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Frequently Asked Questions - Washington Teen Driver

As of June 10, 2010, it is against the law for all drivers to text message or use a hand held cell phone when operating a motor vehicle. This is a primary offense and you can be ticketed if a police officer sees you violating this law. You will be ordered to pay a fine of $124.

The State of Washington has the following restrictions:

Instruction Permit Restrictions
• You may not drive unless another individual with a valid license who has at least five years of driving experience supervises the practice driving while sitting beside you.

• You are prohibited from using a hand held cell phone or text messaging while driving.

Intermediate License Restrictions
• For the first six months you cannot carry passengers younger than 20 (other than immediate family).

• For the second six months you cannot carry more than three passengers younger than 20 (other than immediate family).

• You are prohibited from using a hand held cell phone or text messaging while driving.

The restrictions are automatically lifted after one year if:

• You have not committed or been convicted of a traffic offense or violated the Intermediate License restrictions.

• You have not been involved in an auto accident.

The license will automatically convert to a basic driver license without restrictions once you turn 18.

The State of Washington requires driver’s to complete a state-approved traffic safety course, which includes the following

• 30 hours of classroom instruction
• 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training
• 1 hour of behind-the-wheel observation

Parents can enroll their child in a Traffic Safety Education program once they turn 15.

The Washington Department of Licensing requires applicants to provide proof of identity, residency and Social Security number by submitting the following documents:

Proof of Identity—Under Age 18
• One Stand Alone document
• Two A List documents
• One A List document and two B List documents
• One B List document, including one from the list that has your name, date of birth and your signature
• Complete a Parental Authorization Affidavit

Proof of Identity—Age 18 to 25
• One Stand Alone document
• Two A List documents
• One A List document and two B List documents
• At least 4 B List documents, including one that has your name and date of birth, and one that has your name and signature
• All of the following:

1. One B List document with your name and photo or your parent or legal guardian’s verbal attestation
2. One B List document with your name and date of birth (certified birth certificate, adoption papers, Ward of the Court Decree or Order of Dependency)
3. Your Social Security number or another B List document with your name and signature
4. Your parent or guardian must prove they are your parent or guardian (Certified birth certificate, adoption papers or school transcript with the parent or guardian’s name)

Proof of Identity—Over 25 Years of Age
• One Stand Alone document
• Two A List documents
• One A List document and two B List documents
• At least 4 B List documents, including one that has your name and date of birth, and one that has your name and signature

Proof of Identity—Under Age 18 & Assigned Court Guardians
Your parent or guardian must present all of the following documents
• Documents proving your parent or guardian’s identity (Washington State driver license or U.S. passport)
• Court document assigning guardianship
• One B List document that has your name and date of birth (certified birth certificate, adoption papers, Ward of the Court Decree or Order of Dependency)
• Your Social Security number

Proof of Identity—If Enrolled in Job Corps
• One Stand Alone document
• Two A List documents
• One A List document and two B List documents
• At least 4 B List documents, including one that has your name and date of birth, and one that has your name and signature
• All of the following:

1. Your valid Job Corps ID card
2. Your Social Security number (must be verifiable)
3. One B List document (certified birth certificate, adoption papers, Ward of the Court Decree or Order of Dependency)

Stand Alone Documents
• Washington State driver license, ID card or instruction permit (Valid or expired less than one year with your signature, photo and date of birth).
• Out of state driver license, ID card of instruction permit (if you have a Social Security number). (Valid or expired within 60 days and has your photo).
• U.S. armed services ID card with signature and photo
• Valid U.S. passport with your signature and photo (Emergency passport is not acceptable).
• Valid immigration ID with signature issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with your signature and photo (I-327, I-551 or I-766)
• U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization (Must be an original with your signature and photo).
• Valid out of state Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card issued by a U.S. state other than Washington with your signature, photo and date of birth
• Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration (DHS CA) ID letter if you are in:

1. Court ordered foster care with DSHS or
2. Another supervising Washington State agency is your legal custodian, then
3. You may prove your identity with an identification letter from DSHS CA

A List Documents
• Out of state driver license, ID card or instruction permit (if you do not have a Social Security number). (Valid or expired within 60 days and has your photo).
• Driver license from a foreign country (Valid or expired within 60 days, has security features and is verifiable).
• Federal or state employee ID card (Valid with your signature and photo).
• Valid foreign passport stamped U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) entry form I-94 or I-94W or Temporary I-551 ADIT stamp
• Tribal enrollment ID card (Must be federally-recognized Indian tribal enrollment card or a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card with your signature and photo).
• Active duty U.S. military ID (Valid with no signature)
• Valid immigration ID with encrypted signature issued by the USCIS
• Original U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
• Work release verification letter from:

1. Washington State Department of Corrections
2. U.S. Federal correction authorities (FDOC)
3. DSHS Children’s Administration (CA) (foster youth only)
4. Western State Hospital (WSH)

• Valid Washington city or county police employee ID card with your signature and photo
• U.S. Passport card with your name and photo

B List Documents
(Must include your name and date of birth)
• Certified birth certificate
• Certified Washington birth registration card
• Valid concealed weapons permit issued by a Washington county
• Consular report of birth abroad
• Court issued adoption papers
• Military DD-214
• U.S. driver license or ID card (invalidated or expired with the past five years)
• U.S. passport (expired within the past five years)
• Valid U.S. visa
• Veteran Administration ID with your name, photo and date of birth
• Ward of the Court Decree or Order of Dependency
• Washington State driver license or ID card (invalidated or expired within the past five years)

Other Acceptable B List Documents
(Must include your name and date of birth, signature, photo or address)
• Divorce decree with your name and signature (filed with the county)
• Driving record from another state issued within the past 30 days
• Foreign passport expired within five years or without an I-94, I-94W or temporary I-551 ADIT stamp
• Foreign driver license expired not more than five years. License must have security features and be verifiable.
• Valid Guatemala Consulate ID card
• Marriage license or certificate (filed with the county)
• Medicare card
• Valid Mexican Matricula Consular ID card
• Mexican Federal Electoral Card issued in 1991 or later
• Mexican school record with a seal and your photo at age when issued
• Mortgage document or mortgage coupon payment book
• Professional license (nurse, physician, engineer, lawyer, etc.)
• Property deed or title (must be filed)
• Property tax bill or statement issued with the last 12 months
• Selective Service Card
• School transcript with your date of birth
• Form I-20 (foreign exchange students only)
• School yearbook (with recognizable photo)
• Social Security card with your signature (must be verifiable)
• Transportation Worker Credential (TWIC)
• U.S. Merchant Mariner’s card (valid or expired within the past five years)
• Vehicle title

Proof of Washington Residency
• Residential utility bill (gas, electric, water, garbage, land-line telephone or ISTA utility bill (Cable, Internet and satellite television bills are not acceptable).
• Document from a college or university with your residential address on file

Off-campus students must bring the printout from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database (Must be in a sealed envelope with the college return address, contains your address and has proof it was printed by a Designated School Official or Responsible Officer)

• Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) electronic ID Letter with your current residential address
• Selective Service card with your current residential address
• Vehicle title
• Bank issued documents with your current residential address (issued within the last 30 days with your name and current residential address)

Social Security Number
You must provide your Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you may sign a declaration form and provide proof of Washington residency.

Foreign documents may need to be translated into English by an approved translator. If your identification documents are not accepted, you may ask to speak with the Driver Licensing Office ID Review Specialist.

The State of Washington has the following requirements to obtain an Intermediate License:

Intermediate License
• You must be at least 16 years old.
• Your must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before applying for an intermediate license.
• You must complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, and 10 of these must happen at night.
• You must have proof of completing an approved traffic safety course.
• You must have a completed Parental Authorization Affidavit and your parents must provide proof of their identity and relationship to you if you are under 18.
• You must not have been convicted of a traffic offense within the six months before applying for an intermediate license.
• You must not have any traffic tickets pending when you apply.
• You must not have committed or been convicted of any offense involving the use of alcohol or drugs.
• You must be able to pass the driving skills test.
• You must pay the license fee of $20 which includes the fee for one knowledge test or driving test.

The State of Washington requires drivers to pass the following tests:

The Knowledge Test
• The knowledge test is conducted at a computer in a driver licensing office and consists of multiple-choice questions about Washington State traffic laws. You must correctly answer 20 out of 25 questions to pass the test. You are not required to take the test if you have a valid license from another state. The fee for taking the knowledge test is $20. If you fail, you can retake the test in four hours. If you fail a second time, you can retake the test the next day.

Vision Screening
• You must have a visual acuity of 20/40 in both eyes with or without using corrective lenses. Your horizontal field of vision must be at least 110 degrees with both eyes or 55 degrees with one eye. You will also be tested on color recognition. If you fail the exam, you must have an ophthalmologist or optometrist complete a Certificate of Visual Examination and submit it to the driver licensing office within 30 days.

Medical Screening
• You will be asked if you have experienced a loss of consciousness or control recently. You may be required to have a medical specialist complete a Physical Examination Report.

The Driving Test
• You will need to make an appointment to take the test at a local driver licensing office. You must have proof of liability insurance and your vehicle must be in good working condition. The examiner will be evaluating you on the following:

1. Starting the vehicle
2. Leaving the curb
3. Proper use of turn indicators
4. Demonstrating correct arm and hand signals
5. Use of the gas pedal, brake, steering and other vehicle controls
6. Changing speed to suit the situation; i.e. traffic, weather, pedestrians and driving through a construction zone
7. Proper lane usage
8. Driving through a blind or crowded intersection
9. Backing up
10. Judging distance
11. Respecting the rights of other drivers
12. Obeying traffic sign and signals
13. Parking on a hill
14. Parallel parking
15. Stopping the vehicle

You must score 80 out of 100 points in order to pass the test. The first time you fail, you can retest in one week. The second time you fail, you can retest in one to three weeks. If you fail a third time, you must wait three months before you can try again.

The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) recommends that parents and teens read “The Washington Parent Guide to Teen Driving” which is available on the Washington DOL website and covers the following topics:

• Parents’ Role in the World of Teen Driving
• Supervise Your Teen Driver
• Set Family Rules and Guidelines for Driving
• Before You Even Begin
• Basic Driving Skills
• Step By Step Maneuvers
• Complex Driving Skills
• Emergencies—How to Handle Them
• What Happens if Your Teen Messes Up
• The Rules for Intermediate Licenses

A teen/parent driving agreement should outline what each party promises to do and the consequences if the teen driver breaks the rules.

When applying for an instruction permit or driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Fill out the application for an instruction permit or driver license.
• You must submit proof of enrollment in a traffic safety course if you are under 15 years and 6 months old.
• You must submit an Affidavit of Parental Authorization if under 18.
• Pay the appropriate testing fees, permit fee or license fees.

You can pay the fees in cash, check, MasterCard, American Express and some Visa debit cards (excluding licensing offices at Coulee Dam, Davenport, Friday Harbor, Forks, Goldendale, Newport, Republic or South Bend). A service fee will be added to all transactions paid with a credit or debit card.

The Washington State Department of Licensing has the following requirements for obtaining an Instruction Permit:

• You must be at least 15 years old and enrolled in a traffic safety education course.
• You must pass the knowledge test if you are 15 years and 6 months old and not enrolled in a traffic safety education course.
• You must pass the knowledge test and vision screening, which includes color recognition.
• You must have a completed Parental Authorization Affidavit and your parents must provide proof of their identity and relationship to you if you are under 18.
• You must pay the permit and exam fee of $20.

The Instruction Permit is valid for one year and can be renewed once.

Before applying for a permit or license, you should study the Washington Driver Guide, which covers the following topics:

• The Driver License
• Before You Drive
• Rules of the Road
• Safe Driving Tips
• Be in Shape to Drive
• Emergencies
• Vehicle Licensing
• Updates and Additions

The manual can be found online at the Washington Department of Driver Licensing website or at any local driver licensing office.