August 8, 2012
OLYMPIA—Starting August 1, most motorcycle riders seeking an endorsement to legally ride in Washington state will begin taking motorcycle knowledge and skills tests at approved motorcycle training schools across the state.
“This will give our customers easier access to motorcycle testing in more areas in the state, and will free up some of our staff to serve other customers who must come into an office,” said DOL Director Alan Haight. “We already have the infrastructure in place with motorcycle training schools since we contract with them to conduct training courses, so we expect the transition to be very easy and seamless for our customers.”
The Department of Licensing will continue to offer these tests in the Colville, White Salmon, Ilwaco, Pullman, Coulee Dam, Clarkston and Walla Walla areas until motorcycle training schools expand services near these cities. DOL also will still test riders who have previously scheduled appointments at our offices.
After passing the tests, customers will go to a licensing office to obtain their motorcycle endorsement. The cost of a motorcycle endorsement will remain at $25; however motorcycle training schools will set the fee they charge for the tests.
This move is the first phase of implementing House Bill 1635, which gives the department authority to contract with private drive 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 motorcycle training schools, go to: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motoschools.html.
June 11, 2012
The Department of Licensing is looking for a public member to join our Cosmetology, Barber, Manicuring and Esthetician Advisory Board.
What does the advisory board do?
The advisory board makes recommendations to the Department on the laws and rules governing cosmetology, barbering, manicuring, estheticians and industry schools. We need a public member to give us opinions and information from the consumer’s point of view.
Who is eligible to fill this position?
We are looking for a consumer who is not affiliated with the cosmetology industry. This means you cannot be any of the following:
- A licensee
- A student
- An instructor
- A shop owner
- A school owner
Is this a paid position?
Yes, board members are paid up to $50 per day for board meetings. We do not use general funds for our program, so travel and lodging expenses are reimbursed at state rates.
What kind of commitment is this?
- Board members are appointed for a period of three years
- Regular meetings are scheduled on a quarterly basis – usually on a Monday
- Other meetings may be scheduled as needed
Are you interested?
Great! Please visit the following link to our webpage to access the application and to get more information about the board: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/cosmetology/news.html.
June 7, 2012
The Department of Licensing (DOL) is starting to use a facial recognition matching system as part of our ongoing efforts to prevent individuals from obtaining multiple driver licenses or ID cards or attempting to obtain a license or ID in the name of another Washington resident. DOL is committed to doing everything we can to protect the identities of Washington residents.
DOL has used facial recognition as part of the Enhanced Driver License program since 2008 and in our regular driver license and ID card processes during the pilot program from November 2009 through June 2011.
How does facial recognition system work?
Using your regular driver license or ID card photo, the system uses sophisticated mathematics to create a digital template of facial features that aren’t easy to alter, such as eye sockets, cheekbones and sides of the mouth.
Before a new license is issued, the system compares the template it creates to with all of the templates already in our database to determine if someone is attempting to apply for a license using a name other than their own. When potential conflicts are detected, the system flags them for review by specially trained DOL staff.
DOL’s facial recognition system is designed to be an accurate, non-obtrusive fraud detection tool. When staff investigators confirm an individual may have more than one identity in our system, DOL offers the individual an opportunity to explain. A hearing is offered before any administrative action to suspend or cancel a license or ID card is taken.
Facial recognition templates are not shared
We do not share the use of the system with law enforcement or the other agencies without a court order and do not release facial recognition system results. However, when our efforts find probable fraud or identity theft we inform appropriate partner agencies who can investigate for identity-based crime or entitlement fraud.
May 24, 2012
OLYMPIA—As temperatures rise across our state this season, the Department of Licensing (DOL) would like to remind drivers to watch out for an increasing number of motorcycles on our streets and highways.Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of their smaller size and profile. Motorists should take an extra second to be aware of what’s around them. An extra look could save a life.
DOL will continue the agency’s “Look Twice, Save a Life” public information campaign this summer to work on increasing motorist awareness of motorcycles.
Since 2008, the number of other drivers failing to yield the right of way to motorcyclists has dropped by approximately 20 percent, according to collision data compiled by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month and called on motorcyclists and drivers alike to work on improving motorcycle safety this year.
The top three rider-causes of motorcycle crashes are alcohol or drug impairment, improper lane position and speeding. To legally operate a motorcycle on Washington roads, riders must have a driver license endorsement—or they could see their bike impounded even after a simple traffic stop.
DOL Director Alan Haight encourages all riders to take advantage of our state’s excellent network of motorcycle training schools.
“There are motorcycle safety classes out there for riders of all abilities,” Haight said. “These classes are critical for beginners, but also can help more experienced riders shake the rust off after a long winter and introduce new skills to increase riders’ safety and fun.”
Motorcycle training and endorsement info on the web: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motorcycles.html
April 26, 2012
Vehicle and boat owners who find themselves in a situation where they need a title certificate immediately now have a new service option called a Quick Title.
A Quick Title is an official certificate of ownership provided to a vehicle or boat owner across the counter at the time a title transaction is processed. Quick Title services are available in 16 locations around our state.
The key benefit of a Quick Title is speed. A title processed normally can take a month or more to arrive in the mail. In most circumstances, this doesn’t present any problems for vehicle or boat owners. However, sometimes an owner will lose a title and need an immediate replacement to prove ownership or sell the vehicle to someone else.
The fee to get a Quick Title is $50. This is in addition to all other fees and taxes due at the time of the transaction. Quick Titles are not available for vehicles reported to DOL as destroyed or for vehicles classified as not eligible for road use.
People seeking a Quick Title must have all of the necessary title documentation completed and ready for processing at the time of the transaction. This documentation will be carefully reviewed for completeness and accuracy before the transaction is processed.
Vehicle and boat licensing offices currently offering Quick Title services include:
- Benton County Auditor’s Office in Kennewick
- Clark County Auditor’s Office in Vancouver
- Cowlitz County Auditor’s Office in Kelso
- Franklin County Auditor’s Office in Pasco
- Jefferson County Auditor’s Office in Port Townsend
- King County Records and Licensing Services in Seattle
- Kitsap County Auditor’s Office in Port Orchard
- Klickitat County Auditor’s Office in Goldendale
- Lincoln County Auditor’s Office in Davenport
- Pierce County Auditor’s Office in Tacoma
- Skagit County Auditor’s Office in Mount Vernon
- Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett
- Spokane County Auditor’s Office in Spokane
- Walla Walla County Auditor’s Office in Walla Walla
- Whatcom County Auditor’s Office in Bellingham
- Whitman County Auditor’s Office in Colfax
Quick Title counter service is not available at the Department of Licensing headquarters office in Olympia or at any location in Thurston County. But more counties are expected to begin offering this service in the future.