OLYMPIA—Summer is here and the Department of Licensing, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, and the Department of Transportation are reminding drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders.
Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation making May our state’s Motorcycle Awareness Month is designed to:
- promote caution and recognition of motorcycles on Washington roads and highways.
- reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities associated for all motor vehicles.
- encourage riders to participate in rider education programs.
As motorcycles are smaller and less visible than most other vehicles, they can be more difficult to see. Reducing distracted diving and eliminating impaired driving will help operators see motorcyclists and give them the space they need.
Your Washington Motorcycle Safety Program encourages all vehicle operators to follow the rules of the road including obeying speed limits, following distance, signaling intentions, and yielding the right-of-way.
With spring turning to summer, the number of motorcyclists on our roads will be increasing.
Washington riders are our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.
A moment more of attention could help save a rider’s life. That rider could be a family member or friend.
Look Twice – Save A Life.
Beginning February 10, all new driver license applicants will receive a license that’s valid for six years, as the Department of Licensing starts transitioning from a five-year to a six-year driver license.
New driver license applicants include individuals applying for their first license and those who are transferring their licenses from another state.
The per-year cost for a driver license will remain at $9 per year, but new applicants will pay for the additional year, which changes the fee from $45 to $54, not including the $35 application fee.
Adding a new motorcycle endorsement for up to six years will cost $2 per year.
Washingtonians who are obtaining their first Washington state ID cards will also be issued a card valid for six years beginning on February 10, at a cost of $54, or $9 per year.
Those renewing a current Washington driver licenses or ID cards will start transitioning to a six-year renewal period later this year.
In 2012, the Washington State Legislature authorized extending driver’s license terms from five to six years to improve customer service by reducing customer volumes and wait times in driver license offices.
In September 2010, DOL introduced its staff in our licensing services offices to a new customer service promise: “We will be friendly and helpful — every time.”
As part of a recent customer survey–mailed to recent customers in October 2013–we asked if their experience during their recent transaction reflected this promise.
Overall, 82-percent of survey respondents indicated yes, our staff was both friendly and helpful. Another 15-percent indicated staff was either friendly or helpful, and only 3-percent indicated staff was neither friendly nor helpful.
This level of satisfaction was echoed in other aspects of the survey. Overall, we learned 83-percent said they were satisfied to very satisfied with their DOL service and 57-percent of customers indicated DOL’s service has improved.
Results of the recent survey appear in the chart below.
The Department of Licensing recently sent notifications by mail to about 60,000 individuals with commercial driver licenses to let them know the deadline is approaching to complete and submit the required form to self-certify the type of commercial driving they do.
All CDL holders are required to submit a self-certification form to DOL before January 30, 2014. Failure to do so will result in losing their CDL and the driver will be required to get a driver license without the CDL endorsement. A self-certification form can be completed by visiting any DOL driver licensing office.
This self-certification is required to help ensure state and federal transportation agencies know who is required to keep current medical certificates on file with DOL. This includes all CDL holders who drive commercial vehicles in connection with interstate commerce.
Drivers that operate entirely within Washington state and don’t drive in connection with interstate commerce (intrastate drivers) are still required to self-certify, but are not required to keep their medical certificates on file with DOL.
DOL began notifying commercial drivers about this requirement in 2011. More information is available on the Department of Licensing website.
As of October 5, 2013, there are 194,743 individuals with CDL endorsements on their driver license. These endorsements break down as follows:
- Class A: 137,681
- Class B: 52,883
- Class C: 4,179
The additional $10 will be deposited in the state Wildlife Account used by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to support programs focused on the study, protection and enhancement of wildlife species that are not hunted, fished or trapped. Often referred to as “nongame wildlife,” these species represent most of the endangered and non-endangered animals in our state.
Individuals with personalized license plates due for renewal on or after October 1st will now pay $42 per year in addition to all other annual registrations fees. The fee for new personalized plates was increased to $52.
There are currently about 85,000 vehicles in our state with personalized license plates. To learn more about personalized plates, visit dol.wa.gov.