If you delayed renewing your driver license or instruction permit because it was extended, it’s time to act.
The Department of Licensing (DOL) is planning no further extensions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check your license or permit: If its expiration date ranges from March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, please renew it as soon as possible.
It’s easy to renew online! Because of temporary waivers, the vast majority of drivers and permit holders are currently eligible. This includes people under age 24, over 70, and those who would normally be required to visit an office this renewal cycle. Take advantage while you can.
When, exactly, does your extension end?
Extensions are expiring fast. Below is a summary of extensions granted for personal driver licenses and standard instruction permits only (identification cards and motorcycle instruction permits were not extended):
- Licenses and permits expiring March 1 through June 30, 2020 are valid 360 days past the date printed on the card. If your card was set to expire in March 2020, your extension is already over. Example: If the expiration date on your card is March 17, 2020, your extension ended March 12, 2021.
- Licenses and permits expiring July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020 are valid 270 days past the date printed on the card. Example: If the expiration date on your card is July 8, 2020, your extension ends April 4, 2021.
- Licenses and permits expiring Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020 are valid 180 days past the date printed on the card. Example: If the expiration date on your card is Oct. 1, 2020, your extension ends March 30, 2021.
- Licenses and permits expiring Jan. 1 through March 31, 2021 are valid 90 days past the date printed on the card. Example: If the expiration date on your card is Feb. 22, 2021, your extension ends May 23, 2021.
There is nothing to be gained by waiting to renew. Your next renewal cycle begins on your card’s original expiration date, and you’ll pay the same amount you would have paid without an extension.
Please do not make an appointment at a driver licensing office if you have the option of renewing online. In-person appointments are for customers who cannot complete their transaction any other way. Doing your business remotely helps keep you, other customers, and our employees safe and healthy.
If you make an appointment for a transaction that can be done online, we’ll redirect you to dol.wa.gov.
Want an enhanced license? Consider waiting
Due to identity verification protocols, enhanced documents must be obtained in person. Appointments remain limited and it could take a while to get one.
If you want to make sure you’re ready for REAL ID, consider options other than an enhanced document. A passport, for example, may be easier to get. You could renew your standard license or ID now, then upgrade later for only $4 a year for the time remaining in your cycle.
Update on commercial licenses and permits
Most commercial driver licenses (CDLs) and commercial learner permits (CLPs) with expiration dates on or after March 1, 2020 are extended through May 31, 2021. The extension applies to all CDL types except those with a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement.
We do not know at this time whether any further CDL/CLP extensions are coming. Don’t count on it. Renew your commercial license or permit as soon as possible.