Updated: February, 2023Summary of common traffic laws in Washington – Speed limits, License Renewals, Learners Permits, Drunk Driving Laws, and more. For more information, visit the Washington Traffic Safety Commission website.
In Washington, the maximum speed limit for cars is 70 mph. The maximum highway speed for trucks is only 60 mph. These are maximum speeds. Speeds may be lower on highway passing through urban areas. Always observe posted traffic laws and drive safely for the weather and road conditions.
Washington allows new drivers to get their learners permit at the age of 15. You must have your provisional license for a minimum of 6 months. Drivers can then get their intermediate license at 16. An Intermediate License allows you to drive yourself without a qualified co-pilot in the car. However, driving restrictions still apply including the time-of-day you can drive and the maximum number of passengers allowed.
In Washington, drivers can obtain their full drivers license at the age of 18.
Washington requires you to renew your license every 5 years.
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The state of Washington enforces increased penalties for speeding violations within work zones. These increased penalties are known as Work Zone Enhancements. Work Zone Enhanced Penalties may be assessed even if workers are not currently present and working. In Washington, Work Zone Enhacements are:
The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%. States often enforce more strict mandatory penalties for drivers above a certain BAC. In Washington, driving with a BAC above 0.17% will trigger automatic enhanced minimum penalties.
Cellphones and other handheld devices are banned while driving in most states. In Washington, hand-held devices such as phones and mp3 player are banned for all drivers, regardless of age. Handheld devices bans prohibit talking on the phone without a hands-free system.
Texting while driving is banned in Washington. Texting while driving is concidered a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over with texting as the only offense. In Washington, distracted driving is listed as a category on police crash report forms.
Washington requires seabelt use. Seatbelt enforcement is concidered primary, meaning you can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. The fine for a seatbelt law violation in Washington is $124.00. Safety belt laws very state-by-state. Consult your states Department of Transportation for specific seatbelt use laws.