DOL welcomes public comment on the Disability Parking Study

August 6, 2013

dis-1The Legislature asked the Department of Licensing to create a workgroup to examine the use of disabled parking placards and special license plates for persons with disabilities, and develop a strategic plan for ending any abuse.

The workgroup is made up of representatives from DOL, Department of Health, City of Seattle, Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, and Arc of Washington.

The workgroup has been meeting since June to research and review data to determine where potential abuse may be, develop measures to reduce fraudulent use and issuance, and suggest ways to strengthen administrative processes, while minimizing the impact to individuals who really need these privileges.

The deadline for public comments is October 15, 2013.

The workgroup will report its findings—and a strategic plan on ideas to potentially reduce abuse—to the Legislature by December 1, 2013.

The public may share ideas with the workgroup by sending an email to: DPWorkgroup@dol.wa.gov.

 


New rest area signs help promote motorcycle safety

July 16, 2013

VIDEO

New sign at Maytown rest area

New sign going in at Maytown rest area on May 29th.

New signs aimed at making our roads safer for motorcycles now appear at two rest areas along the busy Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland.

The signs carry two motorcycle-related safety messages. The top half reads “Look Twice – Save a Life, Watch for Motorcycles.”

The message on the lower half of the sign is directed at motorcyclists, “Ride Safe, Ride Sober, Ride Endorsed.”

The state’s Department of Transportation installed the signs on May 29th at the Maytown and Scatter Creek rest areas south of Olympia.

The signs were paid for with federal motorcycle safety grant funds.

This project was created through a partnership between the state’s Department of Licensing, Traffic Safety Commission, State Patrol and DOT.

The signs are featured in a new video produced by the DOL.


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.


Driver licensing offices seeing shortened wait times

October 12, 2011

Waits at driver licensing offices are getting shorter, and hundreds of thousands of people a year are eliminating the wait altogether with a few mouse clicks on the DOL website.

After 21 office closures or modifications and other additional budget cuts, DOL continues to add new services to its website. The latest, rolled out in September, allows people who have moved to change their address online. It’s required by law that the address is kept up to date.

Drivers and ID card holders can go to dol.wa.gov to change their address, replace a lost or stolen card and get a copy of their driving record. Most people can also renew their driver license or ID card online every other time it is due for renewal.

“We are building a system in very tight budget times that allows many people to only have to visit one of our offices every ten years,” DOL Director Alan Haight said. “This is allowing our existing staff to keep up with the in-office demands of about 5.2 million drivers, a number that is increasing every day.”

Haight says that the agency is on track to serve more than 500,000 transactions over the web in 2011, a dramatic increase from 120,000 three years ago. He says the web will help the agency simply keep up with the growing state population.

The agency typically sees the highest customer volumes and office wait times during the summer months. This year, though, office wait times were significantly lower, averaging less than 30 minutes statewide.

“These are tough economic times for families and government alike, but we can’t let cuts to our budget stop us from providing customers with faster, more convenient service options,” Haight said. “These types of services are more important than ever.”


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.


New web service added to help drivers get back on the road legally

August 22, 2011


 

If your driver license is suspended due to unpaid traffic tickets, a DUI or a number of other things, it can be a challenge to navigate the court system to get it back. For the nearly 300,000 Washingtonians with a suspended license, things are about to get a little easier.

We’ve rolled out a new web-based service that shows people what they need to do and who they need to contact to get their license back. Users can securely enter their personal information and the system will provide a printable list of the court issues and state requirements needing to be resolved. It also provides contact information for each item. It is available at the DOL website. 

 


Great news for summer driver licensing office customers

August 5, 2011

Summer is traditionally a very busy time in driver licensing offices, but customers across the state are enjoying average wait times of less than 30 minutes this season. Statewide average wait times are down sharply compared to last year and have been below 30 minutes for the past four months.Statewide average wait time chart

The average amount of time customers spent waiting for service in a driver licensing office in July was 28 minutes. This is a significantly lower than the average of 42 minutes in July last year.

While average wait times are way down across the state, some offices still have longer wait times than others. A great way to save time is to visit DOL’s Internet website and check the current wait time of the office you are planning to visit before you go. Also, keep in mind that many of DOL’s most common transactions, like driver license renewal and requesting a copy of your driving record, are offered online at the DOL website.

It’s also important to keep in mind that wait times can vary greatly depending on the day of the week and time of day customers choose to visit a driver licensing office. Watch the video below for tips on how to make your next visit a quick one.


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