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