.

You’ll get a renewal letter from the Washington DOL about 6 weeks before your license’s expiration date. 

How to Renew Your Washington Driver's License 

The state of Washington allows drivers to renew their license in a couple of different ways. If you meet the requirements, you can renew in person, by mail, and online. We’ll go through them all in detail below. 

Renewal In Person

Drivers over the age of 70 and under the age of 24 will need to complete their driver’s license renewal in person at any Department of Licensing office throughout Washington State. There are no appointments required to complete an in person renewal. Bring your current DL with you, as it will serve as your identification method at the office. 

At the WA DOL, you will be required to:

  • Pass the vision exam
  • Take new driver’s license photo
  • Pay $54 renewal fee (at the time of writing)

Renewal by Mail 

If you are eligible for renewal by mail, you will receive a letter and renewal form from the Washington DOL. You will need to complete the form provided and send it back to the address listed with your $54 renewal fee in order to complete a mail in renewal. 

Renewal Online

Renewing online is one of the simplest ways to renew your Washington state driver’s license. To do so, you will first need to head to the DOL website

You will need the following to complete the renewal:

  • Credit Card/Bank account information to pay $54 renewal fee
  • Printer to obtain temporary license
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • DL number
  • Social security number
  • Current address

Your new card will be mailed to you within 2-4 weeks. 

Renewing an Expired Washington Driver’s License

You can renew your driver’s license for up to 60 days after its expiration date without paying a fee. After the grace period, you must pay an extra $10 to renew. However, you are still at risk for receiving a ticket or fine from local law enforcement. 

You will be unable to renew your license and must obtain a new one after six years.

What if You’re an Active Military Member?

Your license is still considered valid throughout the time you are on active military service. You will not need to renew during your term if you are:

  • A member of the armed forces or National Guard on active duty.
  • A reservist called to duty for 180 days or more.
  • The spouse or dependent of an active member of the military.

You will have 90 days to renew your Washington state driver’s license after you are discharged or return from your assignment. 

Renewing While Out-of-State

You can choose to renew by mail, as outlined above, or you can simply request a 12-month extension. With an extension, you’ll be allowed to renew 12 months from the date of your licenses’ expiration. You can find a license extension form here. Once filled, print it out on white paper with a $5 check or money order and send it to the following address: 

Driver Records
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3907
Seattle, WA 98124-3907

That’s It!

That’s all there is to renewing your driver’s license in the state of Washington. There are multiple ways to do so, which gives you a ton of convenience when looking to complete the process. To avoid unnecessary headaches with the DOL, be sure to reference this guide throughout the process.

Take our full course with tests and theory

550+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens

cloud
town