Washington Drivers License
If you plan on driving in Washington and you do not hold a drivers license issued by a different state, you will need to apply for the Washington driver’s license. The application for driving license is quite simple and takes from a few days to six months, depending on your age.
Types of Driver Licenses
Most of us will never need anything but a regular drivers license because we won’t be driving heavy trucks or other special vehicles. However, if such need arises, the driver must have adequate skills and this is where different types of driver licenses come in. At the moment, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) offers the following types of driver licenses:
- PDL. Personal driver’s license, also known as the regular drivers license.
- Class M. Motorcycle endorsement.
- Class A, B and C. Commercial driver licenses, CDLs.
If you are a first-time license applicant, you will apply for the regular drivers license and upgrade it later when such need arises.
Graduated Drivers License
The state of Washington is no exception when it comes to driving safety and this is why it has its own version of the graduated drivers license system. The graduated license laws govern the licensing procedure for drivers who are under 18 years of age and its main goal is to reduce the number or road accidents that involve teenage drivers. It is no secret that many teenagers display a rather reckless approach to driving, frequently failing to estimate the dangers the driving may pose. The graduated driver’s license systems tries to counteract the factors that contribute to the high accident rates among teen drivers by introducing compulsory drivers education classes, passenger restrictions and supervised driving for everyone who is under 18 years of age.
Applying for Driver’s Permit
The first step of the licensing procedure is obtaining the Washington learners permit. The permit can be issued to an applicant of any age and it will allow you to gain some driving experience before taking the road test. Applicants who are under 18 years of age must hold a permit for at least six months before taking the road test and applying for a driver license. Applicants who are over 18 don’t have to hold the permit for any specific period of time.
When you are ready to apply for the drivers permit, you will have to take the permit exam that will test you knowledge of the Washington driving rules. The test itself is not hard, but more than a half of the first-time license applicants fail it the first time they take it. The reason for this is because the majority of the license applicants fail to study for the test.
If you want to pass your knowledge exam the first time you take it, make sure you study before you go in to the drivers license office. A great way for you to study is to take a drivers education course. Drivers license applicants who are younger than 18 have to take the course before they can be issued with a driver’s license. Applicants who are over 18 are advised to take drivers ed, but do not have to do so.
If you are looking for other ways to study for the exam, you can grab a copy of the Washington drivers handbook. The book is provided free of charge and you can download a copy off the Internet. Once you are done with the book, take a few practice tests.
Once you successfully pass the exam, you will be issued with a learners permit.
Upgrading To Drivers License
In order to be able to upgrade your permit to the driver’s license, you will need to take a road skills test. If you are over 18, you can take the exam on the same day as taking the written test (just make sure to make an appointment well in advance). Applicants younger than 18 must fulfill the graduated license requirements before taking the road skills exam.
Once you successfully pass the road test, you are issued with a temporary license which is valid for 45 days. Your full Washington drivers license will be sent to you via mail within 1-2 weeks.