A new law will soon take effect related to suspensions of driver licenses for traffic infractions. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will follow these new legal requirements, the result of Senate Bill 5226.
Below is information on the different types of affected suspensions and how to get more information.
Suspensions for moving violations
A moving violation occurs when the vehicle is moving.
We will suspend a license for 60 days if the driver has:
- Six moving violations in a 12-month period.
- Seven moving violations in a 24-month period.
After the suspension ends, there will be a one-year probation period. Each new moving violation during probation will result in another 30-day suspension.
The driver will have to pay a reissue fee to get their license reinstated.
Suspensions for accumulating tickets
We will suspend a driver license for accumulating multiple tickets. If the driver receives multiple traffic infractions from a single occasion, it will be considered one ticket.
We will suspend a driver license for 60 days if the driver has:
- Three or more tickets in one year.
- Four or more tickets within two years.
The driver will have a one-year probation period after the suspension ends. If the driver receives any tickets during probation, this will result in another 30-day suspension.
The driver must take an approved safe driving course to get their license reinstated. The driver does not have to pay a reissue fee for reinstatement. However, they’ll need to get a new license.
What this law does to a previous court ruling
The new law replaces a previous court order, which stopped DOL from adding new “failure to appear” suspensions for non-criminal moving violations.
These suspensions will now appear as an “unresolved traffic citation” in court. We will take legal action if the driver:
- Fails to comply with the moving violation.
- Fails to respond to a traffic infraction with moving violations.
- Fails to appear in court for both criminal and traffic infractions with moving violations.
Failure to pay a fine for a traffic infraction will no longer lead to a license suspension. Drivers can present evidence at a hearing that they don’t have the ability to pay fines. The new law also directs local courts to offer payment plans.
For more information
Visit dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/suspended to learn more about driver license suspensions. For questions about a specific situation, please reach out to our Customer Service Center at 360-902-3900.