Driver testing to be conducted outside DOL across the state


OLYMPIA— On December 1, the Department of Licensing will expand a new program allowing driver training schools and school district driver training programs across the state to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing for new driver license applicants.

“We started this program in King County and it has gone smoothly,” said DOL Director Alan Haight. “Now driver training schools in many other areas of the state are ready to conduct drive tests, which will remove one of the most time-consuming transactions from our offices. We think this is going to speed things up for other customers who must come into an office.”

As of December 1, driver knowledge and skills tests will no longer be offered in the following licensing service offices: Bellingham, Friday Harbor, Everett, Greenwood, Smokey Point, Renton, Federal Way, Lacey, Parkland, Centralia, Vancouver East, Vancouver North, Kennewick, Chelan, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Davenport, Newport, and Spokane.

Previously scheduled drive tests will be honored in these offices. The Department of Licensing will continue to offer tests in areas that don’t have driver training schools nearby that offer testing.

To conduct driver tests, driver training schools must be licensed with the state or be part of a state-certified public school driver training program. They have to apply for the authority to administer driver testing, and are subject to audits and record checks.

After passing the tests, customers will go to a licensing office to obtain their license. Customers are still required to pay the driver license application fee to DOL. Driver training schools will set the fee they charge for the tests.

The program is the final phase of implementing House Bill 1635, which gives the Department authority to contract with private driver training schools, school districts and motorcycle training schools to conduct some knowledge and skills tests. The bill was passed in an effort to reduce wait times in licensing service offices.

For a list of state-approved driver training schools, go to: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/testing.html.

4 Responses to Driver testing to be conducted outside DOL across the state

  1. TMT says:

    I’ve just learned that the DOL is still collecting the $35.00 fee for taking the driving portion of the test, even though a person has tested at a driving school. The fee is being renamed to justify the charge. Really?! So I pay 911 driving school for the test and then turn around and pay DOL again… plus the $45.00 for the actual license. When they had nothing to do with the testing. Hmmm.. Sounds like double dippin to me. Could someone clarify if this is true and accurate please?

  2. Jeff Klein says:

    I hope TMT is wrong about this. It indeed sounds like the DOL is charging for a service that is not provided. Perhaps a judge will need to determine the legality.

  3. TMT says:

    Jeff ~ After making my post, I called the DOL to get their side of this and the lady I spoke with said that the $35.00 has always been an application fee and that the driving was included for free. I told her the DOL does NOTHING for free and feel they are trying to justify the fee. So my daughter tests tomorrow and we will be paying a minimum of $115.00 to get her license. And get this.. the schools send all the written and driving tests results electronically to DOL, so they’ve made their job just that much easier, but still get to collect $80.00 for paper work and taking a picture for the license. (The schools charge more if you can’t provide a car to test in, etc). I’m in support of the schools providing this service, but not DOL getting to keep fees they are not earning. Customer service at 911 Driving School has been wonderful and you’re treated like a person.. so that’s a plus.

  4. Patricio says:

    Well I just went to take both tests to 911 school driving and passed them both, but, I went to the dol in Federal Way and they didn’t received my score so I could’n get my license, they told me to call the school so I did and they told me everything was just fine, so I got to go to the dol again tomorrow morning to see what they tell me, now, the cost to get a license is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE, 20 dollars for the knowledge test, 59 for the driving test and in my case, since I had it revoked, I have to pay the dol 150 dollars more besides the driving school, the only thing I have to say is this is ridiculous.

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