Updated: June, 2017Summary 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. Speed limits vary by state and, in some cases, county-by-county. 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 imposes restricts on when you are allowed to drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car, but allows you to drive yourself without an instructor in the car.
In Washington, drivers can obtain their full drivers license at the age of 18.
Washington requires you to renew your license every 5 years.
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%. Most states impose increased mandatory penalties for driving above a specific BAC. In Washington, driving with a BAC above 0.17% will trigger automatic enhanced minimum penalties.
Texting while driving is illegal in most but not all states. In Washington, hand-held devices such as phones and mp3 player are banned for all drivers, regardless of age. Hands-free interaction with cellphones is allowed.
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. Seatbelt use laws depend on the driving experience of the driver and which seat of the car a passenger is sitting in.