DOL vehicle licensing system will be down on December 10 for system replacement

drives-logoOn December 12, 2016, the Washington State Department of Licensing will begin using a new, state-of-the-art computer system for all vehicle and boat title and registration transactions statewide. This new system replaces a 30-year-old, text-based system with a modern system used successfully in several other states across the country.

The launch of this new system will have a few customer service impacts both before and after it is turned on Dec. 12:

  • Online vehicle tab renewal will be offline from midnight on Dec. 6 until the new system is turned on Dec. 12. Other vehicle-related online services, like online filing of a report of sale, online vehicle or boat change of address, and other types of vehicle or boat online transactions or look-ups, will be offline from the evening of Friday, Dec. 9 until the new system is turned on Dec. 12.
  • Licensing offices across the state may close a little early on Friday, Dec. 9 to ensure all transactions are finalized prior to shutting down the old computer system on Friday evening.
  • All vehicle licensing offices will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 10.
  • Following the launch on Dec. 12, customers may experience longer office wait times as vehicle licensing office staff become comfortable processing transactions using the new system. DOL is asking customers for patience in the days immediately following the launch.

“The new system is a tremendous new tool to make our jobs faster and easier,” Licensing Director Pat Kohler said. “We’ve invested in training to teach our users how to use it, but until they get comfortable processing real transactions with real customers, we expect office wait times to be a little longer than usual.”

Vehicle licensing customers can avoid longer wait times by taking care of annual tab renewals in vehicle licensing offices prior to Dec. 9 or online prior to Dec. 6.

The new system, called DRIVES, is being rolled out in two phases between Dec. 2016 and June 2018. The first phase replaces DOL’s obsolete vehicle and boat titling and registration computer systems. The second phase, scheduled for June 2018, will replace DOL’s obsolete driver licensing systems.

When completed, the new DRIVES system will provide all of our customers, employees and business partners with better, more reliable systems and processes, provide more accurate records for law enforcement use, and allow for faster and easier system changes to support new or changing laws and business processes.

17 Responses to DOL vehicle licensing system will be down on December 10 for system replacement

  1. Kim H says:

    Can’t report the sale of my vehicle. The system will not accept my last name or last 4 of VIN!!???

  2. S George says:

    Mail in for tabs, got everything back, need my address which hasn’t changed in 15 years, when called it was stated that maybe someone did not key in my address correctly… really, you actually paid some one to enter all the data again, which was in the system….
    Now when tried to do online so can get done, wants all new data… such a great system … but for whom?
    can I take the time spent off what owe?

  3. AA says:

    Ummm, it’s well past the 10th. I went through the tab renewal process including submitting CC info, and it went to a blank page. I have no idea whether this went through or not…?

  4. Tim Babbitt says:

    Trying to report the sale of two separate vehicles. Your site wont accept the License plate # or the last name of seller?

  5. Alex says:

    What a nightmare, how do I renew my plates? it’s not working asking for address change etc …

  6. L Bernhardt says:

    The system isn’t working. It says I have to change my address but my address is the same. It will not let me renew my tabs.


      If you’d like help walking through the online renewal we help you. Call 360-858-7367.

  7. Lon says:

    Is the system upgrade completed and is it now working?


      We are not experiencing any problems at South County Licensing. We had a slight delay for a specific task but all returned to normal performance.

  8. Dwight Thirkield says:

    Mailed in tab renewal about 11/08/16, check cleared 11/18/16. No tabs in mail yet 12/13/16. Why not?


      You can contact any local licensing agency. We’ll help you get your tabs and find out why you didn’t receive them when you mailed in the renewal. Call South County Licensing at 360-858-7367 and we’ll help you.

  9. Sara Rice says:

    If the system actually worked it would be great! What a joke today was!


      We are super excited about the new system and YES! it actually works! We had a slow start but we’re up to full speed in a few hours.

  10. Loulou says:

    It seems like your system is down early, at least the credit card processing part. 😦

    • Loulou says:

      Okay, maybe it just doesn’t work in Firefox. I recommend looking into it because a lot of people have switched away from using Internet Explorer. If nothing else, it might be nice to let people know before they get all the way through the gazillion questions to renew their tabs.

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