The process of getting a suspended license reinstated can seem daunting. For many, it’s a labyrinth of trying to figure-out which courts and/or agencies must be contacted in order to clear-up unresolved cases.
But now, the Department of Licensing is offering a fast and simple solution people can use to piece all of that information together.
“We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for them to get their license back,” said DOL spokesperson Brad Benfield.
After the user enters some basic information, the online app provides a specific list of what that person must do to get his or her license reinstated.
“What we’re finding is that people are able to go online, use the reinstatements program, and systematically work their way through all of the issues that they need to work through to get their license back. And as they continue to check in on it, those things that they’ve taken care of come off the list until the day when they find out that they’re actually eligible for reinstatement,” Benfield said.
That’s a huge departure from the common scenarios that’ve played-out for years: people using their valuable time to go to a DOL office or calling the agency as they attempt to figure-out how to get their license reinstated.
Now, all of that information is at a person’s fingertips. You might say the app puts you at the front of the line.
And it’s free.
Believe it or not, there are companies who charge to provide you with this same information.
Benfield also has this heads-up for people who’ve only recently learned that their license will be suspended.
“Until that license is actually suspended, they’re not going to be able to use this system because it provides a snapshot of what’s going on with their record on any given day. If their license hasn’t been suspended yet, (the app’s) not yet going to reflect that. “
The DOL recently produced a video about the app and posted it to its YouTube channel.
YouTube video: http://youtu.be/LidYMIP6v0c
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.
OLYMPIA—The Department of Licensing introduced a fast, easy way to manage your driver license and all of your vehicle, trailer and boat licenses in one secure online service called License Express.
This new service allows people to take care of all of the most common DOL license transactions like renewals and address changes. It also makes it easy to take care of many less common tasks like ordering a duplicate driver license or ID card, signing up for email renewal reminders, ordering copies of your driving record and report the sale of vehicles or boats.
“It’s no secret our customers typically dread a trip to a local driver licensing office to wait for service,” Licensing Director Alan Haight said. “License Express is like having a DOL office at home.”
License Express ties together DOL’s most popular online services that, individually, have been used more than 2.5 million times by customers wanting to skip a trip to an office. DOL plans to keep improving this new service over time and adding more features to make it even more useful and save DOL customers more time.
License Express takes advantage of a highly secure login process through the state’s Secure Access Washington service to safeguard personal information.
DOL customers can learn more about this new service and sign up at the DOL website at dol.wa.gov.
Several websites targeting drivers across the country are promising easy online driver license renewals, but appear to be delivering little except credit card charges.
These companies, which appear to be located in foreign countries, are using paid advertising results on the major Internet search providers like Google and Yahoo to lure customers away from the official Department of Licensing (DOL) website. This is leading to extra fees paid to unknown companies who appear to be offering little more than services already available for free using the official DOL website.
Customers have reported these sites are charging as much as $35 dollars for “customer service” assistance in renewing a driver license. In addition many of these customers suspect these sites have sold their personal information to others for marketing purposes.
DOL posted a video on YouTube this week explaining that these websites are not associated in any way with DOL.
Doing business online with DOL and other government agencies is fast, easy and secure, but know these simple tips to make sure you are doing business with us and not an imitator:
- Access to DOL information and forms is free on the DOL website.
- Whenever you look at search results, keep in mind that the first several results may be paid advertising. Don’t just click on the first link; take a moment to examine your search results and pick carefully. If you need to do business with DOL, choose one that includes our “wa.gov” domain in the website address.
- Take time to read the fine print. These sites are taking advantage of the fact that people seldom read disclaimers on websites.