Washington Permit Requirements

When applying for a Washington driver permit with the Washington State Department of Licensing, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the DOL requirements and that you have the required documents ready.

Obtaining a learner’s permit is often the first step to getting a license and gives new drivers the opportunity to practice their driving skills in the presence of more experienced drivers. People who are interested in obtaining a learner's permit in the state of Washington will need to meet a list of eligibility requirements as well as pay an application fee and pass a knowledge test.

Washington Permit Age Requirements

Individuals who are 15 years old may apply for a learner's permit without having to take a knowledge test if they are enrolled in a driver’s education class. All other applicants who are not enrolled in a driver’s education class will need to wait until the age of 15 ½ before applying for a permit and must also pass a knowledge test.

Washington Permit Application Process

Drivers have the option of pre-applying online http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/preapply.html as a way to save time. The remaining portion of the application may be finished at a local driver licensing office. Applicants also need to bring proof of identification, pass a vision test, pass a knowledge test and pay a $25 application fee. Drivers under the age of 18 will also need to submit a Parental Authorization Affidavit. Each person who meets the application requirements will have their photo taken for their permit using special facial recognition technology to help prevent identity theft.

Washington Permit Acceptable Forms of Identification

Applicants are required to provide:

  • proof of identity – for this you can use a valid US passport or a birth certificate, social security card and high school report card.
  • Social Security number – again you will need your Social Security card.
  • proof of Washington residence – a bank statement, utility bill or school record or report card that show your name and address. All identification documents must either be in original or certified copy form.

Washington Permit Knowledge Test

The test features 25 multiple choice questions. At least 20 of these questions must be answered correctly in order to receive a passing score. People who fail the test the first time can retry in four hours. People who fail the test a second time can retry in one day. The Washington Driver Guide contains all of the information a person will need to know for a test. Test content may include:

  • Knowledge of traffic signs
  • Safe driving practices
  • Proper turn signal usage
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist rules
  • Right-of-way laws

Washington Permit Permit Driver Requirements

In addition to having a valid permit that is not past its expiration date, drivers with permits must be accompanied by a person who has held a driver’s license for at least five years. The license can either be a Washington license or a license that was issued in another state.  Applicants must also complete at least 50 hours of driving practice with 10 hours of nighttime driving under the supervision of a licensed driver. Washington permits are valid for one year from the issue date and can be renewed only once.

Washington Graduated Licensing Program

Drivers who have held a permit for at least six months and have reached the age of 16 can then applying for an intermediate driver’s license.   The Intermediate license has restrictions on number of passengers, night-time driving and cell phone use.  These restrictions are removed upon tuning 18.