The Legislature asked the Department of Licensing to create a workgroup to examine the use of disabled parking placards and special license plates for persons with disabilities, and develop a strategic plan for ending any abuse.
The workgroup is made up of representatives from DOL, Department of Health, City of Seattle, Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, and Arc of Washington.
The workgroup has been meeting since June to research and review data to determine where potential abuse may be, develop measures to reduce fraudulent use and issuance, and suggest ways to strengthen administrative processes, while minimizing the impact to individuals who really need these privileges.
The deadline for public comments is October 15, 2013.
The workgroup will report its findings—and a strategic plan on ideas to potentially reduce abuse—to the Legislature by December 1, 2013.
The public may share ideas with the workgroup by sending an email to: DPWorkgroup@dol.wa.gov.
OLYMPIA — Before getting the tattoo you’ve always dreamed about, the Department of Licensing recommends you choose a tattoo artist and shop carefully so you don’t leave with more than just a work of body art.
“Getting a tattoo can be a great experience if the tattoo artist is properly licensed and following all of the safety and sanitation rules,” said Teresa Berntsen, Deputy Director of the Department of Licensing.
State law requires all tattoo shops and artists to be licensed. Tattoo shops must follow very strict safety and sanitation rules to protect customers from the spread of disease and infection, and are subject to inspection every two years, or upon receipt of a consumer complaint. Tattoo artists must be at least 18 years old, and have a current blood borne pathogens certificate.
It’s important to remember tattooing presents a potential for infections and allergic reactions. Berntsen recommends customers take a few common sense precautions:
- Look at shop owner and tattoo artist licenses to make sure they are current.
- Check the shop for overall cleanliness. Make sure that work surfaces, equipment, and towels are clean.
- Feel free to question the shop owner and tattoo artist about their sanitation and safety procedures.
- Make sure that items such as needles, stencils, pigments, dyes, razors and products used to control blood flow are only used once and disposed of properly. Some equipment may be re-used if the parlor follows proper sanitizing and sterilizing procedures.
- Make sure the artist properly covers equipment that might come in contact with the customer, including tattoo machines and electrical cords.
- Be sure the artist washes their hands and wears gloves throughout the tattoo application.
- Do not get a tattoo in someone’s kitchen or living room. The shop should have an outside entrance separate from any rooms used for sleeping or residential purposes.
- Do your homework when choosing your artist. Every artist has their own style so be sure to choose the artist who will give you the tattoo you want.
If you have concerns about whether or not a tattoo shop or artist is licensed, go to the department’s website at http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/checkstatus.html. Consumers can file a complaint by calling (360) 664-6660.
The Department of Licensing has produced a new video titled, Tattoo Safety. It appears below.
OLYMPIA—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.
Due to budget cuts, DOL discontinued paper renewal notices for boats in 2010 and instead offered boat owners the opportunity to sign up to receive email renewal reminders. It’s too late to sign up for an email renewal reminder for this year, but boat owners can sign up online at dol.wa.gov to receive renewal reminders by email in the future.
Skip a Trip — Go Online. The Department of Licensing has a wide variety of consumer services available online. Please visit our website at dol.wa.gov.
Prom season is upon us, and many high school students will be trying to make their special night even more fun by hiring a limo. The Department of Licensing reminds parents and students to check to see if the limo they hire is licensed by the state.
(Olympia) A new state program allowing the private sector to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing has produced more good news for visitors to DOL offices: the shortest wait times in nearly a decade.
The new program allows driver training schools and school district driver training programs across the state to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing for new driver license applicants.
Moving those testing services outside of DOL removed some of the most time-consuming transactions at the agency’s licensing service offices.
In recent months, the average statewide wait time at licensing service offices has remained steady at 10 minutes.
Driver licensing offices are currently maintaining the best wait times we’ve seen in eight years, despite an 11 percent increase in licensed drivers, and the closing and consolidation of several licensing offices over this time period.
Shorter wait times at those offices are also attributed to service innovations, including expanded online and mail-in options.
In 2012, nearly one-quarter of DOL’s 3.4 million driver transactions were done by people who didn’t step foot inside an office—by mail or Internet. In five years, that percentage has grown from 5 percent to 23 percent.
The drop-off in foot traffic at those offices provides employees with more time to inspect identity documents and for spending more time at the counter to better serve customers. It also allows more time for community outreach
To conduct driver tests, driver training schools must be licensed with the state or be part of a state-certified public school driver training program. They have to apply for the authority to administer driver testing, and are subject to audits and record checks.
After passing the tests, customers go to a licensing office to obtain their license. Customers are still required to pay the driver license application fee to DOL. Driver training schools will set the fee they charge for the tests.
The program is the final phase of implementing House Bill 1635, which gives the Department authority to contract with private driver training schools, school districts and motorcycle training schools to conduct some knowledge and skills tests. The bill was passed in an effort to reduce wait times in licensing service offices.
For a list of state-approved driver training schools, go to:http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/testing.html.