Licensing service offices temporarily closed to public to help limit spread of coronavirus


DOL logoIn response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington state, the Department of Licensing is temporarily closing its driver licensing offices and other service counters to the public starting Tuesday, March 17. DOL employees will be working to implement social distancing measures in these offices to protect the health of customers and workers while delivering critical services to the public.

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed a statewide emergency proclamation regarding efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, approving the temporary suspension of two provisions in state law. This will allow us to take the following actions to promote social distancing. These waivers are in effect 30 days from their effective dates unless renewed.

  • Effective immediately, we will temporarily stop administering vision tests for driver license applicants. We currently do not have adequate supplies to clean the machines. Additionally, vision exams have a 99.6% pass rate. We believe this move is prudent given the circumstances.
  • Effective March 23 (because we need time to implement), more people will be able to renew their driver license or ID card online. Laws and rules were temporarily suspended that require residents to visit an office to renew every other time and prohibited customers under age 24 and over 70 from renewing online.

As it stands, driver licensing offices are expected to resume business Monday, March 23. But residents should be prepared for the possibility of extended closures.

“We do not take the decision to close any office lightly,” said Teresa Berntsen, Department of Licensing director. “Amid an unprecedented health emergency, we are taking these extraordinary steps in the best interests of the public we serve. Please heed the governor’s orders, as we have, to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in our communities through appropriate social distancing. Our thanks to Gov. Inslee for his support in providing additional options for more residents to be able to use our online services.”

Residents are encouraged to go online to dol.wa.gov, if possible, for their licensing needs.

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are contracted through county auditors and may be open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, new license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, and disabled parking placards or tabs. It’s a good idea to check a VLO’s status and call ahead.

Questions? Contact us:

  • Driver licensing: 360-902-3900
  • Vehicle licensing: 360-902-3770
  • Email: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

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