With all the excitement that comes with moving to a new place it’s easy to forget some of the mundane tasks you need to complete such as getting a new driver’s license and registering your vehicle so that you’re operating legally. The following is almost everything you need to know about getting your license and registration up to speed in Oregon and Washington.

Getting your driver’s license

Oregon and Washington state laws both require you to notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles (the office is known as the Department of Licensing in Washington) within 30 days of moving into the state or to a new residence within the state. Therefore you likely will need to take action shortly after you finish moving in.

To get your Oregon driver’s license you must apply in person at a DMV office presenting proof of your full name date of birth address Social Security number and legal presence in the United States. You will also need to pass a vision test at the DMV office along with a Class C knowledge test—even if you have a valid driver’s license from another state. Most experienced drivers will pass the test without much problem although it won’t hurt to brush up on traffic laws if you have any doubt.

In Washington you do not have to take a knowledge test if you are over 18 and already have a valid driver’s license from another state. You may access the drivers manuals for Oregon at www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/37.pdf and Washington at www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/guide.html.

The fee for taking the knowledge test in Oregon in $5 and a new Class C license costs $65. It’s then valid for the next eight years. Be sure to bring cash or a check with you as state DMV offices do not accept debit or credit cards. The licensing fee in Washington is $89 and it’s valid for six years.

Registering your vehicle

You also have 30 days to register your vehicle in Oregon presenting to the DMV two pieces of evidence that you now live in the state. This may include a utility bill rental agreement property tax document state public assistance receipts and/or a state voter registration card. The current fee for an Oregon title registration is $77 while Washington’s fees vary depending on the county in which you reside.

Auto insurance requirements

It’s illegal to drive in Oregon without a minimum level of car insurance. This includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage of at least $25000 per person $50000 per accident for injury and $20000 per accident for damage to property. Your policy also must cover basic personal injury protection of $15000 per person and uninsured motorist coverage of $25000 per person and $50000 per accident for bodily injury.

In Washington the requirements are similar—except you’re only required to have $10000 for property damage uninsured motorist and basic personal injury coverage each.

Just don’t try to pump your own gas

An interesting quirk in Oregon is that motorists are not allowed to pump their own gas. In fact you could be fined up to $500 for doing so. All gas stations have attendants—usually wearing orange vests—who will pump your gas for you without you having to get out of your car. Although this can be nice on cold rainy days it can take a little more time so it’s important to allow for a few extra minutes if you need to stop for gas during your commute.

In Washington you’re on your own at the gas pump.

Drivers License and Registration Offices

OREGON  (Portland metro region)
Oregon Department of Motor Vehicle Offices
Beaverton 10280 SW Park Way
Gladstone 10 82nd Drive
Gresham 1519 NE 181st Avenue
Hillsboro 1300 SW Oak St Suite H
Lake Oswego 3 SW Monroe Parkway Suite D
McMinnville 2260 NE McDaniel Lane
Portland Downtown 1502 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland North 1186 N Hayden Meadows Drive
Portland Northeast 1836 NE 82nd Avenue
Portland Southeast 9910 SE Washington Street
Sandy 37395 Hwy 26
Sherwood 14240 SW Galbreath Drive
TIP: Oregon DMV offices only accept cash or checks and do not accept credit or debit cards however the offices above offer an ATM in the lobby.
Oregon DEQ Emissions Testing Stations
Clackamas 9350 SE Clackamas Road
Gresham 1200 SW Highland Drive
Portland Northeast 7701 NE 33rd Drive
Sherwood 14962 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road


5130 NW Five Oaks Drive


WASHINGTON  (Clark County)
Washington Driver Licensing Offices
Vancouver East – 360-260-6288 1301 NE 136th Avenue
Vancouver North – 360-576-6060 9609 NE 117th Avenue
Washington Vehicle Licensing Offices
Battle Ground – 360-687-5115 301 W Main Street Suite 101
Camas – 360-835-2977 3252 NE 3rd Avenue Suite 5
Camas – 360-833-1717 2011 SE 192nd Avenue Suite 103
Ridgefield – 360-887-2345 7509 South 5th Street Suite101-A
Vancouver – 360-397-2288 1408 Franklin Street
Vancouver – 360-892-1877 1301 NE 136th Avenue
Vancouver – 360-574-0086 7904 NE 6th Avenue Suite B
Vancouver – 360-695-2122 2700 NE Andresen Road Suite A-6
Vancouver – 360-573-6226 13009 NE Hwy 99
Vancouver – 360-254-6226 11820 NE Fourth Plain Boulevard  Suite D