How to Renew Your Washington License: Step-by-Step
The Washington Department of Licensing sends a notice before your license expires. In this notice, the WA DOL details if you can renew online, in-person, or through the mail. It also includes details of your renewal to help you get an understanding of what all you’ll do.
Renewing your license is essential to continue driving, legally. Renewing makes your license valid for another 6 years (versus the prior 5, since 2014). This goes for both the standard and extended licenses.
You do have some leeway, 60-days to get it renewed to be exact. Yet, you may want to check the status of your license before making the trip. Contact your local DMV for more details.
Does everything look in order? Great! Let’s go through the steps to renew your Washington license.
Your Guide to Renewing a WA License
You have a full year before you need to renew your license. This gives you plenty of time to swing through a DMV. Otherwise, you can only renew your license by mail once you’ve received a notice.
You’ll have up to 60-days after the license’s expiration to get it renewed, too. Anything longer than the 60-days will incur a $10 late fee. Those with a suspended license will need to clear any wrong-doing before renewing, too.
Here’s what happens when you go to the DMV (remember: this happens before getting a notice).
Renewing Your License In-person
Consider making an appointment, then head over to your WA DMV office to:
- Provide your driver’s license
- Pass a vision test
- Pay the fee
- Standard License: $54
- Extended License: $78
- Extension: $5 (if out-of-state)
You can use any form of payment though some counties include a convenience fee. The final renewal price may vary if you’re doing it late, too. This whole process shouldn’t take long.
Renewing Your License Online
Can you renew WA license online? Yes!
There are two ways:
- For Everyone: Through the WA DOL website
- For Express Renewal: Using the License eXpress
There’s one requirement with eXpress: You must be between 24 and 70 years old. The WA DOL does make some exceptions though you’ll need to chat with them to see if you qualify. Otherwise, the process is like doing it in person with a few changes.
For everyone else:
- Visit the WA DOL site
- Provide your information
- License #
- SSN (last 4-digits)
- Pay the renewal fee
- Print your receipt
You should receive your license by mail in about 2 weeks. If it’s delayed, give them a call to see the status of your license renewal.
Renewing Your License By Mail
Mail renewals are possible if you’ve received a renewal notice. You’ll file the paperwork and include payment addressed to the Department of Licensing. This will be a $54 renewal fee.
Send your information to:
Department of Licensing
646 Okoma Dr Ste E
Omak WA 98841
This process is largely the same if you’re renewing your WA license while being out-of-state.
A Note about Expired Licenses
You’re wondering the, “Can I drive with an expired WA license?”. That’s a no. You will likely receive a hefty fine. Plus, you may have your license suspended or revoked. You don’t want that.
Those facing this situation should read our Suspended WA License Guide for more details about regaining their driving privileges including what may have caused the suspension in the first place.