Several websites targeting drivers across the country are promising easy online driver license renewals, but appear to be delivering little except credit card charges.
These companies, which appear to be located in foreign countries, are using paid advertising results on the major Internet search providers like Google and Yahoo to lure customers away from the official Department of Licensing (DOL) website. This is leading to extra fees paid to unknown companies who appear to be offering little more than services already available for free using the official DOL website.
Customers have reported these sites are charging as much as $35 dollars for “customer service” assistance in renewing a driver license. In addition many of these customers suspect these sites have sold their personal information to others for marketing purposes.
DOL posted a video on YouTube this week explaining that these websites are not associated in any way with DOL.
Doing business online with DOL and other government agencies is fast, easy and secure, but know these simple tips to make sure you are doing business with us and not an imitator:
- Access to DOL information and forms is free on the DOL website.
- Whenever you look at search results, keep in mind that the first several results may be paid advertising. Don’t just click on the first link; take a moment to examine your search results and pick carefully. If you need to do business with DOL, choose one that includes our “wa.gov” domain in the website address.
- Take time to read the fine print. These sites are taking advantage of the fact that people seldom read disclaimers on websites.