Picture this: Cameras at every licensing service office counter

March 26, 2019
Tacoma licensing service office

The Tacoma licensing service office served as the model for 25 other locations getting cameras at every customer service touchpoint. This will allow customers to stay with the same representative and have their photo taken without moving to another area.

After a pilot program at the Tacoma licensing service office (LSO) proved successful, the Washington State Department of Licensing is rolling out workstation cameras at 25 of its other offices.

The changes are expected to improve service and efficiency by keeping customers with the same DOL representative, at the same counter, throughout a transaction. Traditionally, customers were directed to another area to have their photo taken before returning to the original counter.

Best of all? Cameras at each station will reduce wait times.

“I am excited to continue to enhance workflow and the customer experience at our LSOs,” said Jean Fetterly, DOL’s acting assistant director for Customer Relations.

Tacoma aside, offices getting cameras include:

  • Lynnwood
  • Seattle West
  • Seattle Downtown
  • Kent
  • Shoreline
  • Puyallup
  • Parkland
  • Federal Way
  • Bel-Red
  • Spokane
  • Spokane Valley
  • Renton
  • Lacey
  • Everett
  • Bremerton
  • Poulsbo
  • Smokey Point
  • Bellingham
  • Kennewick
  • Union Gap
  • Vancouver North
  • Vancouver East
  • Mount Vernon
  • Wenatchee
  • Kelso

All work is expected to be completed by June 2019.

To install the 300 new cameras, 23 of the 26 locations — among DOL’s busiest — need facility modifications. In most cases, these will happen on normal off days. Due to limited contractor availability, a few offices will temporarily close as follows:

  • Seattle West: Friday and Saturday, May 17-18
  • Smokey Point: Tuesday, June 18
  • Spokane Valley: Tuesday, June 25

Find an alternative location, if needed.

Starting in August 2018, DOL began testing cameras at four workstations in Tacoma. The pilot was a success, resulting in shorter transaction times. As a result, in mid-March DOL expanded the pilot to include all 14 workstations in Tacoma.

Feedback from customers and staff alike has been positive.

“This is the biggest change affecting office workflow in a positive way during my 24 years with DOL,” said Jay Glenn, a licensing service representative supervisor in Tacoma.


Update — DOL office closures and online services temporary shutdown is happening this week

August 28, 2018

Click for larger view.

The Department of Licensing’s transition to a new and improved computer system is underway.

It started with some of our online services beginning to shutdown on Sunday, August 26.  Those online services will return on Monday, September 4.

Next up?  Two major developments begin this Friday:

All driver licenses offices will be closed this Friday, August 31, through Monday, September 3.

And all vehicle licensing offices will be unable to do vehicle transactions from August 31 through Monday, September 3.

All of these impacted areas—driver licensing offices, vehicle transactions, and online services—will be available on Tuesday, September 4.

DOL apologizes for any inconvenience these closures may cause.

We also look forward to serving you better than ever before, thanks to our state’s new, user-friendly computer system for driver and vehicle services.

For more information, please visit dol.wa.gov.

 


Department of Licensing launching new, fully modernized driver licensing system September 4

July 26, 2018

Online and in-person service disruptions expected August 26 to September 3

The Washington State Department of Licensing is preparing to launch a modernized driver licensing system at the end of August, and customers need to be aware of office closures and service disruptions. In order to transition from the old system to the new system, driver licensing offices will be closed Friday, August 31 through September 3. Vehicle licensing offices may be open, but unable to provide licensing services.

Services impacted and not available are:

Customer Service Center

  • DOL’s call center
  • DOL’s on-line services

Driver License Services

  • Driver licenses
  • Instruction permits
  • Identification cards
  • Enhanced driver licenses
  • Commercial driver licenses
  • Certified copy of driver record (Abstract Driving Record)

Vehicle and Vessels

  • Vehicle and vessel registration
  • Vehicle titles
  • Reporting of sale of vehicles
  • Pick-up of registration and tabs ordered through on-line services

Business and Professional Licenses

  • Pro Rate and Fuel Tax
  • Counter services in Olympia and Vancouver

Beginning August 26, and throughout the weekend, many DOL online services, like those used to buy car tabs and renew driver licenses, will also be unavailable. A full listing of affected online services is now available on the DOL website.

“We encourage customers to come in early to complete their driver license and vehicle transactions to avoid the rush leading up to the new system cutover weekend,” said Teresa Berntsen, DOL Director.  “If you need to visit our offices, come in early, or skip the trip and renew by accessing our online services.”

Once complete, the second phase of the DRIVES project will improve services to citizens, agency business partners, and the state’s transportation system. State and federal agencies that rely on DOL data for public safety, licenses, identification cards, and revenue will also benefit from the new system.

This is the second in a series of overhauls to DOL’s legacy systems.  The first phase, which updated vehicle licensing systems, was successfully completed in December 2016.  A third project is planned to address the agency’s Business and Professional Licensing systems.

For more information about DRIVES, visit http://www.dol.wa.gov/about/what-is-drives.html.



Driver licensing offices seeing shortened wait times

October 12, 2011

Waits at driver licensing offices are getting shorter, and hundreds of thousands of people a year are eliminating the wait altogether with a few mouse clicks on the DOL website.

After 21 office closures or modifications and other additional budget cuts, DOL continues to add new services to its website. The latest, rolled out in September, allows people who have moved to change their address online. It’s required by law that the address is kept up to date.

Drivers and ID card holders can go to dol.wa.gov to change their address, replace a lost or stolen card and get a copy of their driving record. Most people can also renew their driver license or ID card online every other time it is due for renewal.

“We are building a system in very tight budget times that allows many people to only have to visit one of our offices every ten years,” DOL Director Alan Haight said. “This is allowing our existing staff to keep up with the in-office demands of about 5.2 million drivers, a number that is increasing every day.”

Haight says that the agency is on track to serve more than 500,000 transactions over the web in 2011, a dramatic increase from 120,000 three years ago. He says the web will help the agency simply keep up with the growing state population.

The agency typically sees the highest customer volumes and office wait times during the summer months. This year, though, office wait times were significantly lower, averaging less than 30 minutes statewide.

“These are tough economic times for families and government alike, but we can’t let cuts to our budget stop us from providing customers with faster, more convenient service options,” Haight said. “These types of services are more important than ever.”


Holiday and temporary layoff day mean office closures

December 20, 2010

Because of state budget reductions, DOL offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 27, as employees take a required temporary layoff day. Because this temporary layoff day directly follows a state holiday, all driver licensing offices will be closed Friday, Dec. 24, through Monday, Dec. 27. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

The agency is advising individuals who need driver license services to try to take advantage of online service options. Office volumes are typically higher after holidays and temporary layoff days. With a holiday and layoff day back-to-back, wait times could be significant at some offices during the week following Christmas.

DOL customers can check the DOL website to see if they can renew or replace a driver license or ID card, obtain a copy of their driving record, and renew their vehicle tabs from their own computer.

The temporary layoff days do not affect county or private vehicle licensing offices.  A list of vehicle licensing offices is available on the department’s website.


Driver licensing offices will close for Thanksgiving

November 18, 2010

By Brad Benfield

Department of Licensing driver licensing offices will be closed on November 25 and 26 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Offices normally open on Saturdays will reopen on November 27, but will be closed as usual on Monday, Nov. 29. Offices normally open Monday through Friday will reopen on Nov. 29. You can check the hours of operation, and in many cases the current office wait times, on the Office Locations page on the DOL Internet website.

DOL officials expect driver licensing offices to be very busy in the days following this two-day closure, making this a great time to try one of the many online driver license service options available online at the DOL website. If you need to renew your driver license or ID card, or get a copy of your driving record, you can skip the trip to a driver licensing office and do it online.    

If you do have to visit a driver licensing office in the days after this holiday, the following video has helpful tips to help make your trip to a driver licensing office as efficient as possible: