Washington Teen Driving Laws, License & Insurance

Information on Washington Teen Driving Rules, Insurance Requirements & Drivers License

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Washington Instruction Permit

Teen drivers who are 15 years of age qualify for a State of Washington instruction permit if they are enrolled in an approved driver education course. If the teen driver is not enrolled in a driver education course they must wait until they are 15 ½ years of age to qualify and then pass the knowledge test. Applicants must provide proof of residency and identity when they apply. Teen drivers under the age of 18 must have completed a Parental Authorization Affidavit with their parents. (You can use the links at the end of this page to download the form). The parent(s) of the teen driver must also be able to provide proof of residency and identification. Applicants must pass a vision screening that includes color recognition. After all of the criteria are met qualified applicants will receive a State of Washington Instruction Permit which is valid for 1 year and may be renewed one time. Instruction permit holders may only drive while accompanied by a licensed driver with a minimum of 5 years experience. The licensed driver must sit next to the permit holder at all times while driving. Teen drivers must hold the instruction permit for a minimum of 6 months before applying for a driver license.

Washington Intermediate Driver License

You must be a minimum of 16 years of age to qualify for a driver license in the State of Washington. Applicants must have held an instruction permit a minimum of 6 months and completed a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving practice. 10 out of the 50 hours of the supervised practice driving must have been completed at night. The applicant must not have any traffic convictions within 6 months of applying for a driver license and have no convictions for drug or alcohol use while they held an instruction permit. Teen drivers must provide a certificate proving successful completion of a State of Washington approved traffic safety education course and present their Parental Authorization Affidavit when applying for a driver license. Applicants must pass a vision screening, a driving test and ass a knowledge test if they have not taken one. Applicants must provide proof of residency and identity when they apply and provide a social security number if one has been issued.

Teen drivers under the age of 18 will receive an intermediate driver license with special rules and restrictions that are outlined below:

  • First 6 Months: May not drive with passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members.
  • Second 6 Months: May not drive with more than 3 passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members.
  • First 12 Months: May not drive between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver that is a minimum of 25 years of age or for agricultural purposes of transporting farm products or supplies under the direction of a farmer.
  • After 1 Year: I there are no at fault collisions or traffic convictions the time and passenger restrictions will be lifted.
  • After Turning 18: The intermediate driver license will become a regular driver license.

Insurance Requirements in the State of Washington

All vehicles registered in the State of Washington must have minimum liability insurance. Vehicle owners must carry proof of insurance at all times while driving. The minimum insurance requirements in the State of Washington are listed below.

  • $25,000   bodily injury or death for 1 person in an accident
  • $50,000   bodily injury or death for 2 or more persons in any one accident
  • $10,000   Damage to the Property of Others in any one Accident

Keep in mind that this are minimum requirements, you may want to speak to your insurance agent regarding insurance above and beyond the minimum requirements.

2010 Changes to Washington Teen Driving Laws

On March 26th, 2010 the Governor signed Senate Bill 6345. In addition to making cell phone and text messaging while driving without a hands free device a primary offense for all drivers, the new law also prohibits drivers with an instruction permit or an intermediate license from using a cell phone or text messaging device even with a hands free device. To read the bill for yourself, please go to Senate Bill 6345.

Other Washington Information

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