Driver licensing offices to begin reopening by appointment June 22

June 15, 2020

Offices reopening June 22Driver licensing offices, largely closed since March 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen by appointment only in a series of stages beginning Monday, June 22. Health and safety measures will be taken by the Department of Licensing (DOL) to help protect both employees and customers at all locations.

The following offices will be the first to reopen for services that can be obtained only in person:

  • Bellingham
  • Bremerton
  • Clarkston
  • Federal Way
  • Kennewick
  • Lacey
  • Lynnwood
  • Moses Lake
  • Parkland
  • Renton
  • Spokane
  • Vancouver North
  • Wenatchee

Union Gap initially was also on the list, but the reopening of that office is on hold due to the impact of COVID-19 in Yakima County.

Customers are urged to go online or call the Customer Service Center (360-902-3900), if possible, to get what they need. Online services are regularly being expanded.

Appointments are for customers who cannot complete their transaction online, by phone, or by mail. With social distancing in place, offices will be operating at significantly reduced capacity and appointments will be limited.

Services offered by appointment only include:

  • First-time driver license, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • First-time identification card
  • Enhanced driver license (EDL) and enhanced ID (EID)
  • Name change on license/ID
  • Instruction permit
  • Commercial driver license (CDL) and commercial learner permit (CLP)
  • Agricultural permit, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Reinstatement, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Occupational restricted license
  • Driver training school instructor test

Please keep in mind that the REAL ID enforcement date has been pushed back a year to Oct. 1, 2021. There will be plenty of time to obtain a compliant document, such as an EDL or EID, before then.

Most residents, including those under age 24 and over 70, are temporarily eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and instruction permits online.

Driver licenses and instruction permits expiring March 1 through June 30, 2020 were automatically extended for 180 days. Those expiring July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020 were extended for 90 days.

When More Offices Will Reopen

We are working to reopen all of our 55 driver licensing offices as quickly and safely as possible. The order is being determined by factors including geographic location, community access, volume history, capacity for safe delivery of service, weekdays open, and staffing considerations.

This schedule may result in offices being open in counties not yet approved for the governor’s Phase 3 reopening. This decision, supported by the Governor’s Office, was based on the health and safety framework put in place as part of DOL’s reopening plan and currently in use in seven offices. DOL is confident services can be delivered safely.

Health and Safety Precautions

To reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, DOL is implementing several health and safety practices at driver licensing offices, including:

  • DOL employees will be screened for symptoms and wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Customers will be asked about symptoms. They will also be encouraged to wear a cloth facial covering and wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to entering.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be maintained between employees, customers, and vendors.
  • Hard plastic barriers have been installed at service counters, with 6 feet of distance between lobby chairs and 6-foot markers outside the main entrance.
  • Regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces/areas will take place.
  • Customers and vendors showing signs of illness will be required to leave.
  • Customers will be made aware of requirements prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • Additional protective requirements may be needed for skills tests and will be communicated when scheduled.

How to Make an Appointment

With the announcement of furloughs for all state workers, our days of operation will be temporarily reduced starting the week of June 29. All reopening offices will be open Monday through Thursday in July, with the exception of Thursday, July 2 (we’ll also be closed July 3 in observance of Independence Day). We’ll be open Friday, July 31.

Customers with transactions that do not require an in-person visit will be asked to use alternative service channels, such as numerous online services, phone, or mail.

If an in-person visit is the only option, you can make an appointment online or call 360-902-3900 for assistance setting one up.

The scheduling system automatically offers the first available dates. If appointment slots are filled, try again the next day. Our representatives cannot change an appointment after it is made, so if you need a different date/time, you must cancel your appointment and start over.

When an appointment is made, an email confirmation will be sent with instructions on how to check in to a “virtual lobby” upon arrival. Customers will wait in their vehicle until being invited into the building. There will be signage.

Those who show up to an office without an appointment will be scheduled for a return visit or redirected as needed.

Vehicle Licensing Offices

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, disabled parking placards/tabs, and more.

VLOs are not impacted by state worker furloughs and are on normal hours of operation.

Contact Us

Please be patient, as call volume is high.

UPDATED 6/22/20


Expired or expiring soon? Washington driver licenses further extended due to DOL office closures

May 29, 2020

DOL logoDue to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of state driver licensing offices, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is continuing to extend the expiration dates of valid Washington state driver licenses. These automatic extensions apply to personal driver licenses that expire on or after March 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020. This will allow drivers affected by DOL office closures to continue to drive without penalty or incurring late fees.

  • Driver licenses with an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, already were extended for 90 days and will be extended for an additional 90 days (for a total of 180 days). This means these driver licenses will expire six months after the date shown on the license.
  • Driver licenses with an expiration date between July 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020, will be extended for 90 days. This means these driver licenses will expire three months after the date shown on the license.

The new expiration date will show up on a driver’s record if it is pulled up by law enforcement. New cards will not be issued. DOL recommends printing and carrying this notice and presenting it with an expired license if requested by law enforcement or others who need to verify identity.

Drivers are encouraged to renew online during this extension period. Almost all Washington residents — including those under age 24 and over 70 — are currently eligible to renew their driver licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registrations online. The requirement to visit a licensing office every other renewal has also been suspended.

Drivers or businesses that need to validate an expiration date can check status online.

DOL is unable to issue first-time driver licenses and ID cards, including enhanced driver licenses (EDLs) and enhanced IDs (EIDs), while driver licensing offices are closed. The REAL ID enforcement date was extended to Oct. 1, 2021, so residents who want a compliant document have plenty of time. Pre-apply online.

Many vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) remain open and are able to process in-person, online, and mail-in transactions. Among the services VLOs offer are vehicle registration/tabs (including temporary registration permits for new residents), boat decals, license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, trip permits, original and replacement titles, and disabled parking placards.

Motorcycle Permits and Endorsements Now Available Online

Eligible Washington residents can now add motorcycle permits and endorsements to their driver license via DOL’s online services.

This means residents are no longer required to visit a licensing office for these needs. Instead, they can log in to License eXpress or select “Renew your license or ID card” without logging in to complete their transaction. A License eXpress account is not required to add a motorcycle permit or endorsement.

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

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
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

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.

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.