New pre-screening times for EDL applicants

July 17, 2009

(Updated July 20 at 10:36am, PST)

DOL is adapting to surges in demand for Enhanced Driver Licenses, and demand remains high after the June 1 WHTI deadline.  So far, nearly 80-thousand Washingtonians are enjoying the convenience EDL offers to land and sea border travelers.

To help get more customers served, the busiest DOL offices that issue Enhanced Driver Licenses have been pre-screening EDL applicants waiting outside beginning at 7:15 am. The are 9 offices that issue EDL’s that are conducting pre-screening activities prior to the office opening. They are Kennewick, Lacey, Mt Vernon, Parkland, Renton, Seattle West, Smokey Point, Spokane, Wenatchee. Pre-screening times vary from office to office, see specific start times below.

Outside prescreening begins at 8 am in:

  • Wenatchee
  • Spokane
  • Parkland

Outside prescreening begins at 7:45 am in:

  • Smokey Point
  • Mt Vernon
  • Kennewick

Outside prescreening begins at 7:15 in:

  • West Seattle
  • Renton
  • Lacey

There is no early prescreening in North Vancouver because volumes there remain reasonable.

EDLs remain available by appointment only in Bothell, Seattle Downtown, Port Angeles, and Bellingham (Bellingham will accept walk in EDL applicants beginning July 28, 2009).

As a reminder: You must bring proof of identity, U.S. citizenship, and WA residency to apply for EDL. Please visit dol.wa.gov for a list of acceptable documents, and remember to BRING ORIGINALS.  No EDL applications will be accepted after 2pm on weekdays or noon on Saturdays.

Summer is typically the busiest time of year in Licensing Service Offices, so come early and come prepared.  Also, you can do many DOL services online, so log onto dol.wa.gov to see if you can skip the trip!


Motorcycle kickstand coasters

July 15, 2009

by Selena Davis, DOL Spokesperson

Recent media reports and blog posts are whipping up some confusion over a recently published Request For Quotes (RFQ) issued this week by DOL’s Motorcycle Safety Program.

It was inaccurately assumed the RFQ was a purchase order for 20,000 motorcycle kickstand coasters to be used to promote motorcycle training and endorsement.  It is important to note a RFQ is not the same as a purchase order. These products have not been purchased.

Motorcycle kickstand coasters are used by riders to support their motorcycle in when parking on soft surfaces, and they can prevent a parked motorcycle from falling. DOL has used these items to promote the proven benefits of safety training and rider license endorsements, and recently run out of kickstand coasters.

The last batch of 20,000 kickstand coasters was ordered in October 2006. The cost totaled $16,125 and was paid for by federal grants. DOL is simply exploring the cost to continue to use them, and is in no way committed to ordering 20,000 coasters.

So why issue a public RFQ? This RFQ will provide useful information to have on hand when budgeting for future outreach needs or for writing federal grant applications. Times are tight now in state government, and every RFQ is closely examined to ensure it is cost effective before making a purchase order.

It is also important to note the Motorcycle Safety Program is not funded by general fund dollars.  Public outreach, like promotional kickstand coasters, commercials, and PSAs, are funded by federal grants.  Federal grant money can only be spent as it is designated, and our lawmakers fight so Washingtonians get their share.



This just in: Latest wait times at DOL offices during EDL crunch

July 9, 2009

Early indications are starting to show that demand for Washington’s Enhanced Driver License is returning to normal levels following the large upward spike that followed the June 1 implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

That’s not say that some offices aren’t experiencing unusually long wait times.  They are.  In short, a lot of people are opting for the convenience and affordability of an EDL instead of a passport.

Now, here’s a look at the latest average wait time numbers.  These figures represent average wait times at DOL offices on July 7, 2009:

  • Bellingham:  58 minutes
  • Bothell:  1 hour, 4 minutes
  • Everett:  46 minutes
  • Kennewick:  57 minutes
  • Lacey:  1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Lynnwood:  39 minutes
  • Mt. Vernon:  60 minutes
  • Parkland:  1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Renton:  3 hours, 2 minutes
  • Seattle (west):  53 minutes
  • Seattle (east):  2 hours, 4 minutes
  • Smokey Point:  1 hour, 3 minutes
  • Spokane:  45 minutes
  • Vancouver (north): 41 minutes
  • Wenatchee:  48 minutes

 
EDL SCREENINGS UNDERWAY BEFORE DOORS OPEN

In a July 6 news release,  DOL announced immediate actions to reduce wait times at several locations.  Those actions included, “Screening applicants waiting outside beginning at 7:15 am.”

Since that news release went out,  we’ve learned some customers thought DOL would open office doors at 7:15am.  That’s not the case.  The screenings are taking place outside and prior to regularly-scheduled business hours.

The outside screenings are taking place at DOL offices in:

  • Lacey
  • Kennewick
  • Mount Vernon
  • Parkland
  • Renton
  • Smokey Point
  • Spokane
  • West Seattle

Due to low volume, the DOL’s Wenatchee office is no longer offering screenings prior to normal business hours.


ADVISORY: Increased Demand for Enhanced Driver License

July 6, 2009

 

Customers at several DOL offices are experiencing longer than usual wait-times since new rules affecting international travel were implemented on June 1, 2009. Those rules are part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (“WHTI”). Many people in Washington state are responding to the new rules by applying for the convenient Enhanced Driver License. The “EDL” is also a cost-friendly alternative to a passport.

This video aims to assist Washingtonians by providing useful information that can help make obtaining an EDL as smooth as possible. Thank you for your interest. And happy traveling!


The Enhanced Driver License: A Dream Realized

July 1, 2009

VIDEO

Perhaps you already know that Washington was the first state in the nation to offer an Enhanced Driver License or “EDL.” This video reveals the uphill and determined battle that state, federal and private partners overcame in their quest to make the EDL dream come true. All involved were well-aware of the looming June 2009 implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

This video features interviews with more than a dozen people, including two travelers we found at the Blaine, Washington border crossing; each shared why he is happy to have an EDL. Maybe the EDL is a good idea for you, too.

Remember, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver are fast-approaching!


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