How to renew your WA license online during coronavirus outbreak

Mar 25, 2020, 7:20 AM | Updated: 10:33 am
REAL ID, license renewal, Washington...
Example of a Washington state enhanced driver’s license. (State of Washington)
(State of Washington)

What do you need to do if your driver’s license is expiring or if your child needs a driver’s test? The state has made some significant changes at the Department of Licensing during its coronavirus outbreak.

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The DOL has made it really easy. Everything has gone online, even if you need to get a new picture. Normally, you have to go in every 12 years and get a new photo if you’re between 24 and 70 years old. That requirement has been waived.

“We really encourage everyone to take advantage of these relaxed rules and renew online,” the DOL’s Christine Anthony said. “You can renew your driver’s license up to a year before it expires so if you know it’s expiring later this year go ahead and go online and try to renew it.”

You can still make an appointment to go into an office if you think that’s necessary. Just understand that there is a priority system in effect right now.

“We’re trying to prioritize who we give appointments to, to mostly commercial truck drivers and people who drive for their job,” Anthony said.

If you go that route, be prepared for long waits on hold. The call center is getting a little overwhelmed right now.

One of the reasons the Department of Licensing is going online is that it can’t perform vision tests during this health crisis.

“We didn’t have the cleaning supplies to really clean them after each use,” she said.

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If you have a child that is trying to get a license, you will have a little more trouble. The DOL isn’t offering the written test, and it is not offering driving tests. If you are enrolled with a private company, be sure to check. Some are still offering services.

And if you didn’t see it earlier this week, there is no need to rush out and get an Enhanced Driver’s license right now. The REAL ID act deadline has been postponed indefinitely.

If you need your tabs or registration services, check your local vehicle licensing office. Those are private companies that contract through the state.

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How to renew your WA license online during coronavirus outbreak