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.
The process of getting a suspended license reinstated can seem daunting. For many, it’s a labyrinth of trying to figure-out which courts and/or agencies must be contacted in order to clear-up unresolved cases.
But now, the Department of Licensing is offering a fast and simple solution people can use to piece all of that information together.
“We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for them to get their license back,” said DOL spokesperson Brad Benfield.
After the user enters some basic information, the online app provides a specific list of what that person must do to get his or her license reinstated.
“What we’re finding is that people are able to go online, use the reinstatements program, and systematically work their way through all of the issues that they need to work through to get their license back. And as they continue to check in on it, those things that they’ve taken care of come off the list until the day when they find out that they’re actually eligible for reinstatement,” Benfield said.
That’s a huge departure from the common scenarios that’ve played-out for years: people using their valuable time to go to a DOL office or calling the agency as they attempt to figure-out how to get their license reinstated.
Now, all of that information is at a person’s fingertips. You might say the app puts you at the front of the line.
And it’s free.
Believe it or not, there are companies who charge to provide you with this same information.
Benfield also has this heads-up for people who’ve only recently learned that their license will be suspended.
“Until that license is actually suspended, they’re not going to be able to use this system because it provides a snapshot of what’s going on with their record on any given day. If their license hasn’t been suspended yet, (the app’s) not yet going to reflect that. “
The DOL recently produced a video about the app and posted it to its YouTube channel.
YouTube video: http://youtu.be/LidYMIP6v0c
On September 17, the Department of Licensing announced that License Express is a website where residents can securely manage their driver license, ID card, cars, motorcycles, watercraft and trailers.
That’s right, all in one place!
As of October 19, the total number of people who’ve signed-up for the site is 7,988.
To learn more about License Express, check-out the video tour.
Want to join now? Here’s our direct link to the sign-up page.
The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) recently launched the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) statewide public engagement program, which includes seven regional online discussion forums and an online survey panel. The WSTC is asking state residents to log on to www.voiceofwashingtonstate.org to sign up and share input on how to improve the state’s transportation system.
Individuals can join the VOWS Online Discussion Forums and publicly voice their opinions, post ideas and interact with other citizens in their community. They can also join the VOWS Survey Panel to participate in occasional online surveys. The Commission is using the new online forum technology to empower citizens to become thought-leaders on transportation
“Sparking a robust conversation around transportation issues, and collecting survey data that indicates people’s opinions and thoughts on policy and funding approaches, will help decision makers identify possible solutions and investment priorities,” noted Reema Griffith, executive director of the WSTC. “When people share what matters to them when they drive, ride, bike, walk or fly within their communities, their needs can be more effectively addressed.”
The ultimate goal is to gather public input on Washington state transportation policy and funding, and to inform the statewide discussion and decision-making process. Topics for discussion will focus on all things transportation: highways, mass transit, freight and high-speed rail, ferries, barges and aviation. The governor and Legislature will be briefed on the ideas and data generated through the online discussion forums and surveys.
The combination of the online survey and the regional online discussion forums is a new outreach strategy for the WSTC. While the Commission has conducted successful phone and email surveys through the Ferry Riders Opinion Group for a few years, the primary community input tool has been public meetings. The online tools remove the distance and travel barriers inherent to public meetings; this increases the opportunity for everyone – no matter where they live – to participate and share their views.
Details about the VOWS program components are as follows:
- The VOWS Online Discussion Forums are for publicly sharing, voting and commenting on regional and statewide transportation ideas. Participants can join any or all of the seven regional discussion forums.
- The VOWS Survey Panel is a way for citizens to communicate their opinions and preferences by taking occasional surveys on transportation policy, funding and tax issues. The result is statistically valid data representing the priorities and opinions of Washington state residents. The input from individuals is anonymous because the survey company does not attach personal information to the survey results. Each participant will receive the surveys through email.
The seven regional discussion forums are: West (Region 1), North Puget Sound (Region 2), Central Puget Sound (Region 3), Southwest (Region 4), Central (Region 5), Northeast (Region 6) and Southeast (Region 7). Discussions within each forum will focus on both region-specific issues as well as statewide topics, such as roads and pedestrian safety.
Any Washington state resident is eligible to join the VOWS Online Discussion Forums or the VOWS Survey Panel. Registration is limited to one email address per person; submission of the person’s name, email address and county is all that is required to set up a VOWS account for participation.
by Mark Horner
There are times when one might want to take a few baby steps while promoting an exciting opportunity. That’s what we do with our latest video about the Department of Licensing’s online services. Literally! See what we mean as you watch this video, titled, Because time is precious…
Updated February 3, 2009 to include video
By Brad Benfield
Vehicle owners in Washington now have the opportunity to save themselves time and help save money and the environment by signing up to receive their vehicle renewal notices via email. You can sign up for email renewal notices through the agency’s website at http://www.dol.wa.gov, when renewing tabs online, or at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office.
Email renewal notices provide all of the information on a traditional paper renewal notice. They also have a direct link to DOL’s online vehicle tab renewal system. Using the link to the online renewal system, you can have new tabs ordered and on their way within minutes of receiving the notice.
More and more people become accustomed to receiving bills and bank statements over the Internet and the agency is hoping people embrace email renewal notices, too. If just our customers who regularly use the Internet to renew their tabs sign up for email renewal, DOL would avoid printing 1 million notices over the next year. This would save:
- 2,000 reams of paper and 2 million envelopes — or approximately 150 trees.
- Approximately $500,000 in printing and mailing costs.
As with paper renewal notices, vehicle owners signing up for the new service will receive their email renewal notice about a month before their tabs expire. You also don’t have to worry about not getting a renewal notice if you change your email address and forget to tell us. We will try several times to send an email renewal notice, but if we can’t reach you that way we will send a traditional paper notice.