top of page




To take a permit or license test, you need a Washington license number or state ID card number. It's free!

If you have a Washington state ID card, you already have this number. Check the top of your card for either:

• New Style: WDL followed by 9 letters and numbers (WDL stands for Washington Driver License). This is for ID numbers issued after August 2018.

• Old Style: The first 5 letters of your last name, your first and middle initials, 3 numbers and 2 letters.

New Style


Old Style


If you don't have a Washington state ID card, don't worry! Just go to the DOL website and sign up for a license number. Use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers, as Safari doesn't work on the DOL website. You'll need to make a License Express account if you don't have one yet (even if you're under 18). Have your ID info ready (birth certificate, Social Security number, etc). It takes about 20 minutes to register. You'll get a license number like this: WDL123ABC23B.

Once you have a Washington state ID number, you can take a test with us. Call, text, or register online. We'll report your score to the DOL with your license number.




To get your permit, you have two options:

1) Take and pass the state knowledge test  -or-
2) Sign up for a teen driver's ed course


We offer both of these services for you!


We guide you through the initial steps, but only the Department of Licensing office (DOL) can give you instruction permits. You can also get a permit online with the DOL.


Let's go over both options in detail below:


There are two ways to get your permit:

Method 1: Take the knowledge test

If you're 15-1/2 or older, you can take and pass the state knowledge test. Your score will be sent to the DOL within an hour, and you can make an appointment to get an instruction permit in person (this will have your photo on it) or online to get it right away (this will NOT have your photo on it).

You'll get a paper permit (no photo) right away, and the plastic card will come in the mail in 2-3 weeks. Permits last for one year, and you can be renewed.

Method 2: Join a teen driver's ed course

When you turn 15, you can get a permit if you join a driver's ed course and no sooner than10 days before the first class. For example, if your course starts on June 15th, you can get your permit on June 5th or later. Here's how to get the permit if you join a course:

Step 1: Sign up for a license number

You need to sign up with the Department of Licensing for a license number. You can do that on the DOL website here. It takes about 20 minutes, and you'll need your ID info (birth certificate, Social Security number, etc). You'll get a license number like this: WDL123ABC23B. If you have a Washington state ID card, you have this number already and you can skip this step.

Step 2: Give us the license number

With the license number, we can verify your driver's ed enrollment with the DOL. You can call, text, or email the license number to us at (360)642-0050 or

Step 3: Get a permit when you can

You can get a permit no sooner than10 days before the first class. You can get a permit online or in person.

Online: Log in to License Express with the username and password you made when you signed up for the license number. You'll see the link to get an Instruction Permit on your dashboard page.

In person: Book an appointment with the DOL to get a permit in person. Appointments are hard to get, and they only offer 30 days of appointments at a time. They open early in the morning, so check early to find one. You can book an appointment here.

You'll get a paper Instruction Permit that doesn't have your photo on it, but it's good for a while. Make more copies in case you lose the first one.

To get your permit at the Department of Licensing office (under age 18)

You need to bring these things to the DOL:

  • Your birth certificate or passport

  • Your parent who is on the birth certificate

  • Your parent's WA driver license or US passport

  • Your Social Security number (no card needed)

  • Your glasses or contact lenses, if you use them, for the eye test

  • $25 in cash or check for the permit

  • If you don't have these documents, see the DOL list of ID requirements here.


To get your permit at the Department of Licensing office (18 and over)

You need to bring these things to the DOL:

  • Your ID documents from the DOL list here.

  • Your Social Security number (no card needed)

  • Your glasses or contact lenses, if you use them, for the vision test

  • $25 in cash or check for the permit



Here are the steps you need to follow in order!

If you're 18 or older, you only need to:

1) Take and pass the state knowledge test
2) Take and pass the state driving test


That's all! Adults don't need to take classes, get an instruction permit, or practice for a certain number of hours. We have both the official state knowledge test and the state driving exam for you.


After you pass both tests, book an appointment with the DOL to get a license. You'll get a paper copy right away (no photo) and the plastic card will come in the mail in 2-3 weeks.


If you're under 18, you have extra steps to do...


To get a driver license if you're under 18, you need to:

  • Finish an approved Traffic Safety Education Course (driver's ed)

  • Get and keep an instruction permit for 6 months or more

  • Take and pass the state knowledge test

  • Take and pass the state driving test

  • Practice for at least 50 hours, with at least 10 hours at night

  • Be 16 or older

Do I need to complete these steps in a certain order?


Yes, you need to pass the knowledge test and complete a driver's ed course before you take the driving test. If you got a "waiver" to get your permit, you need to finish the classroom part before you take the state knowledge test.


This is how most teens get their license:

  • Step 1:  Join a driver's ed course

  • Step 2:  Get a permit 10 days before classes begin

  • Step 3:  Complete a driver's ed course

  • Step 4:  Take and pass the state knowledge test

  • Step 5:  Take and pass the state driving test

  • Step 6:  Wait for the rest of the 6 months and be 16 or older

When you finish all the steps and are ready, you can book an appointment to get your license in person at the DOL. If you got your permit in person and did the eye test already, you might be able to get the license online through License Express.




The Driver Guide is a must-read!

The knowledge test is based on this booklet. You can get this at a DOL license office (no cost) or download a digital PDF copy (also no cost).

This is the only way to prepare for the test! Don't waste your time on shortcuts that don't work. Our instructors know all of the real test questions and have tried all of the "online practice tests", and they don't have any questions from the actual test.

Get the free booklet here:

What's covered on the test?

The test has 40 multiple choice questions, and you need 32 correct answers to pass. The questions are different, from "What does this sign mean?" to story problems like this:

5. Peter is at a red light when his phone gets a text message. He thinks it is for a radio contest he has been trying to win, and he has 98 seconds to call the station. James should:
(A) Call the radio station now
(B) Call when the light turns green
(C) Drive to a parking lot, then call
(D) Ignore it, radio contests are scams

Which parts of the book should I focus on?

The test covers the whole book, from start to finish. The covers have road signs, and you need to remember those. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 have most of the questions that people get wrong.

Many of us fail the alcohol and marijuana questions and think, "But I don't drink or smoke!". That's fine, most people who drink or smoke don't know them either. They don't put them on the labels. 

Don't worry if you fail!

You can retake the knowledge test anytime, and anywhere you want. Driving schools can have their own rules about how often you can test with them, but we don't have any.

Can I see the answers I missed after it's graded?


You can't see your test after it's graded, sorry. The DOL doesn't let schools show you the test after you take it. The best we can do is tell you the booklet page numbers for the questions you got wrong.

For example, if you failed a question on distracted driving, we'll give you a paper with page 4-4 on it, and the other page numbers for the questions you missed. The paper will have some tips and a link to the Driver Guide. This is all we can share with you.



How do I pass the test?

Here are some tips from our experience:

1) Stay calm. You don't have to drive flawlessly. You can make some mistakes and still pass.

2) Focus on the details. Parallel parking is not a big deal. It's only 4 points, but using your turn signal correctly is 36 points.

3) You may be a good driver, but the test is not about that. It's about avoiding technical errors in 15 minutes.


Is the test hard?

Washington is said to have the toughest driving test in the country, but it's not that bad. You just need to dodge enough technical errors in 15 minutes. We've seen skilled drivers flunk the test, while some awful drivers have aced it.

But I've been driving for decades!

We understand, and you've likely driven for 20+ years and without a crash. But most experienced drivers tend to bend the rules a bit, like not stopping fully at a stop sign if it's clear. Going a few miles an hour over the speed limit is normal, but on the driving test it's not.

What's the driving test like?

You can expect:

  • 15-20 minutes of driving

  • 5 Maneuvers

  • No driving on the freeway

  • An examiner that is fair and clear

  • Come a bit early if you can




What type of identification do I need for a lesson or a license exam?

You need some photo ID and a Washington license number for a lesson or a license test. You can get the license number for free, and you can find out how to get it on our website here.

For the photo ID, you need something with your picture on it, like from a government, a school, or some other official place. It has to be a real document, not a copy, and not on your phone or computer.


What do I need to get a new identity document?

You don't need much ID to take a state knowledge test or a driving exam. But you'll need more when you go to the Department of Licensing for a new identity document.

To get a Washington State ID Card, photo Instruction Permit, or Driver License, you'll need to bring more documents. You can see this list on the DOL website here.

What do you check on the driving test?

  • Understanding signs and lights - You need to know what different signs, lights, and pavement markings mean.

  • Backing up correctly - You will be asked to reverse your vehicle around a right corner, keeping as close to the curb as possible, and then keep backing up in a straight line until told to stop.

  • Parking on a hill - You will be asked to park your vehicle as if you were going to walk away from it.

  • Parallel parking - You will be asked to back into a parking spot, either between four poles, two cars, or one car with a pretend car parked about 1 1/2 car lengths behind it.

  • Entering traffic safely from a stop - You will be asked to drive to the side of the road and stop, then reenter traffic.

  • Speed limits - Pay attention to the speed limit. Don't go over the limit, but don't go too slow either.

What else will I be tested on?

Driving in traffic

  • Staying in the correct lane

  • Using your turn signals

  • Looking at your blind spot

  • Keeping a safe distance from other cars

  • Signaling early before turning

  • Stopping gently, fully, and at the right place


Backing up

  • Glancing over your right shoulder

  • Reversing in a straight line

  • Controlling your car

  • Looking for pedestrians and other cars


Driving through busy or unclear intersections

  • Looking for signs, signals, pedestrians and other cars

  • Giving and taking the right-of-way properly

  • Following traffic signals, signs, and road markings

  • Turning into the right lane without crossing the lane

  • Turning without drifting into the wrong lane




The first thing we'll do is to inspect the car's safety features, such as the turn signals, brake lights, parking brake, and hand signals. You don't need to worry about getting points for this part of the test; it's only to ensure that the car is in good condition, and that you are familiar with the hand signals for left, right, and stop/slow down. These signals are not required for the test, but they are useful to know when you encounter cyclists on the road.

Backing Maneuver

This maneuver is the hardest part of the driving test. Many test takers lose all their points on this maneuver, but the bright side is that you only have 4 points at stake here (you can pass the test even if you lose 20 points).

The key things to keep in mind are:

1. Mostly look behind you through the rear window

2. Drive very slowly, no more than 1mph.

3. When you rejoin the traffic, signal, look at your mirrors, and glance over your left shoulder.

Changing Lanes

You might think, "Turning and changing lanes is easy, no big deal". We trust you! But there are some specific rules you need to follow when you do these maneuvers on the test.

For instance, when you make a left turn onto a road with more than one lane, you always have to end up in the lane closest to where you started. Were you next to the double yellow line when you began your turn? You have to finish in the lane next to the double yellow line. No exceptions!

Parking on a Hill

This video shows you how and why to park on a hill. This is one of the skills you need for the test, but many of us often neglect to use the parking brake.

Using the parking brake is always a good idea, as it will prevent costly damage to your transmission, as well as help you park on a hill.

bottom of page