Commercial driver licenses/learner permits extended to Sept. 30, 2020

June 26, 2020

DOL logoIf your commercial driver license (CDL) or commercial learner permit (CLP) expired on or after March 1, 2020, and has not been renewed, don’t fret. The Department of Licensing (DOL) has extended its expiration date to Sept. 30, 2020. The extension applies to all CDL types and endorsements.

We are taking these steps to comply with guidance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep essential transportation services operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. No late fees will be incurred during the extension period.

CDL and CLP holders will not receive a new license or ID card. DOL recommends carrying this notice while operating a vehicle and presenting it with your expired license if requested by law enforcement or others who need to verify your identity.

DOL strongly encourages all CDL holders to renew online, if possible. Almost all Washington residents are eligible to do so for a limited time. In-person service capacity at driver licensing offices will be very limited in the months ahead.

No Downgrade for Expired Medical Certificates

Gov. Jay Inslee authorized DOL to take advantage of a FMCSA waiver to some CDL medical certificate rules. This temporary change allows commercial drivers to continue operating with an expired medical certificate.

For those with medical certificates that expired on or after March 1, 2020, DOL will again take steps to prevent your CDL from being downgraded through Sept. 30, 2020.

FMCSA extended its waiver of federal medical certificate requirements through Sept. 30. However, the governor may waive statutes for only 30 days at a time during an emergency. DOL will seek the extensions necessary to give CDL holders the full benefit of the federal waiver. CDL holders are urged to get a valid medical certificate before Sept. 30, when this temporary change ends.

In the meantime, DOL recommends carrying this notice.

DOL has several options for submitting a new medical certificate that do not require visiting a driver licensing office:

  • Email: (CDL medical forms only; questions won’t be answered)
  • Fax: 360-570-4915
  • Mail:
    CDL Medical Unit
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9030
    Olympia, WA 98507-9030

Questions about this process can be emailed to


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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. New cards will not be issued.

Please renew online, if possible.

Important Information for CDL Holders

In line with temporary extensions granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all commercial driver licenses (CDLs) expiring on or after March 1 have been extended to June 30, 2020. Letters will be sent to impacted Washington state CDL holders, including those with non-domiciled CDLs and CDLs with a hazmat endorsement.

Also, certain statutory barriers for renewing or extending CDLs and commercial learner permits (CLPs) have been temporarily waived:

  • Through May 14, 2020, DOL will not downgrade any CDL holder that had a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer that expired on or after March 1. DOL will update the records of drivers with a downgraded status that meet these requirements as soon as possible. Note: FMCSA waived federal medical certificate requirements through June 30. However, the governor may waive statutes for only 30 days at a time during an emergency. DOL plans to seek the proclamation extensions necessary to give CDL drivers the full benefit of the federal waiver.
  • All valid CLPs that expired on or after March 1 have been extended to June 30, 2020. This includes non-domiciled CLPs.
  • Through May 14, any valid CLP holder that has evidence of successfully passing their CDL skills test in their possession may operate that specific type of vehicle without a CDL holder in the front seat of the vehicle, provided the CDL holder is somewhere in the cab.
  • Through May 14, drivers with a valid CLP are not required to wait 14 days after the CLP issuance to take a skills test.

DOL Offices 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

Washington CDL holders must soon prove citizenship or permanent residency

June 30, 2015
UPDATE 10/3/18
—For our current process on getting a CDL or CLP, visit Steps to getting a Commercial Driver License. See also, CDL approved documents.

OLYMPIA—Starting Sept. 1, 2015, anyone seeking a commercial driver license (CDL) or commercial learner permit (CLP) in Washington will be required to prove they are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
This new law does not affect anyone’s ability to get or retain a regular driver license. Commercial drivers are not required to present this proof until their next CDL or CLP renewal or other transaction that requires a change to their record, including name, address, and endorsement changes.
Drivers with an enhanced personal driver license or enhanced commercial driver license issued in Washington before Sept. 1, 2015, are not required to again prove their lawful permanent residency or U.S. citizenship.
This new requirement is due to the state’s mandatory compliance with federal law and one aspect of a broad public safety effort around CDLs that brings Washington into line with the national standard.
Starting Sept. 1, commercial drivers must visit one of 28 designated offices to complete their CDL or CLP transaction because of the special resources needed to verify documents. The full list of designated office locations can be found at
Commercial drivers should have one of the six approved documents in their possession before arriving at a designated licensing office, including:
·         Valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card issued by the U.S. Department of State;
·         Birth certificate issued by a state or local government. A hospital-issued “Certificate of Live Birth” is not acceptable;
·         Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State;
·         Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
·         Certificate of Citizenship issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
·         Permanent Resident Card or “Green Card” issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Obtaining duplicate documents can take several weeks. Commercial drivers are encouraged to begin the process immediately if they do not currently have at least one in their possession. Photocopies will not be accepted. The Department of Licensing (DOL) will be unable to complete CDL or CLP transactions of those drivers who are unable to provide one of the approved documents.
Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency is not required to replace a lost, damaged, or stolen card.
More information is available online at or by calling the Washington Department of Licensing Driver Customer Service line at 360-902-3900.

Commercial drivers must self-certify their driver status before Jan. 30 deadline

November 4, 2013
DOL photo

DOL photo

The Department of Licensing recently sent notifications by mail to about 60,000 individuals with commercial driver licenses to let them know the deadline is approaching to complete and submit the required form to self-certify the type of commercial driving they do.

All CDL holders are required to submit a self-certification form to DOL before January 30, 2014. Failure to do so will result in losing their CDL and the driver will be required to get a driver license without the CDL endorsement.  A self-certification form can be completed by visiting any DOL driver licensing office.

This self-certification is required to help ensure state and federal transportation agencies know who is required to keep current medical certificates on file with DOL. This includes all CDL holders who drive commercial vehicles in connection with interstate commerce.

Drivers that operate entirely within Washington state and don’t drive in connection with interstate commerce (intrastate drivers) are still required to self-certify, but are not required to keep their medical certificates on file with DOL.

DOL began notifying commercial drivers about this requirement in 2011. More information is available on the Department of Licensing website.

As of October 5, 2013, there are 194,743 individuals with CDL endorsements on their driver license. These endorsements break down as follows:

  • Class A:  137,681
  • Class B:  52,883
  • Class C:  4,179