Washington CDL holders must soon prove citizenship or permanent residency

June 30, 2015
truck-busOLYMPIA—Starting Sept. 1, 2015, anyone seeking a commercial driver license (CDL) or commercial learner permit (CLP) in Washington will be required to prove they are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
 
This new law does not affect anyone’s ability to get or retain a regular driver license. Commercial drivers are not required to present this proof until their next CDL or CLP renewal or other transaction that requires a change to their record, including name, address, and endorsement changes.
 
Drivers with an enhanced personal driver license or enhanced commercial driver license issued in Washington before Sept. 1, 2015, are not required to again prove their lawful permanent residency or U.S. citizenship.
 
This new requirement is due to the state’s mandatory compliance with federal law and one aspect of a broad public safety effort around CDLs that brings Washington into line with the national standard.
 
Starting Sept. 1, commercial drivers must visit one of 28 designated offices to complete their CDL or CLP transaction because of the special resources needed to verify documents. The full list of designated office locations can be found at dol.wa.gov/cdlchanges.
 
Commercial drivers should have one of the six approved documents in their possession before arriving at a designated licensing office, including:
·         Valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card issued by the U.S. Department of State;
·         Birth certificate issued by a state or local government. A hospital-issued “Certificate of Live Birth” is not acceptable;
·         Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State;
·         Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
·         Certificate of Citizenship issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
·         Permanent Resident Card or “Green Card” issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Obtaining duplicate documents can take several weeks. Commercial drivers are encouraged to begin the process immediately if they do not currently have at least one in their possession. Photocopies will not be accepted. The Department of Licensing (DOL) will be unable to complete CDL or CLP transactions of those drivers who are unable to provide one of the approved documents.
 
Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency is not required to replace a lost, damaged, or stolen card.
 
More information is available online at dol.wa.gov/cdlchanges or by calling the Washington Department of Licensing Driver Customer Service line at 360-902-3900.

Law designed to reduce abuse of disabled parking takes effect July 1

June 26, 2015

OLYMPIA – Changes to the laws governing special parking privileges for persons with disabilities will take effect July 1 and are aimed at reducing the number of people who abuse disabled parking permits.

 
Changes include requiring a written prescription from a licensed health care provider to obtain disabled parking privileges and requiring a new application for every renewal. The application also includes a new fraud warning on the application to remind applicants and healthcare providers it is a gross misdemeanor if they knowingly provide false information.
 
The new laws also extend temporary parking placards from up to six months to up to 12 months and increases the penalty of illegally obtaining a disabled parking placard, license plate, tab, or identification card from a traffic infraction to a misdemeanor.
 
The changes were recommended by a group formed to develop a plan to eliminate abuse of the program. Participants included Department of Licensing, Department of Health, disabled citizen advocacy groups and local governments. The work group also gathered input from the public.
 
These changes were included in Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2463 passed by the Legislature in 2014. More information is available at dol.wa.gov.

It’s time to renew: 2015 boat decals expire June 30

June 18, 2015
Everett Marina with Mt. BakerOlympia—Boating season is here, and the deadline for renewing boat and watercraft registration decals is right around the corner. All Washington state boat registrations expire on June 30.
 Don’t let an expired registration spoil your day; remember to renew before you get out on the water.
Boat registrations can be renewed online at the DOL website or in person at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office. Those who choose to renew at an office should make sure to note the registration number on the bow of the boat or watercraft and take that information to the office. 

Full implementation of Wheeled All-terrain Vehicles legislation begins May 18

June 1, 2015

Full implementation of Wheeled All-terrain Vehicles (WATVs) legislation (ESHB 1632) will begin May 18, 2015.

The department has been licensing WATVs through a manual process since October 2013 and began issuing metal tags through a modified manual process in June 2014.

A WATV is –

(a) any motorized nonhighway vehicle with handlebars that is fifty inches or less in width, has a seat height of at least twenty inches, weighs less than one thousand five hundred pounds, and has four tires having a diameter of thirty inches or less; or

(b) a utility-type vehicle designed for and capable of travel over designated roads that travels on four or more low-pressure tires of twenty psi or less, has a maximum width less than seventy-four inches, has a maximum weight less than two thousand pounds, has a wheelbase of one hundred ten inches or less, and satisfies at least one of the following: (i) Has a minimum width of fifty inches; (ii) has a minimum weight of at least nine hundred pounds; or (iii) has a wheelbase of over sixty-one inches.

Unlike off-road vehicles (ORVs), the WATV is identified by a metal tag and tabs. The metal tag will have tabs indicating whether the vehicle is licensed for off-road use or off-road and on-road use.

Metal tags will be mailed from the special license plate unit at the department’s headquarters office. Tabs will be available at any vehicle licensing office, for replacement or renewal.

watv-1

watv-2

Before being licensed for on-road use, the WATV must have a safety inspection and VIN verification by a licensed Washington ATV dealer/repair shop and must meet equipment requirements contained in RCW 46.09.457. The WATV owner must provide a signed declaration which also contains a release of liability.

Authorized use 

Licensing the vehicle for on-road use does not qualify the vehicle to travel on any roadway. Users are cautioned to verify where a WATV is authorized to be operated. This can be done by visiting the town, city, or county webpage in which a user wishes to operate the vehicle.

Licensing of the vehicle is not restricted to these areas.

Fees 

The $18 off-road licensing fee is deposited in the non-highway and off-road vehicle activities program account.

The $12 on-road licensing fee is deposited in the multiuse roadway safety account.


Everyone has a responsibility to keep motorcyclists safe

May 7, 2015
DOL image

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Department of Licensing (DOL), Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), Washington State Patrol (WSP), and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have teamed up to remind drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders.

“Motorcycle safety depends on safe driving and cooperation of everyone on the road, whether they’re on a bike or in a car,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “We’re getting closer to our Target Zero traffic safety goals but have more work to do.”

Target Zero is Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero by the year 2030. In Washington, motorcycle deaths are not steadily declining like overall traffic deaths. From 2011 through 2013, motorcycles made up just 4 percent of the registered vehicles on our roads, but accounted for almost 17 percent of all traffic fatalities (225 of 1327).

In just the first four months (January-April) of 2015, there have been nine motorcyclist fatalities. The five year average (2010-2014) for this same four month time period is 12 fatalities. Speeding, running off the road, and riding under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are the main contributing factors in these crashes. Motorcyclists should always ride sober and within the posted speed limits, get the required training and endorsement, and wear DOT compliant helmets and protective gear.

Several projects are underway in Washington to reduce serious motorcycle crashes. A campaign called “It’s A Fine Line” promotes safe riding through social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. DOL training contractors are distributing motorcycle hangtags to dealerships statewide to encourage riders of all skill levels to get certified training.

DOL also produced a motorist awareness video that has gone viral. It’s titled, A Second Look.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative designed to encourage drivers of all other kinds of vehicles and motorcyclists to share the road with each other. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.


Beware of unlicensed limousine companies

April 20, 2015

limo-1Prom night creates driving hazards for many young people in our state each spring.

Hiring a limousine service is one way parents and students can ease their anxiety and help ensure the night’s travel itinerary is safe.

However, there are unlicensed limousine services putting everyone on the road at risk.

Unlicensed and unregulated limo businesses offer rides in vehicles that may be dangerous and driven by people who are unfit to drive or provide services to young people.

Limo-poster-thumbnailParents and students can easily check whether a business is licensed by visiting the Department of Licensing’s website.

DOL’s website includes consumer tips, a printable poster and a video that offers tips about hiring a limo service.

DOL’s printable poster states, Don’t Muck Around When You Rent a Limo, and includes helpful information.

 


Great tool for finding a driver licensing office near you

March 11, 2015
Click image to use the locator map.

Click image to use the locator map.

Looking for a driver licensing office near you?

An online “locator map” on the Department of Licensing’s website is the best source for information about driver licensing office locations.

Just click on any city appearing on the map, and you’ll be taken to DOL’s webpage featuring specific information about the driver licensing office in that city.

In addition to the address for each location, you’ll also find the days and hours each office is open.

Current wait times for each office are also found by using the locator map.

Just above the locator map, you’ll also find a drop-down menu featuring a complete list of driver licensing office locations.  Here, the cities are conveniently listed in alphabetical order.

When looking for the location of a driver licensing office, DOL highly recommends using the locator map; especially since search engines can produce inaccurate information.

 


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