How to Get a Washington Driver's Permit

The state of Washington requires all new drivers under 18 to begin driving with an instruction permit, in order to practice safe driving under supervision before getting their full driver’s license. To receive the initial learner’s permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a Washington learner’s permit:

Learner’s permit

The learner’s permit in Washington may only be issued to a driver who is at least 15 years old, and who is enrolled in a driver’s education course. Alternatively, if a driver chooses not to enroll in driver’s education, they may apply for a learner’s permit by being at least 15 years and six months old, and passing the written knowledge exam.

The instruction permit requires that drivers be accompanied at all times by a driver who has held a valid driver’s license for at least five years. Drivers with the learner’s permit must complete at least 50 hours of supervised training. At least ten of those hours must be performed at night. These hours may be recorded in the logbook provided by the state of Washington.

The learner’s permit must be held for at least six months before a driver, who is at least 16 years old and has completed the required 50 hours of practice, may apply for the Washington Intermediate license. The permit is valid for one year, and can be renewed twice.

How to apply

There are several ways to apply for the learner’s permit in the state of Washington. Those who are under 18 may pre-apply online, or they may complete a physical application at the local driver licensing office. In either case, these documents must be submitted with the application:

  • Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate or a U.S. passport

  • Completed parental authorization Form DLE-520-003

  • A printed waiver from the driver’s education program if you do not intend to take the written exam

  • Proof of social security number, such as a social security card or a W-2 form

They must also take a vision test, and pay the $25 application fee. Drivers will also have their photo taken at this time.

Passing the exam

The Washington learner’s permit exam covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. It consists of 25 questions, 20 of which must be answered correctly in order to pass. The Washington DOL provides a driver’s manual which includes all the information that student drivers need to pass the written exam. Additionally, the state provides an online practice exam that can be taken as many times as needed in order to gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to ace the exam.

If the driver fails the exam, they must wait for a short period before taking the exam again. Subsequent failures result in longer wait periods to give the driver the opportunity to study the material more thoroughly.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Get an Ohio Driver's Permit
Ohio Ohio uses a graduated licensing program that requires all new drivers under 18 years old to begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. In order to receive the initial learner’s...
How to Get a Texas Driver's Permit
Texas Texas uses a graduated driver's licensing program that requires all new drivers under 18 years old to begin driving with a learner’s license, in order to practice safe driving under supervision before getting their full driver’s license. To receive...
How to Get an Illinois Driver's Permit
Illinois Illinois requires all underage drivers to participate in a Graduated Driver Licensing program, which most states require. This program states that those under 18 must obtain a learner’s permit, that slowly graduates to a full license as the driver...

Related questions

Rear wheel won't move
With the wheel locked up this car is unsafe to drive until the problem is fixed. With that said, the most common issue would be a wheel bearing that has seized (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/wheel-bearings-replacement), or a parking brake that is stuck engaged....
I need some answers in order to get my permit. please help
Hello. Let's get these questions answered for you. All vehicles should be serviced per the manufacturers maintenance schedule (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-maintain-your-car-on-a-schedule-by-brent-minderler). The owners manual contains this schedule that is set up to best maintain the service of any vehicle. There is no...
stiff steering wheel after adjusting tire pressure.
The pressure would have to be very low for it to affect your steering effort. But maybe it is. Most auto stores have a basket of tire gauges that they sell on the counter for a few dollars. Most of...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com