Saving time, money, and the environment

Updated February 3, 2009 to include video

By Brad Benfield

email renewal notice screen

Signing up is fast and easy on the DOL website

Vehicle owners in Washington now have the opportunity to save themselves time and help save money and the environment by signing up to receive their vehicle renewal notices via email. You can sign up for email renewal notices through the agency’s website at, when renewing tabs online, or at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office.

Email renewal notices provide all of the information on a traditional paper renewal notice. They also have a direct link to DOL’s online vehicle tab renewal system. Using the link to the online renewal system, you can have new tabs ordered and on their way within minutes of receiving the notice.

More and more people become accustomed to receiving bills and bank statements over the Internet and the agency is hoping people embrace email renewal notices, too. If just our customers who regularly use the Internet to renew their tabs sign up for email renewal, DOL would avoid printing 1 million notices over the next year. This would save:

  • 2,000 reams of paper and 2 million envelopes — or approximately 150 trees.
  • Approximately $500,000 in printing and mailing costs.

As with paper renewal notices, vehicle owners signing up for the new service will receive their email renewal notice about a month before their tabs expire. You also don’t have to worry about not getting a renewal notice if you change your email address and forget to tell us. We will try several times to send an email renewal notice, but if we can’t reach you that way we will send a traditional paper notice.

5 Responses to Saving time, money, and the environment

  1. Tom Schulner says:

    Perhaps the electronic notification process may work a little bit better than the standard mail service. I received a recent renewal notice for my vehicle 17 days before the Tabs were set to expire and I had to have an emissions test completed. Fortunately, I had my own tickler file and had already completed the emissions test and had applied for my tabs online before I ever received the notice in the mail.

  2. Mark Portukalian says:

    Perhaps you could get the drivers license renewal receipt on just one sheet of paper. Businesses for profit can get an entire sales receipt onto a small piece of paper that will fit into a wallet; yet you have to use up two entire pieces of paper for one simple receipt. You double space every line. What a waste. It uses more paper and takes up more file space. Thank you for listening and caring.

    • DOL Blog says:

      Thank you for the valuable comment, Mr. Portukalian. We will forward your concern to our website developers and suggest they look for a way to address this issue.

  3. DOL Blog says:

    Thank you for the feedback. We appreciate it. We are currently looking at ways to enhance our email renewal system in the future, and a reminder sent out at 10 or 15 days before the vehicle registration expires is under serious consideration.

  4. Chris Patterson says:

    Brad, Great that the gov’t has instituted this money-saving process. It is also more reliable (or should I say will be more reliable), as I never received mailed notices for some of my vehicles.

    My main comment is this though: I read that the notice would come 45 days prior to expiration, here it says 30 days. I propose BOTH, and also at 15 days (it’s still not too late). This would catch the procrastinators and also give us time to dig it out of our spam folders.


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