DOL will close for mandatory furlough days in July

June 25, 2020

DOL logoStarting next week, Department of Licensing (DOL) offices will close one day a week for mandatory furlough days through July 25. Mandatory furlough days include:

  • Thursday, July 2 (because Friday, July 3 is a state holiday)
  • Friday, July 10
  • Friday, July 17
  • Friday, July 24

We will also reduce our days of operation starting the week of June 29. All reopened driver licensing offices will be open Monday through Thursday in July, except for July 2. We’ll be open Friday, July 31.

Current open licensing office locations:

  • Bellingham
  • Bremerton
  • Clarkston
  • Federal Way
  • Kennewick
  • Lacey
  • Lynnwood
  • Moses Lake
  • Parkland
  • Renton
  • Spokane
  • Vancouver North
  • Wenatchee

Driver licensing offices will operate at reduced capacity and by appointment only. This is to allow us to put in place several health and safety practices. Please be patient. Appointments are limited. Our online, phone, and mail-in services remain the first option in most instances.

To protect you and our employees from COVID-19, we expanded our online services in March. This makes it easier to complete your transaction without having to visit an office. We recommend trying this first before you make an appointment.

State furlough days do not affect county or private vehicle licensing offices.

The governor ordered the mandatory furlough days for state employees. The furlough is due to a state budget shortfall caused by revenue loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Can’t be helped online, by phone, or by mail? Make an appointment

June 19, 2020

DOL logoAs previously announced, driver licensing offices will begin to reopen Monday, June 22, in a series of stages. We will start with 13 locations. All in-person services will be provided by appointment only.

With the announcement of furloughs for all state workers, our days of operation will be temporarily reduced starting the week of June 29. All reopening offices will be open Monday through Thursday in July, with the exception of Thursday, July 2 (we’ll also be closed July 3 in observance of Independence Day). We’ll be open Friday, July 31.

Additionally, offices will be operating at significantly reduced capacity with social distancing in place. Please be patient. Appointments are limited. Our online, phone, and mail-in services remain the first option in most instances.

To help protect employees and customers from the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Licensing (DOL) expanded its online services and closed driver licensing offices in late March. Since then, DOL has been working within the governor’s guidelines to serve Washington residents as safely and efficiently as possible.

For those who require an office visit to complete their transaction, we’re reopening the following locations June 22 by appointment only: Bellingham, Bremerton, Clarkston, Federal Way, Kennewick, Lacey, Lynnwood, Moses Lake, Parkland, Renton, Spokane, Vancouver North, and Wenatchee.

Union Gap initially was also on the list, but the reopening of that office is on hold due to the impact of COVID-19 in Yakima County. We are working on ways to help those who already made appointments there.

Our other 41 driver licensing offices will reopen in later stages to be announced. The order of reopening is being determined by factors including geographic location, community access, volume history, capacity for safe delivery of service, weekdays open, and staffing considerations.

Services offered by appointment only include:

  • First-time driver license, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • First-time identification card
  • Enhanced driver license (EDL) and enhanced ID (EID)
  • Name change on license/ID
  • Instruction permit
  • Commercial driver license (CDL) and commercial learner permit (CLP)
  • Agricultural permit, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Reinstatement, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Occupational restricted license
  • Driver training school instructor test

Please keep in mind that the REAL ID enforcement date has been pushed back a year to Oct. 1, 2021. There will be plenty of time to obtain a compliant document, such as an EDL or EID, before then.

Most residents are eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and instruction permits online. This includes those under age 24 and over 70 for a limited time.

Driver licenses and instruction permits expiring March 1 through June 30, 2020 were automatically extended for 180 days. Those expiring July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020 were extended for 90 days.

How to Make an Appointment

Appointments are for customers who cannot do their business online, by phone, or by mail.

If an in-person visit is the only option, you can make an appointment online or call 360-902-3900 for assistance setting one up.

The scheduling system automatically offers the first available dates. If appointment slots are filled, try again the next day. Our representatives cannot change an appointment after it is made, so if you need a different date/time, you must cancel your appointment and start over.

When an appointment is made, an email confirmation will be sent with instructions on how to check in to a “virtual lobby” upon arrival. Customers will wait in their vehicle until being invited into the building. There will be signage.

Those who show up to an office without an appointment will be scheduled for a return visit or redirected as needed.

Health and Safety Precautions

To reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, DOL is implementing several health and safety practices at driver licensing offices, including:

  • DOL employees will be screened for symptoms and wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Customers will be asked about symptoms. They will also be encouraged to wear a cloth facial covering and wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to entering.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be maintained between employees, customers, and vendors.
  • Hard plastic barriers have been installed at service counters, with 6 feet of distance between lobby chairs and 6-foot markers outside the main entrance.
  • Regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces/areas will take place.
  • Visitors showing signs of illness will be required to leave.
  • Customers will be made aware of requirements prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • Additional protective requirements may be needed for skills tests and will be communicated when scheduled.

DOL is confident services can be delivered safely.

Vehicle Licensing Offices

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, disabled parking placards/tabs, and more.

VLOs are not impacted by state worker furloughs and are on normal hours of operation.

Contact Us

Please be patient, as call volume is high.

UPDATED 6/22/20


Final phase of DOL’s new professional and business licensing service available June 29

June 18, 2020

DOL logoThe Department of Licensing (DOL) will roll out the final phase of its professional and business licensing system’s technology modernization project on Monday, June 29.

“Our new license renewal system will benefit all of our professional licensees, and allow them to manage their licenses and renewal online,” said Jennifer Clawson, DOL’s assistant director of the Business and Professions Division.

The agency’s professional and business licensing system will be temporarily shut down for 10 days, from June 19 through June 28, to ensure a successful transition to the new system. During the outage, customers will be unable to process any professional or business license applications or renewals.

This system replacement improves and expands convenient online services for professional license holders such as real estate brokers, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, and security guards. The new system will allow them to:

  • Pay license fees using more online payment options
  • Self-print licenses
  • Check application or renewal status
  • Manage account information

The new system includes extra security features to protect customer data and an online option for the public to submit complaints and look up the status of a professional license.

Starting June 29, this phase will include the following programs:

  • Auctioneers
  • Bail bonds
  • Body art, body piercing, and tattoo
  • Combative sports
  • Commercial driver license schools
  • Cosmetology and cosmetology schools
  • Court reporters
  • Driver training schools
  • Employment agencies
  • Home inspectors
  • Motorcycle training schools
  • Private investigators
  • Private security guards
  • Real estate brokers, managing brokers, firms, and schools

The first phase, completed in November 2019, included the following programs:

  • Appraisers and appraisal management companies
  • Architects
  • Camping resorts and timeshares
  • Engineers
  • Funeral and cemeteries
  • Geologists
  • Land surveyors
  • Landscape architects
  • Notaries
  • On-site wastewater

Driver licensing offices to begin reopening by appointment June 22

June 15, 2020

Offices reopening June 22Driver licensing offices, largely closed since March 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen by appointment only in a series of stages beginning Monday, June 22. Health and safety measures will be taken by the Department of Licensing (DOL) to help protect both employees and customers at all locations.

The following offices will be the first to reopen for services that can be obtained only in person:

  • Bellingham
  • Bremerton
  • Clarkston
  • Federal Way
  • Kennewick
  • Lacey
  • Lynnwood
  • Moses Lake
  • Parkland
  • Renton
  • Spokane
  • Vancouver North
  • Wenatchee

Union Gap initially was also on the list, but the reopening of that office is on hold due to the impact of COVID-19 in Yakima County.

Customers are urged to go online or call the Customer Service Center (360-902-3900), if possible, to get what they need. Online services are regularly being expanded.

Appointments are for customers who cannot complete their transaction online, by phone, or by mail. With social distancing in place, offices will be operating at significantly reduced capacity and appointments will be limited.

Services offered by appointment only include:

  • First-time driver license, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • First-time identification card
  • Enhanced driver license (EDL) and enhanced ID (EID)
  • Name change on license/ID
  • Instruction permit
  • Commercial driver license (CDL) and commercial learner permit (CLP)
  • Agricultural permit, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Reinstatement, including knowledge and skills testing (where offered)
  • Occupational restricted license
  • Driver training school instructor test

Please keep in mind that the REAL ID enforcement date has been pushed back a year to Oct. 1, 2021. There will be plenty of time to obtain a compliant document, such as an EDL or EID, before then.

Most residents, including those under age 24 and over 70, are temporarily eligible to renew their licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and instruction permits online.

Driver licenses and instruction permits expiring March 1 through June 30, 2020 were automatically extended for 180 days. Those expiring July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020 were extended for 90 days.

When More Offices Will Reopen

We are working to reopen all of our 55 driver licensing offices as quickly and safely as possible. The order is being determined by factors including geographic location, community access, volume history, capacity for safe delivery of service, weekdays open, and staffing considerations.

This schedule may result in offices being open in counties not yet approved for the governor’s Phase 3 reopening. This decision, supported by the Governor’s Office, was based on the health and safety framework put in place as part of DOL’s reopening plan and currently in use in seven offices. DOL is confident services can be delivered safely.

Health and Safety Precautions

To reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, DOL is implementing several health and safety practices at driver licensing offices, including:

  • DOL employees will be screened for symptoms and wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Customers will be asked about symptoms. They will also be encouraged to wear a cloth facial covering and wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to entering.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be maintained between employees, customers, and vendors.
  • Hard plastic barriers have been installed at service counters, with 6 feet of distance between lobby chairs and 6-foot markers outside the main entrance.
  • Regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces/areas will take place.
  • Customers and vendors showing signs of illness will be required to leave.
  • Customers will be made aware of requirements prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • Additional protective requirements may be needed for skills tests and will be communicated when scheduled.

How to Make an Appointment

With the announcement of furloughs for all state workers, our days of operation will be temporarily reduced starting the week of June 29. All reopening offices will be open Monday through Thursday in July, with the exception of Thursday, July 2 (we’ll also be closed July 3 in observance of Independence Day). We’ll be open Friday, July 31.

Customers with transactions that do not require an in-person visit will be asked to use alternative service channels, such as numerous online services, phone, or mail.

If an in-person visit is the only option, you can make an appointment online or call 360-902-3900 for assistance setting one up.

The scheduling system automatically offers the first available dates. If appointment slots are filled, try again the next day. Our representatives cannot change an appointment after it is made, so if you need a different date/time, you must cancel your appointment and start over.

When an appointment is made, an email confirmation will be sent with instructions on how to check in to a “virtual lobby” upon arrival. Customers will wait in their vehicle until being invited into the building. There will be signage.

Those who show up to an office without an appointment will be scheduled for a return visit or redirected as needed.

Vehicle Licensing Offices

Vehicle licensing offices (VLOs) are open. VLOs handle vehicle tabs, boat decals, license plates, reports of vehicle sale or transfer of ownership, vehicle/boat registrations, trip permits, replacement titles, disabled parking placards/tabs, and more.

VLOs are not impacted by state worker furloughs and are on normal hours of operation.

Contact Us

Please be patient, as call volume is high.

UPDATED 6/22/20


Instruction permits extended due to DOL office closures

June 9, 2020

Permitextension-tw (2)With the closure of state driver licensing offices and many wanting to continue their driver education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is automatically extending the expiration dates of valid Washington state instruction permits. This automatic extension applies to permits with expiration dates on or after March 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020. This will allow permit holders to continue to practice driving without penalty or incurring any late fees.

  • Permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020 will be extended for 180 days. This means these instruction permits will expire six months after the date printed on the permit.
  • Permits with an expiration date between July 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 will be extended for 90 days. This means these instruction permits will expire three months after the date printed on the permit.

New cards will not be issued. DOL recommends carrying this letter while operating a vehicle and presenting it with an expired permit if requested by law enforcement or others who need to verify identity.

Instruction Permit Online Renewal

In addition to extending instruction permits, individuals can renew a permit online for a limited time using the no-login option for driver license renewal. It can also be done via License eXpress.

DOL is unable to issue first-time instruction permits while the driver licensing offices remain closed. However, individuals can pre-apply online for an instruction permit.

Drivers or businesses that need to validate an expiration date for a permit holder can do so via DOL’s online services.

Getting a First-Time License

If a person has passed the knowledge and drive tests, there is a way for them to obtain a first-time driver license online. Using License eXpress, they will need to have a Washington photo instruction permit and complete all of the other online requirements.

If they do not have a Washington photo instruction permit, they will have to wait until the driver licensing offices reopen to get a photo taken and complete any other requirements. There will be more information about reopening plans soon.

Contact Us

If you need further assistance, call 360-902-3900 or email CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov. Please be patient, as call volume is high.