How to Get a Washington Driver’s License Reinstatement

You’ll typically need to pay a fee and submit an SR-22 form to reinstate your Washington driver’s license.
Written by Joshua Levy
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Reinstating your license in Washington can be easy as paying a fine, or hard as reapplying for the license altogether. The specific steps you need to take depend on your violation history and the terms of your license suspension.
That said, Washington has worked hard to make personalized information easily accessible on their website. You can now log into the
Washington state website
to access step-by-step instructions for reinstating your license. Be sure to log in with your credentials to receive personalized information. 
Getting your license reinstated can be a tricky process. That’s why the
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has compiled everything you need to know about license reinstatement in Washington—plus a tip to lower your
Washington car insurance costs

Why you might need a license reinstatement in Washington

There are many reasons why you could get a
suspended license in Washington
. While the standard license suspension results from making too many violations within a year, Washington courts also use license suspensions to maintain accountability.
For example, failing to pay child support could result in a license suspension in Washington until you sort out the issue with the court. 
When your license gets suspended it won’t typically be automatically reinstated. Instead,  you’ll be required to take specific steps before the court reinstates your license. Common steps include fines, community service, and paperwork.
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How to get a license reinstatement in Washington

License suspensions are all personalized in Washington, so there isn’t a standard way to have your license reinstated. To find out exactly what steps you should take to get your license reinstated, navigate to Washington’s
state website
and input your case information. 
From there, the website should walk you through the steps you need to complete before your license can be reinstated.

Traffic citations

In the state of Washington, committing 6 violations in one year or 7 violations in two years warrants a 60-day license suspension.
Violators will also be put on a year-long probationary period, wherein any additional offenses will warrant a 30-day license suspension. If their license is suspended again, the probation period will also reset.
While specific steps vary by case, you’ll typically need to do the following to have your license reinstated after a traffic-related suspension:
  • Submit proof of financial responsibility form (
    SR-22 Form
    )
  • Pay a $75 reissue fee
  • Pay any additional fines
You can get more specific information on reinstating your license on the Washington state website. 

Failure to appear in court

If you fail to appear in court for a criminal conviction, the court will communicate with the
Washington Department of Licenses (DOL)
to suspend your license. In these cases, the license suspension will last indefinitely, as its reinstatement is contingent on your appearance in court. 
While the specific situation may be more or less complicated, you’ll be required to do the following before your license is reinstated:
  • Appear in court for trial
  • Pay the $75 or $150 reissue fee 
The specific amount of your fee depends on your situation since people with drug charges are liable to face higher fines for license reinstatement. Keep in mind that it will take a few days for the court to update your driving status, so you should stay off the road until then.
Key Takeaway Suspended licenses in Washington can typically be reinstated by paying the proper fine(s) and submitting proof of financial responsibility, but you can find specific instructions on the Washington state website.

How to get a restricted license in Washington

For many people, driving is essential to their survival. If your job or education depends on your ability to drive, you may be eligible for a restricted license in Washington. 
Restricted licenses are specifically reserved for people who need their cars, but have committed violations that show they could be a danger to others on the road. 
Here are the two types of restricted licenses in Washington:
  • Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL): these are issued to people with their licenses suspended/revoked due to drug-related charges. It requires the driver to pass a breath alcohol test before the engine in their car will start. 
  • Occupational Restricted Driver’s License (ORL): these are limited-access licenses for people who need to use their car for work, education, or personal health reasons. Violating the terms of your ORL could result in fines and prolonged license suspensions.
To qualify for either of these restricted licenses, you’ll need to have a
Washington driver's license
, pay any required fees, and submit a completed SR-22 form. From there, it’s up to the court to determine whether or not you should be granted a restricted license.
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What is an SR-22 certificate?

SR-22 forms are a type of legal certification that confirms you have the required minimum insurance. Every state has its policies regarding
minimum car insurance requirements
, and driving without the proper coverage is considered a relatively serious violation.
Before your license can be reinstated, you’ll be required to submit an SR-22 form through your insurance provider to assure the courts you have the financial protection you need to hit the road safely. 
While the forms are inexpensive to purchase and process, filing an SR-22 often leads to a massive increase in your car insurance rates.
MORE:

How to save money on car insurance in Washington

License suspensions and revocations will always cause enormous increases in your car insurance premiums. Luckily, the
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