Driver license expiration dates extended 90 days

April 4, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee has taken action to allow the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to temporarily extend the expiration dates of driver licenses.

The DOL will send letters to persons whose driver licenses expired after March 1, 2020, and have not been renewed, and to those whose licenses will expire through June 30, 2020. These card holders’ expiration dates will be extended for 90 days.

The new expiration date will show up on a person’s driver record if it is pulled up by law enforcement. You will not receive a new card.

Please renew online, if possible.

Important Information for CDL Holders

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted an extension on the validity of commercial driver licenses (CDLs) that were valid on Feb. 29 and which expire on or after March 1, 2020. DOL will send letters to CDL holders set to expire during this time notifying them their license is extended to June 30, 2020.

Commercial drivers should carry a copy of their expired medical certificate to show their license or permit expiration date was on or after March 1, 2020.

DOL Offices Are Temporarily Closed; Use Expanded Online Renewal Services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DOL driver licensing offices are temporarily closed to the public. However, most Washington residents are now eligible to renew their driver licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registrations online.

Persons under age 24 and over 70 may renew online for a limited time. Additionally, DOL is suspending the requirement to visit a licensing office every other renewal.

Mail-in options are available for a number of transactions, such as vehicle registrationoriginal title transactions, and driver license renewal.

Vehicle Titling and Registration Online and By Mail

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are contracted through county auditors and may be open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, and new license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, and disabled parking placards or tabs. It is a good idea to check a VLO’s status and call ahead.

REAL ID Enforcement Date Extended

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that the REAL ID enforcement date has been extended to Oct. 1, 2021. Customers who want a REAL ID-compliant document will have an opportunity to apply at a later date.

Contact Us

The DOL call center is open during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; Thursday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Please be patient, as call volume is high.

  • Driver licensing: 360-902-3900
  • Vehicle licensing: 360-902-3770
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

All driver licensing offices will temporarily close to the public beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 30, 2020

DOL logoThe Department of Licensing (DOL) is temporarily closing all driver licensing lobbies beginning Tuesday, March 31, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All appointments are being canceled at this time and no appointments will be made going forward.

“The safety and health of both employees and customers is paramount. Sanitation products continue to be difficult to purchase and ensuring appropriate social distancing during in person transactions is difficult” said Teresa Berntsen, Department of Licensing director. “We appreciate patience and understanding as the Department of Licensing does its part to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Expanded Online Renewals

Most Washington residents are now eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registrations online. We strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of those services if possible.

Many rules have been relaxed to accommodate online services. Persons under age 24 and over 70 may renew online for the next 30 days, or longer if deemed necessary. Additionally, DOL is also suspending the requirement to visit a licensing office every other renewal.

Mail-in options are also available for a number of transactions, such as vehicle registrationoriginal title transactions, and driver license renewal.

REAL ID Enforcement Date Extended

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the REAL ID enforcement date has been extended to Oct. 1, 2021. Residents who want a REAL ID-compliant document will have an opportunity to apply at a later date.

Vehicle Titling and Registration Online and By Mail

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are contracted through county auditors and may be open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, and new license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, and disabled parking placards or tabs. It’s a good idea to check a VLO’s status and call ahead.

Contact Us

The DOL call center is open during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; Thursday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Please be patient, as call volume is high.

  • Driver licensing: 360-902-3900
  • Vehicle licensing: 360-902-3770
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

Governor Inslee issues additional guidance on funerals

March 28, 2020

DOL logoGov. Jay Inslee today provided guidelines through Proclamation 20-25 to allow for funeral services that keep our families safe and ensure social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

All licensed funeral homes and cemeteries may conduct funeral services in a funeral home or graveside under the following conditions:

  • Funerals are attended only by immediate family members of the deceased.
  • The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as staying 6 feet apart.

Read DOL’s full letter to funeral homes and cemeteries.

For additional updates and resources to help you navigate the COVID-19 outbreak, visit:


REAL ID enforcement date postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus pandemic

March 24, 2020

Child at airportPresident Trump announced Monday that enforcement of the REAL ID Act has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. This decision is expected to promote social distancing in the months ahead by reducing the number of people visiting driver licensing offices to obtain compliant identification.

Passed by Congress in 2005 in an effort to strengthen security standards after 9/11, the REAL ID Act had been scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, 2020. A new deadline has not been set.

When enforcement of the REAL ID Act begins, every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a compliant form of ID in order to fly within the United States or access certain federal buildings, including military bases. There are many options.

Washington state issues two types of REAL ID-compliant documents: enhanced driver licenses (EDLs) and enhanced ID cards (EIDs). These can be obtained only by visiting a driver licensing service office. With the enforcement date pushed back, residents seeking an ID upgrade can rest a little easier and avoid our offices for a while.

Residents with standard driver licenses and IDs who will eventually want an enhanced version can renew online now and upgrade later for only the difference in cost ($4 per year).

About one-third of Americans have a REAL ID-compliant document, according to the Department of Homeland Security.


As temporary grace period takes effect, DOL urges online renewals for all driver licenses and ID cards

March 23, 2020

Renew online at dol.wa.govSocial distancing measures are key to efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. With that in mind, the Department of Licensing is urging all eligible residents to go online to renew their Washington state driver license or identification card.

If your document expires anytime within the next year, you can renew online for the next 30 days.

Even if you renewed online last time.

Even if you’re under age 24 or over 70.

Because of the governor’s recent emergency proclamation, a provision in state law that requires every other renewal to be in person was temporarily suspended. Persons under age 24 and over 70 also were exempted and all vision tests waived for 30 days.

Please take advantage of these relaxed rules and renew online now. It will save you time and, more importantly, risk of exposure to COVID-19.

If you are unable to complete your transaction online and it involves an essential function as outlined in the governor’s guidelines, you can make an appointment by calling 360-902-3900. Please be patient, as call volumes are high.

We appreciate your patience as we work to make our offices – and our processes – safer for visitors and DOL staff alike.


DOL takes steps to protect the health and safety of customers and employees

March 20, 2020

Customer service announcement

The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) today announced new actions it is taking to protect the health and safety of customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, March 23, more customers will be able to renew their driver licenses and identification cards online. Customers whose transactions require a visit to a driver licensing service office will be served on an appointment-only basis if their needs involve essential functions as outlined by the governor. This will significantly reduce the number of people in our offices at any given time, allowing us to better manage customer flow and ensure social distancing.

Expanded Online Renewals

If possible, as a first option please take advantage of the dozens of services offered online at dol.wa.gov.

Starting March 23, persons under age 24 and over 70 may renew online for the next 30 days, longer if deemed necessary. DOL is also suspending the requirement to visit a licensing office every other renewal.

Most vehicle registration renewals can be done online, by mail, or over the phone. Vehicle registration renewals that are not eligible to use an alternative service channel include:

  • Outdated insurance information
  • Registration expired for 90 days or more
  • Recent transfer to the state

If You Can’t Complete Your Transaction Online

Those unable to complete their transaction online can make an appointment to visit a DOL office. Transactions servicing essential functions will be prioritized.

To make an appointment, call 360-902-3900. Customers who show up to an office without an appointment will be scheduled for a return visit or redirected to alternative service channels in order to complete their DOL business.

Please be patient when calling for an appointment. Call volumes are very high.

Examples of situations that require an office visit include:

  • Applications for commercial driver licenses
  • Applications for a new driver license or identification card (standard or enhanced)
  • Certain complex transactions, such as reinstatements
  • Inability to renew online due to not having a bank account or access to the internet

Vision tests in our offices are temporarily suspended due to lack of adequate cleaning supplies.

Drive tests will not be available. There is no way to create social distancing in a vehicle. In Washington, drive tests are required for young drivers and persons who require medical re-exams. Contact your local private driver training school to find out if tests are still being offered there.

Ten driver licensing offices reopen for appointments at 1 p.m. March 23, with more taking appointments starting 1 p.m. March 24. The following travel offices will not open until the week of April 6 at the earliest: Chelan, Clarkston, Coulee Dam, Davenport, Forks, Friday Harbor, Goldendale, Morton, Newport, Oroville, Republic, and South Bend.

Public Counters for Businesses, Professions, and Fuel Tax Remain Closed

In addition to driver licensing offices, all public counters for businesses, professions, and fuel tax payments will stay closed until further notice. All such services can be done online, over the phone, or by mail.

Social Distancing Measures in DOL Offices

In addition to limiting the number of people in our offices, seating is being reduced in all lobbies to create more space between seats, and licensing workers will work 6 feet apart.

Contact Us

The DOL call center is open during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; Thursday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Please be patient, as call volume is high.

  • Driver licensing/appointment scheduling: 360-902-3900
  • Vehicle licensing: 360-902-3770
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

Licensing service offices temporarily closed to public to help limit spread of coronavirus

March 16, 2020

DOL logoIn response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington state, the Department of Licensing is temporarily closing its driver licensing offices and other service counters to the public starting Tuesday, March 17. DOL employees will be working to implement social distancing measures in these offices to protect the health of customers and workers while delivering critical services to the public.

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed a statewide emergency proclamation regarding efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, approving the temporary suspension of two provisions in state law. This will allow us to take the following actions to promote social distancing. These waivers are in effect 30 days from their effective dates unless renewed.

  • Effective immediately, we will not administer vision tests for driver license applicants. We currently do not have adequate supplies to clean the machines. Additionally, vision exams have a 99.6% pass rate. We believe this move is prudent given the circumstances.
  • Effective March 23 (because we need time to implement), more people will be able to renew their driver license or ID card online. Laws and rules were temporarily suspended that require residents to visit an office to renew every other time and prohibited customers under age 24 and over 70 from renewing online.

As it stands, driver licensing offices are expected to resume business Monday, March 23. But residents should be prepared for the possibility of extended closures.

“We do not take the decision to close any office lightly,” said Teresa Berntsen, Department of Licensing director. “Amid an unprecedented health emergency, we are taking these extraordinary steps in the best interests of the public we serve. Please heed the governor’s orders, as we have, to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in our communities through appropriate social distancing. Our thanks to Gov. Inslee for his support in providing additional options for more residents to be able to use our online services.”

Residents are encouraged to go online to dol.wa.gov, if possible, for their licensing needs.

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are contracted through county auditors and may be open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, new license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, and disabled parking placards or tabs. It’s a good idea to check a VLO’s status and call ahead.

Questions? Contact us:

  • Driver licensing: 360-902-3900
  • Vehicle licensing: 360-902-3770
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov