How Long do You Have to Get Your License Changed Over in Washington State?

September 17, 2019

If you are moving from out of state into the Spokane area, or other Washington cities, you have 30 days to get your Washington State driver’s license. The penalty is a fine, but police rarely issue these tickets. However, under Washington law, you need to get a Washington license before you can register any vehicles in the state.

Overview of Procedure to get Washington License

  • Establish residency in WA: State residency is required to get license. To do this, you can register to vote, receive state benefits, pay in-state tuition or get a fishing or hunting license.
  • Choose Standard license or an enhanced driver’s license: The EDL allows you to leave and reenter the country to certain countries like Canada and Mexico without needing a passport
  • Pre-apply online: This allows you to apply for a license online and then take your new drivers license number to the driver licensing office along with the proper identification documents to get your picture taken and get your new license.
  • You can pre-apply if you:
  • Have a Washington ID card or have a residence street address.
  • After pre-applying online, go to the

Driver Licensing Office

  • When you come to the drivers licensing office to get your license, be prepared to:
  • Give Social Security Number
  • Pass vision screening test.
  • Pay any Fees
  • Register to vote or choose to be an organ donor (optional)
  • Pass any tests that are required.
  • If you have a valid driver’s license from another state, then you don’t have to take the written or driving test.

What if I get a Ticket for Not Changing License Over?

Technically, you could be cited for driving without a valid Washington State drivers license. If you move here, you have 30 days to change over your old license to a new Washington state license. The fine for driving without a valid license is $250, but it is reduced to $50 if you show up to court with a valid Washington State drivers license.

At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we serve clients in Spokane, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and surrounding communities. If you have received a ticket for driving without valid Washington State license—or any traffic or criminal violation—we can help.  Call us today at (509) 926-4900, or send us a message.

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