Beware of online look-alikes

October 28, 2011

A website claiming to be the ‘official provider of Washington driver license forms’ has gotten the attention of DOL after customers called in after running across the site. The website asks customers to pay $24.95. It’s not clear what that payment will get them, but it won’t renew a driver license.

“The only ‘official provider’ of Department of Licensing forms is the Department of Licensing, and they are free,” says DOL director Alan Haight. He says that the agency website is safe, secure and offers a lot of time-saving services.

Customers should always make sure they’re on DOL’s website, as it always starts with www.dol.wa.gov. Web browsers on the secure portions of the site, like driver license renewal, address change or other services will display that they have a secure connection by using a padlock icon or something similar, as well as displaying https:// as the prefix of the web address. You will also see fortress.wa.gov as the web address on secure state websites.

Some search engines can also return advertisements in the form of ‘sponsored links,’ which can lead users to sites that aren’t what they think they are, so make sure that you know who you are doing business with on the internet, before you give any personal information or click send.


DOL hits major YouTube milestone

September 20, 2011

Drive Test VideoDOL customers have now watched agency-produced videos on the agency’s YouTube channel more than a million times.

DOL created a YouTube channel and began posting public service videos in March 2009. Our goal for the videos is to provide customer service, public safety, and consumer protection information directly to consumers in a way many favor.

In addition to being available on YouTube, the videos are featured on the DOL Internet website, often located in places that support more detailed written information about a topic. Several videos focus on consumer protection issues like buying a car or what to look for when renting a limousine.

The most popular videos include a four-part series designed to help people become familiar with the parts of the driver licensing road test that many consider the most challenging. As a series, these four videos have been viewed more than a half million times since they were posted 10 months ago. Similar videos that illustrate the motorcycle endorsement road test also have been very popular.


Green thumb with an eye to match? The landscape architect licensing board is looking for you

April 20, 2011

Interested in landscape architecture and don’t have a family or business connection with the industry? Here’s your chance. The landscape architecht board has a vacancy for its public member position.

The public member provides an important perspective: they offer a view that is sometimes difficult to see as a member of the profession and they advocate for the public as a whole.

The Landscape Architect Board examines candidates for licensure, holds disciplinary hearings, and recommends adoption of rules and regulations. The board meets 4 times a year and members serve 6-year terms. They’re entitled to reimbursement for their travel expenses and receive a small stipend as compensation for their service. For complete information about this governor-appointed position and application process, click here.


Don’t let your dream event turn into a nightmare

April 1, 2011

Teens getting into a licensed limo

If you‘re hiring a limo or town car for a prom or another special event, make sure you’re riding safely and in style.

Washington has a lot of licensed limousine companies to choose from.  Before hiring one, make sure the limo and the driver are properly licensed by the state.

To find out if the limousine service you plan to use is licensed, visit the Department of Licensing website at www.dol.wa.gov or call 360-664-1414.


Check the status of business and professional licenses online

February 4, 2011

 Always be sure that the person you’re doing business with is properly licensed. If you want to find out if a person or business has the proper license, you can search business and professional licenses on our website.  You can also get information on:

  • If a person or business has a professional license.
  • If a business is licensed with a city or the state.
  • If your business or professional license is active.
  • When a business or professional license will expire.

You can search by name, license number, type of license or location.  The search will only provide information about business and professional licenses issued by the Department of Licensing. For information about licenses issued by other agencies, visit the list of licenses.

Click here to watch our YouTube video about our license lookup system.


Considering a short sale of your property? Make an informed decision.

January 12, 2011

The economic challenges that so many are facing have resulted in many homeowners needing to sell, but owing more on their home than the home is worth. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the sales price is insufficient to pay the debt and obligations on the property along with the costs of sale, and the seller is unable to pay the difference.  

Every short sale is dependent upon the seller’s lender agreeing to the transaction and agreeing to release the lender’s interest in exchange for less than what is owed. In some cases however, the lender’s approval of a short sale does not necessarily mean the lender relieves the seller of liability for repayment of the entire debt.

A short sale is a very complex transaction that involves numerous issues as well as legal and financial risks. Information on our website addresses some of these issues and risks, but isn’t necessarily fully comprehensive.  You should always get the advice of a lawyer and tax professional before proceeding with a short sale.


DOL is more than just driver licenses and car tabs

November 29, 2010

Every working day, DOL is serving Washington residents. The agency licenses and regulates drivers, vehicles and vessels and works with law enforcment to ensure our roadways and the traveling public is safe.

But there’s a whole other side of the agency that isn’t as obvious, but is critical to consumer protection in our state. DOL licenses and regulates 30 different professions, and issues business licenses through the Master License Service.

Each year, we:

  • Manage about 262,000 professional licenses.
  • Register nearly 4,000 complaints regarding professional licenses.
  • Issue over 3,000 cosmetology operator licenses for cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists, and estheticians.

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