Driving in Seattle

There are certain rules and regulations for driving in the United States. The information on this page is intended for International Students who attend South Seattle College.

In order to drive in the United States, you are required to obtain a state driver’s license AND car insurance.

Steps to receive a Driver’s License:

  1. Request a SEVIS Page from the CIE (Student Request Form)
  2. Your letter will be completed within 2 business days. You will receive an email when the letter is complete.
  3. Take the letter, your Passport, Visa, and I-20 to the Washington State Department of Licensing
    West Seattle Drivers Licensing Office: 8830 25th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106-3237
  4. Take and pass the Knowledge Test (you must pass with 20 out of 25 questions correct) at an independent driving school within King County (see below for a list of locations near South Seattle Community College)

    Find the Washington Drivers Guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, and Japanese here: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/guide.html

  5. Schedule and take the Driving Skills Test at an independent driving school within King County
    You must provide proof of insurance and vehicle registration if using own vehicle (insurance information is listed below)


If you are under 18 years old, you must also:


  • Pass a traffic safety course through an independent driving school within King County (see below for a list of locations near SSC)
  • Have an instruction permit for at least 6 months
    You can receive an instruction permit if (1) you are enrolled in a traffic safety course or (2) you pass the knowledge test.
  • Complete this form (http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/520003.pdf) with your parent, legal guardian, or employer stating that you have at least 50 hours of driving practice (including 10 hours at night) with someone who’s been licensed for 5 or more years.


Independent Driving Schools near South Seattle College


  • NorthStar Driving Academy of Burien
    633 SW 150th St
    Burien, WA 98166
  • Defensive Driving School of West Seattle
    4700 42nd Ave SW
    Seattle, WA 98116 
  • Puget Sound Driving Academy of Seattle
    6417 Fauntleroy Way SW
    Seattle, WA 98136 
  • Sears Authorized Driving School of Tukwila
    301 SouthCenter Mall Blvd.
    Tukwila, WA 98188


Car Insurance


There are hundreds of car insurance companies in Seattle and the greater Seattle area. We recommend “shopping” for a car insurance company that will work best for you and best fits your budget.

Some questions to consider when shopping for car insurance:

  • Are there translators with your company who speak my language?
  • Does your company offer a safe driver discount?
  • Can you explain your policies to me in simple terms?
  • What are your payment options?
  • How do I manage my account/insurance?
  • How much will my coverage cost?

 Download this information here (PDF)