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Washington Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete 2023 Guide)

Washington Driver’s License Renewal

Is it time to renew your WA-issued driver’s license?

If you’re renewing for the first time — or you’re looking to see if the process changed — then this article will help you. 

Here, we’ll be looking at the Washington driver’s license renewal process for 2023. 

We’ll walk you through all the methods.

We’ll answer the most frequently asked questions.

We’ll help you renew your driver’s license in Washington without any confusion. 

So are you ready? 

Let’s begin!

How to Renew A Driver’s License in Washington

Drivers in Washington State have three options to renew their licenses. 

  • Online
  • By Mail
  • In Person

However, each one has different steps — and not every channel might be available to you.

But don’t worry. 

We’re going to cover all three channels in detail…

How to Renew Your WA Driver’s License Online

Everyone’s after convenience these days — and if you can renew your driver’s license from the comfort of your home, why shouldn’t you?

Well, not everyone can complete the renewal process online. Check out the list below and see how many of the boxes you can mark off:

  • You’re under 70 years old
  • You don’t need a new photo.
  • You don’t need to undergo a vision test.
  • Your last renewal was by mail or in person.

How many did you check off? 

Here’s the thing — leaving even one box unmarked means you’ll have to choose a different renewal method.

But, if you’re eligible, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to the WA State Department of Licensing’s Online Services page for license renewals.
  1. Provide the following information:
    1. Your full name (first, middle, and last)
    2. Your date of birth
    3. Your Washington State driver’s license number
    4. Your Social Security Number
    5. Your residential address (if you need, you can change your address here
NOTE: Ensure that your information matches what’s on your driver’s license.
  1. Follow the prompts on the screen.
  1. Pay the required fee with a bank account or credit card. Check the table below for the fees. 
Credential6-Year Validity8-Year Validity
Standard / ID Card$55$73
Enhanced / Enhanced ID Card$97$129
NOTE: Using a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Amex) means paying a 3% transaction fee. 

NOTE II: The fees listed above already include the $1 Technology. However, other fees may apply, such as endorsement and late renewal fees. 
  1. Print your temporary driver’s license. Your official credential will arrive within two to four weeks.

And just like that — you’ve finished renewing your driver’s license!

How to Renew Your WA Driver’s License By Mail

If you don’t qualify for online renewal, you may be able to complete the process by mail.

However, you can only use this method if one of these scenarios applies to you:

  • The Washington Department of Licensing (WA DOL) sends you a letter indicating you can renew by mail. 
  • You’re out of state when your license expires. This is not applicable if you have a commercial or enhanced driver’s license or ID Card. 

In this case, here is what you need to do: 

  1. Fill out the renewal notice letter sent by the WA DOL. If you’re out of state, use the Driver License Renewal/Replacement Request While Out-of-State (Form DLE-520-008).
  1. Write a check or money order payable to the WA DOL for the appropriate amounts.
CredentialUsing the DOL Renewal Notice Using the Out-of-State Form
6-Year Standard$55$55
8-Year Standard$73$73
6-Year Enhanced$97N/A
8-Year Enhanced$129N/A

            *Does not include endorsement or late renewal fees

  1. Put everything in an envelope and send it to the address on the DOL renewal notice. If out of state, send it to the address below: 

Department of Licensing 

PO Box 9048 

Olympia, WA 98507-9048

  1. Wait for your new license to arrive in the mail. This will take around two to four weeks. 
NOTE: You won’t get a temporary license if you renew by mail. So it’s best to make sure you have your new credential before your old one expires.

How to Renew Your WA Driver’s License In-Person 

When all else fails, you can always renew in person. 

Here’s what you must do:

  1. Schedule a DMV appointment.
  1. On your visit, present your current Washington State driver’s license and a completed renewal notice letter (if you received one).
  1. Pass the vision screening.
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Pay the appropriate renewal fee:
Credential6-Year Validity8-Year Validity
Standard / ID Card$55$73
Enhanced / Enhanced ID Card$97$129
NOTE: We didn’t include endorsement or late renewal fees in the table above. You can view the full list of fees here. 
  1. Receive your temporary license and wait for your official one to arrive via mail. 

That wasn’t too bad, right?

FAQs About Washington Driver’s License Renewal 

Got some questions about the Washington driver’s license renewal process?

We answer the most asked ones here!

When Does My Washington Driver’s License Expire?

As of 2022, drivers in Washington State now have the option to choose a 6-year or 8-year license validity. 

However, if you got your driver’s license in 2023 to 2024, the renewal will happen in 5 years. 

If you’re issued a license in 2025, you’ll have to renew it in 4 years. 

Any license issued between 2026 and beyond will get the regular 6 to 8-year validity. 

How Long Do You Have to Renew Your Driver’s License After It Expires in Washington?

If you fail to renew your driver’s license on time, you have 60 days to complete the process without any additional cost.

After this, the DMV charges a $10 fee. 

However, this doesn’t mean you won’t face any consequences if you drive with an expired license. 

Another thing — you cannot renew your license if it expired over eight years ago. Instead, you’ll have to apply for a new one.

What Happens If I’m Caught With An Expired Driver’s License?

If you’re caught, that can set you back to $250. 

If you want to reduce the fine, ensure you renew your driver’s license before your court date. You’ll still have to pay $50, but that’s significantly lower than the original amount.

What Documents Do I Need to Renew My License in Washington State?

You only need to present your Washington State-issued driver’s license — and only if you renew in person.

Although you won’t have to upload any documents when you do an online renewal, you must verify your information by putting in specific personal details (which should match what’s on your license).

The Wrap Up

Now that you know everything you need to know about the Washington driver’s license renewal…

You are more than prepared to go and renew it. 

So see first if you are eligible for online renewal…

Then mail renewal…

If you don’t qualify for either, then in-person renewals are very straightforward, too. 

Don’t delay!

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