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New Residents in Washington State

Driver Licensing:

How soon do I need to apply for my Washington driver license?

If you carry a license from another state, you must apply for a driver license within 30 days of becoming a Washington resident. You are considered a resident when you establish a permanent home in this state, register to vote, receive state benefits, apply for any state license, or seek in-state tuition rates.


Where do I get a new license?

There are over 50 driver licensing offices (DOL) throughout the Washington state. A complete listing of driver licensing offices is available on their website at


What type of Identification do I need to bring?

You must present documents that establish your identity by linking your name, residence, photograph, and signature. Visit their website or a driver licensing office (DOL) for a list of acceptable identification and residence documents.


Will I need to take any tests?

If you already have a valid out-of-state license, you will only need to pass a vision test and medical screening. You will not be required to take a written test or a drive test. If you are getting a new license, you will need to take a knowledge and drive test. Go to for complete information.


When will I receive my new driver license?

When you have met the licensing requirements, we can issue you a temporary driver license. Your new license will be processed and mailed to you within 10-14 days. If you do not receive it within 30 days. Please return to any driver licensing office.


Do I need insurance?

If you operate a motor vehicle registered in Washington state, you must have liability insurance and carry a current insurance identification card with you.


Does Washington have a different driver license for teens?

Yes, Washington has an intermediate driver license for teens ages 16 to 18. For a complete description of the program, including restrictions, please visit the "Services" section of our website. If a teen already has a license from another state and is moving to Washington, they need to provide the out-of-state license, provide proof that they completed a qualifying traffic safety education class with classroom and behind-the-wheel, be at least 16 years of age, and have parental permission. Their parent must provide their own identification documents and one that proves their relationship to the minor (such as a birth certificate).


Vehicle Licensing

How soon do I need to license my vehicle?

If you own a vehicle licensed in another State, your vehicle must be licensed in the state within 30 days of becoming a Washington resident. You are considered a resident when you register to vote, receive state benefits, apply for any state license at residential rates, or seek in-state tuition rates. You could receive a traffic fine. If you are a resident and do not license your vehicle in this state.


Where do I go to license my vehicle?

You can license your vehicle at any vehicle and vessel licensing office throughout the state, including County Auditor's offices. For a complete list of offices and their hours of operation, please visit their website.


What will I need to license my vehicle?

You will need the following:

  • For a new vehicle, the Manufacturer's Statement/Certificate of Origin.
  • For used vehicles, the current title and registration. If a lien holder holds the title, you will need to supply a fax or photocopy of the title being held by the lien holder. If you title has been lost, you must apply for a duplicate from the state of issuance.
  • Certification that your vehicle has passed a Washington emissions test is necessary if your live in urban area of Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties. Vehicles 2009 or newer must be California Emissions Compliant. For more information about emissions testing, please visit the Department of Ecology website at 
  • All registered owners must present identification. If the vehicle title is from another state and there will be no change in registered owners, only one registered owner's signature is needed.
  • An odometer reading if you vehicle is less than 10 years old. You and the previous owner must sign and odometer disclosure statement if you are titling and licensing a newly acquired vehicle.
  • The weight of your vehicle (except travel trailers).
  • Cash or a check for licensing fees and taxes. Credit and debit card are accepted at most licensing offices.


How do I get a personalized or specialty plate?

A wide variety of specialty and personalized plates are available. Some have eligibility requirements. For more information, please visit their website.


How do I get disabled parking privileges?

Complete a Disabled Parking Application for Individuals form - and take it to a vehicle licensing office. The forms are available at any driver or vehicle licensing office, or from our website.