Instruction permits extended due to DOL office closures

June 9, 2020

Permitextension-tw (2)With the closure of state driver licensing offices and many wanting to continue their driver education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is automatically extending the expiration dates of valid Washington state instruction permits. This automatic extension applies to permits with expiration dates on or after March 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020. This will allow permit holders to continue to practice driving without penalty or incurring any late fees.

  • Permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020 will be extended for 180 days. This means these instruction permits will expire six months after the date printed on the permit.
  • Permits with an expiration date between July 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 will be extended for 90 days. This means these instruction permits will expire three months after the date printed on the permit.

New cards will not be issued. DOL recommends carrying this letter while operating a vehicle and presenting it with an expired permit if requested by law enforcement or others who need to verify identity.

Instruction Permit Online Renewal

In addition to extending instruction permits, individuals can renew a permit online for a limited time using the no-login option for driver license renewal. It can also be done via License eXpress.

DOL is unable to issue first-time instruction permits while the driver licensing offices remain closed. However, individuals can pre-apply online for an instruction permit.

Drivers or businesses that need to validate an expiration date for a permit holder can do so via DOL’s online services.

Getting a First-Time License

If a person has passed the knowledge and drive tests, there is a way for them to obtain a first-time driver license online. Using License eXpress, they will need to have a Washington photo instruction permit and complete all of the other online requirements.

If they do not have a Washington photo instruction permit, they will have to wait until the driver licensing offices reopen to get a photo taken and complete any other requirements. There will be more information about reopening plans soon.

Contact Us

If you need further assistance, call 360-902-3900 or email Please be patient, as call volume is high.

‘We have to do better’: New video shines light on required curriculum for driver training schools

March 22, 2019

Driver Training Required CurriculumA new video produced by the Department of Licensing provides helpful information for driver training schools, parents, and anyone else with an interest in Washington’s driver training required curriculum.

Washington state began implementing the new curriculum in August 2018.

Compared to the previous curriculum, the new curriculum features a stronger emphasis on decision making and attitudes. Of course, it still focuses on the rules of the road, driving maneuvers, and safety. But there’s a new approach to all that learning: How we feel behind the wheel. Specifically, how our attitudes and beliefs affect our decisions when driving.

Examples of self-reflection questions appear at the end of each section of the required curriculum. These questions are aimed at getting students to assess their driving behavior and attitude.

The video also explains how the required curriculum supports the state’s Target Zero program. Target Zero aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways to zero by 2030.

Check out the video below.