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Old 09-12-2013, 10:38 PM
 
18 posts, read 66,078 times
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I'm moving to Seattle from Los Angeles. I have a CA driver license. Do I need to get a WA license in order to drive in Seattle?

Thank you.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:43 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,448,200 times
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If you're living in WA, you're supposed to have a WA license. You could probably get away with not doing it for a few months. But if you're going to stick around a while, it'll be necessary to have local ID.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,464,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchanel5 View Post
I'm moving to Seattle from Los Angeles. I have a CA driver license. Do I need to get a WA license in order to drive in Seattle?

Thank you.
This should give you the information that you need:

Washington Drivers License: Requirements and Forms | WA Drivers License

You will have a specified amount of time (I can't remember how long) to get a Washington State Driver's License. If you get stopped for any reason after that time, and you still have not gotten a WDL, you will get a ticket.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:35 AM
 
676 posts, read 897,035 times
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I had a similar issue when I moved to Oregon from Georgia, I didn't have a permanent residence for almost 8 months and had been driving with my Georgia license, wasn't a problem or anything but it didn't make me a resident. I was able to obtain one and once I move to Seattle I may also not have a permanent residence at first so that will take some time to get my WA license.

Short answer, you can drive with your Cali license in seattle but it won't make you a resident. Although once you do get that WA license it will feel more official that you are home.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:01 AM
 
2,672 posts, read 2,505,569 times
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If you get stopped and you now have Washington plates but the California drivers license you will get a ticket. You have 30 days supposedly to get a license but for the most part an officer wont know but the Washington plates and the address will tell the officer you have been here more than 30 days. If you live in a smaller town and an officer keeps seeing your car with out of state plates over several months that will get you a ticket unless you can prove your main residence is out of state and you are only here temporarily for a job or a second home.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,490 posts, read 4,398,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchanel5 View Post
I'm moving to Seattle from Los Angeles. I have a CA driver license. Do I need to get a WA license in order to drive in Seattle?

Thank you.
A more broad spectrum answer would be "No, you do not have to have a state specific license to legally drive in another state". I use my Montana license while vacationing in WA regularly.

That is short term...longer term - refer to the other posts.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:21 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borregokid View Post
If you get stopped and you now have Washington plates but the California drivers license you will get a ticket. You have 30 days supposedly to get a license but for the most part an officer wont know but the Washington plates and the address will tell the officer you have been here more than 30 days. If you live in a smaller town and an officer keeps seeing your car with out of state plates over several months that will get you a ticket unless you can prove your main residence is out of state and you are only here temporarily for a job or a second home.
This. ^^^^

I used to live in Clark County (Wa.) and they would sometimes set up "sting" patrols, where they would stop cars with out of state plates (mostly Oregon) and check to see if the drivers were Washington residents. Bcause lots of people were moving into that area from Oregon and were still working/commuting to Portland, most of these "stings" took place along the freeway exits. But, I lived in a small town and I got stopped for having Oregon plates on a car my father (who lived in Oregon) had given me because the cop had "seen me around." I can't remember if I got a ticket or a warning; it was a long time ago.

So, you will want to get those plates switched over as soon as possible, too.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, Okla.
641 posts, read 1,607,368 times
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What if you plan on living in WA. for only a year? Would you need to get a WA. drivers license still? My guess is yes.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,464,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyinyourradio View Post
What if you plan on living in WA. for only a year? Would you need to get a WA. drivers license still? My guess is yes.
I think so.

Plus it would be pretty hard to prove you will be a short timer here. Anybody could say they were but how would you prove it?

It's been my experience that they don't show a lot of mercy when it comes to licenses and vehicle registration - you only have fifteen days to transfer title on a purchased vehicle. In fact, they used to charge more when you did transfer title if you went past the fifteen days. I don't know if they still do that because, you could say, I learned my lesson and now I transfer title immediately.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,677 posts, read 6,431,278 times
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Just FYI, it's really easy to get a WA license if you have a CA license. You just go to the Department of Licensing, give them your CA license, take an eye test, and bam, you get a WA license. The DOL here is nothing like the DMV in CA. It's a pleasant experience compared to the CA DMV.

V. =)
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