Washington State Teen Driving Laws: Details You Should Know


Washington has a multi-stage licensing process. This is obviously different from what the other states do when issuing the license to teenagers. The teen in Washington should become exposed to different driving situations first so that they can be prepared for more complex situations that may come their way in the future. 

Getting the Driver’s Permit

A teenager cannot get a license immediately. The teen should first get a driver’s permit which means that they are enrolled in a driver’s education class. Those who are allowed to get the permit are those who are 15 1/2 or older. There are some items that the teenager has to prepare before trying to acquire the permit such as the following:

  • Proof of identity and residence
  • $20 to get the permit
  • Parental Authorization Affidavit that is only needed f the teenager is under 18 years of age
  • Signed application from the driving instructor that is handling the driving lessons of the teenager
  • Passing rate in vision screening

There are some teenagers who are unable to get a driver’s permit in Washington because they are unable to pass the vision screening which can test if teenagers are color blind or not.

Those who have this permit will only be allowed to drive provided that there is a licensed driver that is sitting on the front seat. The teenager is also required to do 10 hours of night driving to prepare the teenager for the differences of day and night driving.

Advancing to Intermediate License

If the teenager was able to hold on to the driver’s permit for four months and have shown that they have progressed, they can advance to getting the intermediate license. They would need to take and pass the driving test in order to get this license. Some of the requirements are the following:

  • No allegations of driving under the influence
  • No traffic violations for the last six months of driving
  • Parental Authorization Affidavit once again for those who are under 18 years old.
  • Vision and other tests
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of identification and residency

Teenagers who get this license will be allowed to drive by themselves but there are still some rules that they have to follow. For example, the teenager will not be allowed to drive from 1 AM to 5 AM. The teenager is also not allowed to drive with a passenger that is under 20 years old during the first six months of driving except for family members.

Finally Getting the Full License

The teenager in Washington will only be allowed to get the full license the moment that he/she reaches the age of 18. This means that the teenager has already been prepared enough for the various situations that may be encountered while on the road. Parents are recommended to help their children become better drivers because they are not the only ones who will get affected if they get into an accident. Other people may become affected as well.

Getting Proper Auto Insurance

It is not recommended for different people to drive without car insurance. Even teenagers will be required to get car insurance but up to a certain age, they may be insured by their parents. Some will look for car insurance for 17 years old. Once they reach a certain age, they will be required to find their very own insurance. It can be daunting to choose the right car insurance especially if it is your first time. You may want to seek the help of your parents but at the same time, you would like to become independent. What do you think are the things that you should do to ensure that you will make the right choice?

  • Always shop around for different car insurance policies that are being offered by various companies in Washington. It is best that you check out the policies that are offered by companies from your very own state because they will have a better idea about the type of insurance that you may need.
  • Do not choose the very first insurance company that offers you insurance. Even if you are still young, and the rates are probably going to be high, you can always compare the different insurance companies first before you make the best choice. You can also ask them about the possible discounts that they may give you.
  • It will help if you would get to know the premium of different vehicles before you purchase your own car. You are probably determined to purchase a certain car but you may become surprised with the premium when you already have it. It helps to know the rates ahead of time so that you will not be shocked with what you will get. Check cheap auto insurance Washington State if you want to have more details.

Even if you already have your very own driving license, do not get too confident when you are on the road. There are still a lot of things that you will learn that you will only learn from experience. Always strive to become a careful driver so that you will not cause any harm to the people that you may encounter while on the road.

If in case you are stopped by police, you will be required to present the requirements that you will be asked to show. You may need to show your ID as well as your proof of insurance. Be cooperative with the law enforcer and remember to be respectful.