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washington drivers license renewal - WA

Renew your Washington Drivers license. Prepare all your DMV info. Get all the forms, rules and steps required for your WA drivers license renewal. There are three easy ways in which to renew your license. The most convenient way would be to process your renewal Online. If not, qualified drivers may renew By Mail. Lastly, you may show up In Person to any driver licensing office. If you are temporarily outside of the state or serving in our military, you will have special privileges that we'll discuss below. Your other alternative is to use our site and download your checklist. We’ll supply you with all of the necessary forms, rules, and steps in order for you to be fully prepared for your license agency visit. Please continue reading below to get started with your Washington license renewal.

Washington Drivers License Renewal Information

Expiration Date

You can always verify your expiration date by looking at the front portion of your license. The duration of your license in Washington is for a total of five (5) years. It must be renewed at this interval (5 years) and the expiration date will fall on your birthday. 

Renewal Notice

The WA DMV sends out (via postal mail) renewal notices to all drivers. You should receive it six (6) weeks before your expiration date. This reminder card will list all of your renewal options. You will know if you are allowed to take advantage of the renew online or by mail options. It could also state that your only option is to go in person. The DMV will mail the notice to the last address that was recorded for you. That's why it's very important to notify them of any address changes. It's ultimately your responsibility to renew your drivers license. Failure to receive the notice does not imply that you should not renew on time. 

When To Renew

The smartest option is to make preparations to renew ahead of tome. Waiting until the last day can complicate things and you risk driving with an invalid license. Early renewal differs depending on what option you select.

  • If you are going in person you can renew as far as one (1) year before it expires. 
  • If you are allowed to renew online or by mail you can do this up to sixty (60) days before the expiration or thirty (30) days after its expiration.

If you don't follow the guidelines above, your license will expire and become invalid. 

Expired Washington License

In the event that your license has already expired, you will face additional consequences. If it has been expired for over sixty (60) days, you will have to pay an additional $10.00 late fee at renewal time. Furthermore, you run the risk of being pulled over and having your licensing privileges taken away.

If you continuously break the driving laws or commit a major infraction your license can be suspended. Examples of this are the following: repeated penalties under an intermediate license, or driving without insurance, or DUI's, evading a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, committing fraud, etc.. You can view a complete list of the causes for suspensions Here. After your license has been suspended, you must serve the term of your suspension and pay the reinstatement fees accordingly. 

Renew Washington Drivers License Online

Every driver in Washington may renew online as long as you meet the requirements listed below:

Requirements to Renew Online

  • If you are younger then twenty four (24) years of age, you may not use the online option.
  • If your renewal notice does not give you the option of renewing online, you may not use this option.
  • You can only use this Online option if you are within sixty (60) days of your expiration date. 
  • If your license has been expired for over thirty (30) days you cannot renew online.
  • If you do not have a credit card you may not renew online.
  • You will need your current expiring drivers License, ID, EDL, or EID number.
  • To prevent identity fraud, you will be asked for your Social Security Number and Date of Birth.


  1. If you meet the qualifications PLEASE BEGIN HERE TO START YOUR RENEWAL.
  2. Enter your first and last name.
  3. Enter your Birth Date.
  4. Enter your complete Drivers License Number or ID number.
  5. You will be asked to enter your eye color (as listed on your card).
  6. For security, enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
  7. Review the info you entered and make payment for the Fee of $45.00. Add $10.00 if you are renewing more than 60 days after your expiration date. The only forms of payment are credit and debits cards of type: MasterCard, Visa or American Express. 
  8. Your photo cannot be taken so the DMV will pull the previous photo on file.
  9. You must have a printer to print the temporary receipt. This receipt which will serve as a Temporary License. But it may not be used for identification purposes. 
  10. Your newly renewed license will arrive via postal mail in approximately ten (10) days.

Note: For questions concerning the online procedure or if you have not received your license please email the WA DMV or use their contact page:

Phone Number: 360-902-3900 OR for Hearing Impaired: 360-664-0116
Contact Page: Click Here.

Washington Drivers License Renew by Mail

The by Mail option is very convenient but not all Washington drivers are qualified to use this service. If your license has been expired for over thirty (30) days you cannot renew by mail. You can only use this By Mail option if you are within sixty (60) days of your expiration date. Please read the requirements below to see if you qualify.

Requirements to Renew By Mail (only if renewal notice allows you to do so)

You can only mail in your renewal application under either of the following two circumstances:

  • The renewal notice that was mailed indicates that you must renew by mail.
  • OR
  • You are not currently in the state of Washington. 

In State Renewal By Mail (only if renewal notice allows you to do so)

The renewal notice will have exact instructions on the steps needed to take. But in general you must:


  1. Insert the payment coupon in the envelope that you will mail. The payment coupon will be inside the renewal notice. 
  2. Make payment for the Fee of $45.00. Add $10.00 if you are renewing more than 60 days after your expiration date. The only forms of payment are Checks or Money Orders. Please make the payment out to Department of Licensing.
  3. Mail to the address provided in the renewal notice.

Out of State Renewal By Mail

Washington state residents may renew by mail if they are temporarily outside the state boundaries provided that you meet the following criteria:

  • Your license must be active. It cannot have been suspended or taken away (revoked).
  • You must not owe any money to the Washington DMV.

If you meet these conditions, you will have two (2) options to renew when out of state. If you will be away for less than twelve (12) months, please apply for an extension. If you will be away for more than one (1) year, you may file a renewal via mail. Note: You will only be allowed to apply for an extension once.

  1. Extension By Mail 

    • Fill out, download and print the following Extension Form. Note: CDL license holders may not use this.
    • The form will require you to input your license number, date of birth, full name, phone number, email address, out of state mailing address, and last 4 digits of social security.
    • Include payment for the extension Cost of $5.00. Note: The only forms of payment are Checks or Money Orders
    • Mail the form and payment to:

      Driver Records
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 3907
      Seattle, WA 98124-3907
    • You can either have the 12 month extension emailed OR sent via postal mail to your out of state mailing address.
  2. Renew a 5 year license by Mail
    • This option is only allowed if you are outside of Washington state and plan to be there for over 1 year.
    • You cannot make any name changes.
    • If you are trying to renew a Commercial or Enhanced driver's license, you may not use this method.
    • You must have an out of state mailing address because the DMV will not mail to in-state addresses.
    • You must have a social security number.
    • The last time that you renewed must have been in person.
    • Your picture will not appear licenses renewed by mail. Therefore, it cannot be used for identification purposes.
    • Follow these instructions:
      • Fill out, download and print the following Renewal While Out of State FormNote: CDL license may not use this.
      • The form will require you to enter your full name, WA license number, full social security number, date of birth, gender, weight, height, eye color, WA address, out of state mailing address, email address and phone number. 
      • Include payment for the renewal Cost of $45.00. The only forms of payment are Checks or Money Orders.
      • If you have any vision or medical restrictions, you must include the respective forms.
      • Mail the form(s) and payment to:

        Department of Licensing
        301 E Wallace Kneeland Blvd Ste 224 PMB 296
        Shelton WA 98584-2987


If you have any questions you may contact the Washington DMV by using the following Contact Page OR by calling 360-902-3900 OR emailing

Washington Drivers License Renewal for Military Drivers

If you are a Washington resident who is on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or National Guard, or a reservist (if serving for more than 180 days), you do not have to renew your license as it will not expire during your active duty service. Your spouse and dependents are also covered under this rule. Additionally, upon your return from active duty (after discharge), you may still use your expired license for an extra ninety (90) days (as long as it does not get suspended or revoked). In order to process your renewal just visit any driver licensing office. You will not be subject to additional late fees or tests.

You may also apply for what is known as a military expiration date on your license. This is what you would need for that:

Renewal Steps for adding a Military Expiration Date to License:

  • Remember that your license will not expire as long as you are serving.
  • Visit any driver licensing office.
  • You will be required to show your current expiring license, and some proof that you are currently in active duty. Your dependents will need to show your ID card. 
  • You must pay a fee of $10.00. The only forms of payment accepted are Cash, Checks, and not all credit cards. Credit card acceptance is based upon the driving licensing office. Please call the driver licensing office in order to confirm the types of payment that they will allow. 
  • Please read this rule in its entirety here.

Auto Insurance

Carrying the proper auto insurance is mandatory by law in Washington. If you are caught driving without insurance you will be fined a minimum of $450. The only exceptions are motorcyles, mopeds, carriages (without horses) that are older than 40 years old, and state owned cars. If any police officer demands to see your proof of insurance, you must obey and show your documents. 

Get the lowest auto insurance prices by using our website.


Other Driver License Topics in the State of Washington

  • New Driver's License
  • Renew Driver's License
  • Learner's Permit