National Teen Driver Safety Week now underway

October 22, 2018

Click image for larger view of “the 6 rules.”

Each year, more than 100 young people die on Washington roadways. Teen Driver Safety Week, October 21 – 27, aims to help reduce those numbers while raising awareness about teen driving nationwide.

It’s a great opportunity for parents to focus on helping their teens learn how to become better drivers.

The Department of Licensing will be sharing helpful information about teen driver safety on its Twitter and Facebook pages throughout this week.

DOL’s social media will be sharing information about distracted driving, seat belt use, underage drinking, driving under the influence of marijuana, rules for the road, and more.

You can also learn more about teen driver safety on this fact sheet. The sheet includes steps parents can take to help teens become better drivers.

The state’s Target Zero campaign also has this helpful info graphic for parents, too.


Washington State has met all requirements to comply with REAL ID Act

October 8, 2018
ID2020 logo

On Oct. 1, 2020, the REAL ID law goes into effect in Washington.

The Department of Homeland Security has determined that Washington State is fully compliant with federal REAL ID requirements, which means standard driver licenses and ID cards will continue to be accepted for boarding a domestic flight through September of 2020.

It’s important to know that beginning October 1, 2020, individuals will need to present federally acceptable identification at a TSA checkpoint in order to board a domestic flight.

“Washington residents have two years to look at your identity document options and determine which one best fits your lifestyle,” said Teresa Berntsen, DOL Director.  “We created the ID2020 campaign to help residents educate themselves on the various options, and encourage them not to wait until 2020 to make a decision.”

There are a variety of identity documents that can be used to board an airplane or enter secure federal facilities, including:

  • U.S. or foreign Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • Military ID
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • Enhanced driver license
  • One of several other types of federally approved forms of identification (tsa.gov).

Washington’s enhanced driver licenses (EDLs) and enhanced ID (EIDs) cards are REAL ID compliant, and valid for air travel within the United States and can be used to cross the borders of Canada and Mexico by land or sea. Some commonly needed documents to get an EDL/EID are certified birth certificate, U.S. passport or military ID.  A full list of document options to obtain an enhanced driver license or ID card is available on the DOL website.

The enhanced driver license or ID card is optional. A valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card, military ID, or other federally approved identification can be used to board a domestic flight or enter certain federal facilities.  If a resident has another federally approved identification, does not fly, or does not plan to visit a military base or certain federal facilities such as prisons, they do not need an enhanced card and will have the option to apply for a standard driver license or ID card.

Visit ID2020WA.com, to view informational videos, take a quiz to help determine which ID you need, and learn more about REAL ID.

For more information about REAL ID and what it means for Washington, visit the DOL website.


DOL signs agreements with four Latin American General Consulates regarding acceptable proof of identity

September 7, 2018

Department of Licensing Director Teresa Berntsen, and four Consulates Generals of Seattle representing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru, signed an agreement this morning that allows the acceptance of their national ID cards and consulate cards to be used as proof of identity when seeking a Washington State driver license or identification card.

“Today marks a milestone in the Department of Licensing’s efforts to improve customer service and build relationships of trust,” said Berntsen. “We understand the importance of establishing identity when you become a resident of our state.  Working in partnership, we were able to create a process to make it happen.”

The agreements were signed by Elgardo de Jesús Chavez, Consulate of Honduras, Claudia Gatica de Moreno, Consulate of Guatemala, Miguel Ángel Velásquez Garcia, Consulate of Perú, and Clary Monzón, Consulate of El Salvador.

Group_finalLeft to right: DOL – Brad Benfield, Assistant Director; Meghann McCann, Deputy Director; Beau Perschbacher, Policy and Legislative Director; Teresa Berntsen, Director; Elgardo de Jesús Chavez, Consulate of Honduras; Claudia Gatica de Moreno, Consulate of Guatemala; Miguel Ángel Velásquez Garcia, Consulate of Perú; Clary Monzón, Consulate of El Salvador; and DOL Outreach Manager Rafael Estevez.

Department of Licensing launches a new, fully modernized driver licensing system

September 4, 2018

Drives logo

The Washington State Department of Licensing launched a modernized driver licensing system over Labor Day weekend. Customers will experience slower service during this transitional time.

The new system will improve services to citizens, agency business partners, and the state’s transportation system. State and federal agencies that rely on DOL data for public safety, licenses, identification cards, and revenue will also benefit from the new system.

This is the second in a series of overhauls to DOL’s legacy systems.  The first phase, which updated vehicle licensing systems, was successfully completed in December 2016.  A third project is planned to address the agency’s Business and Professional Licensing systems.

For more information about DRIVES, visit http://www.dol.wa.gov/about/what-is-drives.html.


We’re Closed

August 31, 2018

The Department of Licensing’s transition to a new and improved computer system is underway, and all driver licensing offices are closed today through the Labor Day weekend. All vehicle licensing offices will be unable to do vehicle transactions and most online services are unavailable through Monday, September 3.

All of these impacted areas—driver licensing offices, vehicle transactions, and online services—will be available on Tuesday, September 4.

DOL apologizes for any inconvenience these closures may cause and we look forward to serving you better than ever before, thanks to our state’s new, user-friendly computer system for driver and vehicle services.

For more information, please visit dol.wa.gov.


Update — DOL office closures and online services temporary shutdown is happening this week

August 28, 2018

Click for larger view.

The Department of Licensing’s transition to a new and improved computer system is underway.

It started with some of our online services beginning to shutdown on Sunday, August 26.  Those online services will return on Monday, September 4.

Next up?  Two major developments begin this Friday:

All driver licenses offices will be closed this Friday, August 31, through Monday, September 3.

And all vehicle licensing offices will be unable to do vehicle transactions from August 31 through Monday, September 3.

All of these impacted areas—driver licensing offices, vehicle transactions, and online services—will be available on Tuesday, September 4.

DOL apologizes for any inconvenience these closures may cause.

We also look forward to serving you better than ever before, thanks to our state’s new, user-friendly computer system for driver and vehicle services.

For more information, please visit dol.wa.gov.

 


Reminder: All driver and vehicle licensing services will be unavailable August 31 through September 3 for system upgrades to improve customer experience in offices and online

August 23, 2018

Drives logoThe Washington State Department of Licensing will launch a modernized driver licensing system at the end of August, and customers need to be aware of office closures and the unavailability of online services.

  • Driver licensing offices will be closed on Friday, August 31 through September 3
  • Vehicle licensing offices will be unable to do vehicle transactions, August 31 through September 3
  • Online services will be unavailable, some starting as early as Sunday, August 26 through September 3
  • All licensing services in offices and online will return on Tuesday, September 4

Services impacted and not available include:

  • Driver license and ID card issuance
  • Vehicle and vessel registration
  • All online services, DOL’s call center, and reporting the sale of vehicles

“We apologize for the inconvenience this closure may cause but look forward to providing the residents of Washington with a modern, user-friendly system for driver and vehicle services,” said DOL Director Teresa Berntsen. “This new system will allow for an improved customer experience with several additional online service options.”

New Security Feature for Driver Licenses and ID cards

The method used to assign a driver license number to each person is changing and the new numbers will better protect everyone’s personal information. Washington driver licenses will now have the prefix “WDL” (Washington Driver License) followed by nine randomly assigned letters and numbers. This is a change from the current driver license numbers in use today which were based on a person’s name and birth date.

“We are pleased to provide this additional layer of privacy and security for our customers,” said Berntsen. The change to the new driver license number will start with all Washington driver licenses and ID cards issued on September 4, 2018. Those who already have a driver’s license or ID card will get the new number when they renew or replace it after September 4.

For more information about DRIVES, visit http://www.dol.wa.gov/about/what-is-drives.html.