Survey indicates DOL customers are satisfied with service

February 3, 2014

In September 2010, DOL introduced its staff in our licensing services offices to a new customer service promise: “We will be friendly and helpful — every time.”

As part of a recent customer survey–mailed to recent customers in October 2013–we asked if their experience during their recent transaction reflected this promise.

Overall, 82-percent of survey respondents indicated yes, our staff was both friendly and helpful. Another 15-percent indicated staff was either friendly or helpful, and only 3-percent indicated staff was neither friendly nor helpful.

This level of satisfaction was echoed in other aspects of the survey. Overall, we learned 83-percent said they were satisfied to very satisfied with their DOL service and 57-percent of customers indicated DOL’s service has improved.

Results of the recent survey appear in the chart below.

survery-1


DOL wait times plummet due to shift in testing locations, popularity of online and mail services

February 26, 2013
dol.wa.gov

dol.wa.gov

(Olympia) A new state program allowing the private sector to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing has produced more good news for visitors to DOL offices: the shortest wait times in nearly a decade.

The new program allows driver training schools and school district driver training programs across the state to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing for new driver license applicants.

Moving those testing services outside of DOL removed some of the most time-consuming transactions at the agency’s licensing service offices.

In recent months, the average statewide wait time at licensing service offices has remained steady at 10 minutes.

Driver licensing offices are currently maintaining the best wait times we’ve seen in eight years, despite an 11 percent increase in licensed drivers, and the closing and consolidation of several licensing offices over this time period.

Shorter wait times at those offices are also attributed to service innovations, including expanded online and mail-in options.

In 2012, nearly one-quarter of DOL’s 3.4 million driver transactions were done by people who didn’t step foot inside an office—by mail or Internet. In five years, that percentage has grown from 5 percent to 23 percent.

The drop-off in foot traffic at those offices provides employees with more time to inspect identity documents and for spending more time at the counter to better serve customers.  It also allows more time for community outreach

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 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.


New Licensing Service Office opens in Bellevue

October 6, 2009

by Selena Davis

Bellevue King County residents are advised the Bellevue Licensing Service Office, located at 13133 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, is open for business, beginning Tuesday October 6. The Bellevue location offers full licensing services, including behind-the-wheel skill tests and knowledge tests.

Hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The phone number is (425) 649-4281.

Questions can be directed to our Customer Service line in Olympia at (360) 902-3900, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

# # #

Save Time — Go Online. The Department of Licensing has a wide variety of consumer services available online. Please visit our website at dol.wa.gov.


VIDEO: Something new at your local DOL office

September 11, 2009

by Mark Horner

From a distance it might look like an ATM or, perhaps, a 70’s video game console you once huddled-around with friends at the skate deck a generation (or more) ago.  But take a closer look and you’ll find a simple use of some modern technology that can really save you time when you visit a Licensing Service Office.

In a moment, I’ll copy and paste the DOL’s news release about this helpful technology.  And I’ll ad some bonus info, too.  But first, here’s a new video featuring the time saving machines that we’re calling, “self-service stations.”

Now, here’s today’s news release from the DOL:

New options help reduce wait times at licensing service offices

OLYMPIA—The Department of Licensing has installed self service stations in 30 licensing service offices (LSOs) around the state, so customers can skip the wait and take care of many routine online licensing transactions quickly and easily.

Installing self service stations is part of DOL’s commitment to improve service by offering several different service options. A total of 50 self service stations have been installed in 30 DOL offices across the state.

To use the self service stations, customers must pay with a debit or credit card, and be conducting routine business, such as renewing a driver license, ordering a duplicate license, or ordering vehicle tabs. See how a Self Service Station works on our YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/walicensing.

Self Service Stations print a temporary driver license that cannot be used for photo identification. A permanent driver license is mailed within 10 days.

Online services from The Department of Labor and Industries are also available at these Self Service Stations. The home screen allows customers to choose which agency to do business with.

Another new service option is the ability for customers to renew their driver licenses by mail. In the first 30 days of availability, nearly 10,000 customers have skipped a trip to an LSO and instead renewed by mail. Customers eligible to use mail-in renewal will automatically receive a return envelope and instructions with their driver license renewal notice.

Eligible customers can renew their driver license online or by mail every other renewal cycle.

“People eligible to take advantage of our online or mail in service options won’t have to visit an LSO in person more than once every ten years,” DOL Director Liz Luce said. “We are thrilled to give our customers more service options than just visiting a brick and mortar location.”

These new options come as part of Governor Gregoire’s 21st Century Government plan. Under this plan, 10 LSO locations across the state are being consolidated with other offices and many new service options are being made available.

# # #

And now—as promised—the bonus info. Here is a list of DOL office locations where you’ll find the self-service stations.  This list also includes the number of self-service stations at each location.

Bellingham, 2
West Olympia — business licensing, 1
Bremerton, 2
Centralia, 1
Downtown Seattle, 1
Everett, 2
Federal Way, 2
High Way Licensing Building (Olympia), 1
Kelso, 1
Kennewick, 1
Kent, 2
Kirkland, 2
Lacey, 1
Lynnwood, 2
Moses Lake, 1
Mount Vernon, 1
New Supercenter (Bel-Red Road, opening 10/6), 2
Parkland, 2
Pullman, 2
Puyallup, 2
Renton, 2
Shoreline, 1
Smokey Point, 2
Spokane Valley, 2
Spokane, 2
Tacoma, 2
Union Gap,  2
Vancouver East, 1
Vancouver North, 2
West Seattle, 2
Wenatchee, 1

If you use one of our self-service stations, we’d love to hear from you.  As always, we enjoy reading your comments and will carefully consider your input.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this wonderful, late-summer weather!


High demand for new Enhanced Driver Licenses creating long waits in the Kennewick driver licensing office

June 22, 2009

KENNEWICK—Officials at the Kennewick Licensing Service Office (LSO) urge customers to come prepared when applying for the new Enhanced Driver License (EDL) or Identification Card.  Staff in this office are sending many people back home for additional documentation when applying for these new cards.

The new enhanced licenses and ID cards meet new federal travel requirements under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which requires travelers crossing the U.S. border at a land or sea border crossing station to have a U.S. Passport or other WHTI compliant document. WHTI went into effect June 1, 2009.

“Summertime is always the busiest time of the year with people moving and teens getting permits and new licenses, but the additional rush of people applying for EDLs has made the Kennewick office unusually busy.” said DOL District Manager Pamela Byrd. “We’re helping everyone as quickly as possible, but they can also help themselves by making sure they have all of the documents they need before they come in.”

To apply for an EDL/ID, people must bring proof of… (Read more)


Olympia driver and vehicle licensing office closing permanently

June 18, 2009

OLYMPIA—Thurston County residents are advised all operations at the Olympia Licensing Service Office (LSO), at 1125 Washington Street, SE, are closing permanently. This includes Driver Licensing, Vehicle Licensing, and the Suspension and Reinstatement service counters.

The last day of service at the Olympia LSO will be Thursday, July 2, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The office closure is part of Governor Chris Gregoire’s plan to reinvent government services. As part of this plan, DOL is consolidating many driver licensing offices around the state and offering more online and self-service options.

Customers can conduct… (Read more)

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