February 6, 2014
Beginning February 10, all new driver license applicants will receive a license that’s valid for six years, as the Department of Licensing starts transitioning from a five-year to a six-year driver license.
New driver license applicants include individuals applying for their first license and those who are transferring their licenses from another state.
The per-year cost for a driver license will remain at $9 per year, but new applicants will pay for the additional year, which changes the fee from $45 to $54, not including the $35 application fee.
Adding a new motorcycle endorsement for up to six years will cost $2 per year.
Washingtonians who are obtaining their first Washington state ID cards will also be issued a card valid for six years beginning on February 10, at a cost of $54, or $9 per year.
Those renewing a current Washington driver licenses or ID cards will start transitioning to a six-year renewal period later this year.
In 2012, the Washington State Legislature authorized extending driver’s license terms from five to six years to improve customer service by reducing customer volumes and wait times in driver license offices.
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.
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