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: CDLMED@dol.wa.gov (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 CDLProgram@dol.wa.gov.

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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.


Upgrade or renew your driver license/ID now — or be prepared for a very long wait

February 20, 2020
Good and bad ID options

When the REAL ID law goes into effect Oct. 1, standard Washington driver licenses and standard IDs will no longer be accepted for air travel.

Been meaning to upgrade to an enhanced driver license or identification card? Hurry!

License or ID card set to expire in the next year? Renew now!

Don’t procrastinate.

Do. Not. Wait.

Because the longer you wait to address your licensing needs, the longer you can expect to wait in line.

How long? By late summer, it could be hours.

New federal ID requirements for air travel go into effect Oct. 1. Under the new law, known as the REAL ID Act, a standard Washington driver license or ID card will no longer be accepted for the purposes of domestic air travel or accessing federal facilities such as military bases.

Although residents can choose from many acceptable ID options, we expect a sharp increase in applications for enhanced driver licenses and enhanced ID cards. These REAL ID-compliant forms of identification can be obtained only by bringing the necessary documents to a licensing office.

That means we could be processing hundreds of thousands of last-minute transactions.

If you already have what you need to fly and just want to renew, you might be able to skip a trip and go online. Remember, you can renew up to a year before your license or ID expires; your renewal term will still begin when your current term ends.

If an office visit is unavoidable, you can see up-to-the-minute wait times before you go. Just click on your chosen location and check the right side of the page.

Wait times can vary greatly depending on the office, the day, and even the time of day. Some offices, especially along the I-5 corridor, can experience wait times 3-4 times longer than average. A little planning can save you a lot of time.

Best times to visit tend to be:

  • Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
  • Weekday mornings

Busiest times tend to be:

  • Lunch time
  • The first day the office is open after a holiday
  • Weekdays after 3 p.m., when children are out of school

See more tips for visiting a licensing service office.


It’s time to renew: 2013 boat decals expire June 30

May 23, 2013
Everett Marina with Mt. Baker

DOL image

OLYMPIA—Boating season is here, and the deadline for renewing boat and watercraft registration decals is right around the corner. All Washington state boat registrations expire on June 30.

Don’t let an expired registration spoil your day; remember to renew before you get out on the water.

 Boat registrations can be renewed online at the DOL website or in person at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office. Those who choose to renew at an office should make sure to note the registration number on the bow of the boat or watercraft and take that information to the office. 

 Due to budget cuts, DOL discontinued paper renewal notices for boats in 2010 and instead offered boat owners the opportunity to sign up to receive email renewal reminders. It’s too late to sign up for an email renewal reminder for this year, but boat owners can sign up online at dol.wa.gov to receive renewal reminders by email in the future.

Skip a Trip — Go Online. The Department of Licensing has a wide variety of consumer services available online. Please visit our website at dol.wa.gov.