How to Get A Washington Driving Record (A Complete Guide)

Washington Driving Record

We know checking your driving record is the last thing on your mind.

However, it’s a good idea to get a copy every now and then to see your violations and whatnot. 

Besides, there are times when you might actually need it… 

Like if your insurance company, potential employer, or the court is asking for it. 

This is why it’s important to know how to get a Washington driving record. 

And we’re here to give you all the details, including:

  • How to get your own Washington driving record through the 3 channels
  • How to get someone else’s Washington driving record
  • How to improve your Washington driving record
  • Washington driving record violations

So are you ready?

Let’s go!

Types of Driving Records in Washington

There are four kinds of driving records available in Washington. 

As the record owner, you can access all of them.

But which one should you get? 

Before we dive into specifics, let’s go broad strokes. Here is the information you’ll find in most driving records:

  • Violations and convictions
  • Involvement in collisions
  • Disqualifications, revocations, and suspensions
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to Appear (FTA)
  • Employer Declaration Exemption

Now here are the different types:

  • Full Driving Record. As its name implies, it shows all information listed above since the WA DOL first issued your driver’s license. Most people order this if they want a copy for personal use or need to present it to the court. 
  • Insurance Driving Record. This is what you give to your auto and life insurance providers. They’ll factor it in when calculating your premium. This record type only shows convictions, violations, collisions, and FTAs within the last three years.
  • Employment Driving Record. If you think this is what you should provide a prospective employer, you’re absolutely right! It contains the same information as a Full Driving Record, and employers use it to determine whether or not to extend you a job offer.
  • Alcohol and Drug Treatment Record. You typically need this if the court (or other institutions) refer you to a drug and alcohol facility. It shows the same information as a Full Driving Record but only goes back five years.

How to Get My Driving Record in Washington

In Washington, you can purchase your driving record through 3 channels: 

  • Online
  • By Mail
  • In Person

Let’s break down the steps for each one…

How to Get Your WA Driving Record Online

No doubt you want convenience…

And that’s exactly what buying a copy online offers. 

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Login (or create an account) to your Licensing eXpress account.
  1. Click on ‘Purchase Driving Record’. 
  1. Read the information. 
  1. Indicate which driving record you want to purchase.
  1. Pay the $15 fee using a bank account or credit card.
  1. You can now view your driving record for up to 30 days. If you want a physical copy, you can print it out within 24 hours. 

How to Get Your WA Driving Record By Mail

Say you’re not eligible to make a Licensing eXpress account (you have to be a WA resident). 

Maybe you don’t have access to a printer but need a physical copy. 

Still, maybe you just don’t like online transactions. 

Well, the next best thing is to purchase one through the mail. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Download a copy of the Driving Record Request (Form DR-500-009).
  1. Complete all necessary fields on the form. 
  1. Write a check or money order payable to the WA DOL worth $15.
  1. Send everything to this address:

Driver Records

Department of Licensing

PO Box 3907

Seattle, WA 98124-3907

  1. Expect your driving record to arrive in the mail in 10 business days.

Here’s the catch. 

You have to wait quite a while to receive your WA driving record through the mail. 

So if you’re in a hurry, the last channel might be your best bet…

How to Get Your WA Driving Record In Person

Yes, you might have to go to a licensing office for this method…

But the steps are SUPER straightforward. 

  1. Head over to a WA licensing office
  1. Submit a completed Driving Record Request (Form DR-500-009).
  1. Pay the $15 fee.
  1. Get your WA driving record. 

As easy as one-two-three. 

How to Get Someone Else’s Driving Record in Washington

Okay, here’s the deal.

In Washington, only specific people or organizations can request another person’s driving record. 

The table below details who these are and what kind of records they can get.

RequestorFull Driving HistoryEmployment Driving RecordInsurance Driving RecordAlcohol and Drug Treatment Record
Lawyers✔️❌ ❌ 
Law, justice, or other government agencies✔️
Alcohol/drug assessment or treatment agencies✔️
Employers and prospective employers✔️
Transit authorities✔️
School districts✔️ ❌ 
Volunteer organizations❌ ✔️❌ 
Insurance companies❌ ❌ ✔️

Now if you are qualified to request another person’s driving record, remember the following:

  • All requests are by mail only.
  • You must use the Driving Record Request (Form DR-500-009).
  • The fee is $15 written in a check or money order payable to the WA DOL. 
  • Law, justice, or other government agencies must provide a written request instead of the form. 
  • Volunteer organizations and prospective employers must also complete a Driving Record Release of Interest form before mailing in the request form.
NOTE: The Driving Record Release of Interest form requires the record owner to sign it. The requestor does not have to send a copy to the DOL but must keep it in their files.

How to Improve Your Washington Driving Record

Why should you take good care of your Washington driving record? 

Because once you have convictions, suspensions, or revocations, they stay on there for years.

If you want details, here are a few:

Appears for 5 YearsAppears for 10 YearsAppears for Life
Most convictions

Forfeitures of bail

Collisions (involvement, not necessarily fault) of non-commercial vehicles

Disqualifications, suspensions, and revocations
Not responding to a traffic citation or notice of infraction (if unresolved)

Collisions (involvement, not necessarily fault) of commercial vehicles
Alcohol-related convictions

Vehicular Assault

Vehicular Homicide 

Deferred Prosecutions

Major withdrawals for commercial operators

So there’s nothing you can do to improve your record but ride it out.

However, the key is to not add more violations to your driving record.

That means doing your best to be a safe driver. 

Fortunately, you can do a lot of things that could help. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Attend a defensive driving course. Get updated on defensive driving techniques. It might also qualify you for an insurance discount, which doesn’t hurt.
  • Refresh yourself on Washington’s road signs. And more than that, obey traffic signs, signals, and pavement markings.
  • Avoid accidents. Easier said than done, we know. But knowing how to share the road with other vehicles can go a long way to keep you safe — and avoid violations. 
  • Be familiar with different road conditions. You’re more likely to run into hazards in inclement weather. Crashes are more likely to happen at night. It’s best to know safe driving practices for different occasions.

So if your driving record isn’t as stellar as you thought, choose a strategy and implement it!

As the years go by and you don’t add a new violation, your Washington driving record will be as good as new!

Washington Driving Record Violation System 

You may have heard some drivers talk about points on their driver’s licenses.

Don’t look for it on your Washington-issued credential — you won’t find it.

Unlike other states, Washington does not use a point system. 

But that doesn’t mean drivers get off scot-free.

The WA DOL keeps track of all your traffic violations. 

Running a stop sign or exceeding the allowable speed limit are minor violations — you typically get tickets and citations for that. 

Yes, these are minor offenses, but the DOL may suspend your driving privileges if you’re a repeat offender. 

However, committing severe violations, like DUIs or hit-and-runs, may lead to an immediate license suspension or revocation.

The Wrap Up

And that is your complete guide on how to get a Washington driving record. 


That wasn’t so hard, was it?

So even though you don’t really need it — it’s still a good idea to check how your driving record is doing. 

Got any new violations?

Are the old ones almost expiring?

You’ll never know unless you check. 

So go ahead and choose a method to purchase your Washington driving record!