Steps to Getting Your First License: Teens 15-17 Years Old
To get your driver's license, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Be a Washington resident (your license will show this address).
- Successfully complete an approved driver training course.
- Online and parent-taught traffic safety education are not approved courses in Washington State. If your teen completes a course in another state, it must meet Washington State minimum requirements.
- Have your Washington State instruction permit for at least 6 months.
- Not have been convicted of any traffic violations within 6 months of applying for the license.
- Not have been convicted of any alcohol or drug offense while holding an instruction permit.
How to get your license
- Get an instruction permit.
- Complete at least 50 hours of driving practice (including 10 hours at night) with someone who's been licensed for 5 years or more.
- Pass the driving test at any driver training and testing location.
- Decide if you would like to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. Visit LifeCenter Northwest for more information.
At a driver's licensing office location. You'll need to:
- Show you've passed a traffic safety course. If your driver training school didn't submit an electronic course completion for you, bring the signed certificate they gave you. If you don't have your certificate and the school has closed, email us at email@example.com or call 360.664.6692.
- Bring a parent with you to the licensing office to sign the parental authorization form. If you can't bring a parent, have them fill out the Parental Authorization Affidavit form and have it notarized. You must bring the notarized form with you to the office.
- Show proof of identity.
- Provide your Social Security number, or sign a declaration if you don't have one.
- Pass a vision screening.
- Have your photo taken, if necessary.
- Pay the fees.
Intermediate license laws for teen drivers
If you're under 18, you'll be issued an intermediate driver's license and must follow these laws:
- Driving with Passengers
- First 6 months: No passengers under 20 years old, except for immediate family members (spouse, child, stepchild, or siblings, both by birth and marriage).
- Next 6 months: No more than 3 passengers under 20 years old who aren't members of your immediate family.
- Nighttime driving
For the first 12 months, you can't drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless you're with a licensed driver 25 years or older. The only exceptions are driving for agricultural purposes and transporting farm products or supplies under the direction of a farmer as described in RCW 46.20.070.
- No cell phones
You aren't permitted to use wireless devices while driving, even with a hands-free device. This includes talking on cell phones and sending or receiving text messages. You may only use a wireless device to report an emergency.