Driver application process
A step by step guide on applying for a for-hire permit or license
Throughout your application and renewal processes, all communication will come from your TNC. You do not need to come to our office unless your TNC tells you to. King County does not provide the application status to individuals directly.
Apply with a TNC
- To obtain a for-hire permit, you must first sign up with a TNC. The TNC will send your application to King County for you. The process includes training and exam requirements.
- The TNC will help you get your vehicle inspected by an approved mechanic.
- Your TNC will tell you when your for-hire permit and vehicle decal (endorsement sticker) are ready.
- You must provide a passport quality photo of yourself to the TNC. Or, if you visit King County, we may take your photo for your for-hire permit.
Defensive Driving Class (DDC)
- First time applicants must complete the National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course. Check with your TNC about how to complete this training.
- You must display your for-hire permit and vehicle decal (endorsement sticker) for your passengers to see.
- Your for-hire permit expires one year from when King County received your application. Provide your TNC a current driver's license and vehicle registration and have your vehicle inspected in order to renew your permit and vehicle decal (endorsement sticker).
First time applicants: complete all of the steps below.
Renewing your license: complete the Application and Background steps only.
- Prepare for the For-Hire exam by downloading the Study Guide, completing the eTraining, and taking the practice exam. Print your confirmation of completion and bring it with you when you apply in our office.
- Pass the For-Hire exam by scoring 80% or higher or by answering a minimum of 32 questions correctly. Print your confirmation of completion and bring it with you when you apply in our office.
- A complete application package includes:
- Completed Taxi and For-Hire Driver's License Application
- Washington State Driver's License (out of state exceptions may be ok with Military or Student ID)
- Signed Acknowledgment and Authorization page (page 4) of the Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation
- Cash, check, or credit card for the license application fee (mailing cash is discouraged)
- You will either be required to provide a passport quality photo of yourself or we may take your photo for your for-hire driver license in our office.
- After paying your application fee, we will review your driving record and give you a form to take to the King County Sheriff's office for fingerprinting to obtain criminal history. We will contact you to schedule an appointment to appear at the Sheriff's office located in the King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave Room W-150, Seattle, WA 98104. Other locations for fingerprinting may become available and will be provided as options during scheduling.
Defensive Driving Class (DDC)
- Within 60 days of submitting your initial application, complete the DDC Online, 4 hour Defensive Driving Course certified by the National Safety Council. Mail, fax, or email your completion certificate to us as soon as you receive it.
- The medallion license plates with the current year decal must be affixed to the outside of the vehicle.
- The for-hire driver license must be visible to passengers inside the vehicle.
- Your for-hire driver license expires one year from your original application date and must be renewed each year.
Note: Most cities, including Seattle, require you to have a business license to drive in their city. Check with each city you plan to drive in for their business license rules. Several cities use Filelocal-wa.gov for licensing.