New license plates benefit 4-H, honor state flower

January 3, 2013

4h-and-stflwrNew specialty license plates featuring the 4-H clover and Washington state flower, the rhododendron, are now available.

Revenue generated from the sale of specialty plates not only goes to the state, but also goes to organizations associated with each plate.

For example, money collected from the sale of the 4-H plate goes toward activities to support the 90,000 Washington boys and girls that participate in 4-H.

And revenue from the state-flower plate generates revenue for garden associations statewide.

Specialty plates cost $40 more than standard plates; renewal costs $30.

Visit the DOL’s website at the links below to learn how to purchase each specialty plate.

4-H Plates

State Flower plates


Consumers should watch for flood-damaged vehicles

November 20, 2012
 
Thousands of vehicles damaged by the recent hurricane-related flooding on the east coast may find their way into the garages of unsuspecting consumers all across the nation in coming months.
 
While it is not yet known exactly how many vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, the number is expected to be very high. Many of these vehicles are expected to move from state to state as they are cleaned up and offered for sale at auto auctions, used car dealerships, and even by private parties. 
 
After being cleaned up, these vehicles may look like any other vehicle. However, there are significant mechanical, safety and health risks associated with flood-damaged vehicles.
 
Due to the high number of vehicles suffering damage, it is possible some of them will enter Washington and be offered for sale here, Department of Licensing Director Alan Haight said. And because dealers may not be aware of a vehicle’s past, consumers must protect themselves, he added.
 
“When purchasing a used car, consumers should always carefully examine and test drive a vehicle,” Haight said. “They also should have it inspected by a mechanic they trust and avoid any seller who refuses to allow an independent inspection.”
 
Dirty floodwater can cause rust and damage major mechanical parts like engines and transmissions. The water also damages electrical systems especially onboard computers that are often located at low points in vehicles, like under seats. Salt water is particularly damaging to the sensitive electronics in modern vehicles.
 
These tips can help to spot potential flood-damaged vehicles:
 
  • Before buying any used car, always get a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic. The extra cost may save money in the long run if major problems are discovered.
  • Ask to see the title of a used car. Check the date and place of transfer to see if the car came from a flood-damaged state and if the title is stamped “salvage.”
  • Use an online vehicle history tracking service like Carfax.com to get more information about a vehicle’s past.
  • Check all gauges on the dashboard to make sure they are accurate, and to look for signs of water.
  • Test the lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, cigarette lighter, radio, heater and air conditioner several times to make sure they work. Also, flex some wires under the dash to see if they bend or crack, since wet wires become brittle upon drying and can crack or fail at any time.
  • Check the trunk, glove compartment, and beneath the seats and dash for signs of mud, rust or water damage.
  • Look for discolored, faded or stained upholstery and carpeting. Carpeting that has been replaced may fit too loosely or may not match the interior color.
  • Check for a well-defined line, or watermark, and for musty odors resulting from mildew.
  • If the car’s history seems suspicious, ask the seller if the car has been damaged by floodwater. Get the answer in writing on the bill of sale.

New, faster vehicle and boat title service now available

April 26, 2012

Vehicle and boat owners who find themselves in a situation where they need a title certificate immediately now have a new service option called a Quick Title.

A Quick Title is an official certificate of ownership provided to a vehicle or boat owner across the counter at the time a title transaction is processed. Quick Title services are available in 16 locations around our state.

The key benefit of a Quick Title is speed. A title processed normally can take a month or more to arrive in the mail. In most circumstances, this doesn’t present any problems for vehicle or boat owners. However, sometimes an owner will lose a title and need an immediate replacement to prove ownership or sell the vehicle to someone else.

The fee to get a Quick Title is $50. This is in addition to all other fees and taxes due at the time of the transaction. Quick Titles are not available for vehicles reported to DOL as destroyed or for vehicles classified as not eligible for road use.

People seeking a Quick Title must have all of the necessary title documentation completed and ready for processing at the time of the transaction. This documentation will be carefully reviewed for completeness and accuracy before the transaction is processed.

Vehicle and boat licensing offices currently offering Quick Title services include:

  • Benton County Auditor’s Office in Kennewick
  • Clark County Auditor’s Office in Vancouver
  • Cowlitz County Auditor’s Office in Kelso
  • Franklin County Auditor’s Office in Pasco
  • Jefferson County Auditor’s Office in Port Townsend
  • King County Records and Licensing Services in Seattle
  • Kitsap County Auditor’s Office in Port Orchard
  • Klickitat County Auditor’s Office in Goldendale
  • Lincoln County Auditor’s Office in Davenport
  • Pierce County Auditor’s Office in Tacoma
  • Skagit County Auditor’s Office in Mount Vernon
  • Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett
  • Spokane County Auditor’s Office in Spokane
  • Walla Walla County Auditor’s Office in Walla Walla
  • Whatcom County Auditor’s Office in Bellingham
  • Whitman County Auditor’s Office in Colfax

Quick Title counter service is not available at the Department of Licensing headquarters office in Olympia or at any location in Thurston County. But more counties are expected to begin offering this service in the future.


Department of Licensing printing redesign saves state money

August 11, 2009

OLYMPIA — The Department of Licensing (DOL) has redesigned a number of recurring printing projects to achieve significant cost savings and sustain local jobs.

A team with members from the Department of Printing, the Department of General Administration’s Consolidated Mail Services (CMS), and Department of Licensing worked extensively to identify ways to make the design and printing of some of DOL’s largest mailings more efficient. Improvements to these products, which include… (read more)


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