Go online and you may be able to skip waiting in line at DOL

July 11, 2017

Since 2015, more than 400,000 customers waited in line unnecessarily at Washington State driver licensing offices for transactions they could have completed from the comfort of home by visiting dol.wa.gov.

If all 400,000 had gone online, the result would have been an average of 13,000 fewer people in line per month. Less in-office traffic means downsized wait times so that customers can quickly get back to the responsibilities and activities in their lives that matter.

Our online services don’t eliminate the need for all in-office transactions, however many common licensing needs such as changing an address or renewing a license can be easily completed on your phone or computer. The information provided at dol.wa.gov can help also you avoid long wait times and unnecessary trips.

Plan on visiting us soon? Review the following reminders for a more efficient experience:

 

  1. Skip a trip, renew online

Did you know that you only need to update your driver license photo every other renewal cycle? That’s once every twelve years! If you don’t need a new photo, just go to dol.wa.gov to see if you can renew and skip the line! You’ll conveniently receive a new license within days and avoid having to come up with a clever hashtag to accompany that obligatory “never ending line at the DOL” tweet. Unsure about whether the services you need are offered online or if you are eligible to renew online? Check out DOL’s online services page.

  1. Know before you go

Arriving at the front of the line just to discover the piece of identification necessary to complete your transaction is sitting on the kitchen counter at home is everyone’s least favorite way to wrap up lunch hour. Visit dol.wa.gov to find out which documents and identification you’ll need to bring in so that our staff can take care of your licensing needs. Also keep in mind that we are not able to accept photocopies of documents.

  1. Visit during the middle of the week

If you must visit an office in person, try to head in before noon — preferably during the middle of the week.

  1. Beware the lunch hour line

This may seem like a given, but please let us reiterate: Do not visit a licensing office between noon and one pm! We guarantee that on any given afternoon several other people had the exact same idea and staffing may be more limited due to staff rotating off the counter to take their lunch break.

 

  1. Check the calendar for holidays

We know your ideal Christmas Eve would be spent refreshing your newsfeed while waiting for your number to be called, but please avoid visiting us on holidays, as our offices are usually closed. When in doubt, go online to check the hours of operation of the office you plan to visit and remember to anticipate a spike in wait times in the days prior to and following a long weekend.


Rider’s cross-country trek promoting motorcycle safety reaches Olympia

July 27, 2015
Nate Hudson and DOL Director Pat Kohler holding a copy of the video, "A Second Look," in Olympia on July 23.

Nate Hudson and DOL Director Pat Kohler holding a copy of the video, “A Second Look,” in Olympia on July 23.

Motorcyclist Nate Hudson is logging 17,000 miles during the course of the “Ride for Awareness” campaign, sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company.

On July 23, Hudson’s journey reached Olympia, where he spoke with Department of Licensing Director Pat Kohler.

Hudson praised Washington state’s efforts to protect riders on the roads, including the DOL’s video,  A Second Look.

The video addresses the role of motorists concerning motorcycle safety.

For more information about the Ride for Awareness campaign, visit Allstate.com/ride.

And for regular updates on Hudson’s whereabouts as he travels the country, checkout Instagram.com/BA_Moto.


New motorcycle awareness video shows why looking twice deserves “A Second Look”

December 2, 2014

It’s here!

After months of work, the Washington Motorcycle Safety Program is proud to roll-out its new driver training video focused on motorcycle awareness.

A Second Look is an 8-minute video produced with teen viewers in mind. It’s currently being distributed to every driver training school in Washington state, and is also available at dol.wa.gov.

A Second Look is an easily accessible tool for driving schools and instructors to use as they fulfill the state curriculum requirement regarding motorcycle awareness.

Paired with the video is a set of companion learning materials that can help facilitate even more active learning for their students.  These materials include essential “conversation generator” questions, brain-based learning classroom activities, an outline of key concepts, a fun quiz, and some resource information regarding motorcycle awareness.

A Second Look was produced in cooperation with Notion Pictures, using a federal grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Filmed in and around Olympia, Washington, this video conveys basic technical information useful to new drivers. It also creates empathy for all road users.

The story in this video follows a young driver named Ian who learns how to safely drive around motorcycles.  Ian learns from a motorcyclist named Randy.

We felt it was essential to create an emotional hook, so that viewers would not only learn ways to drive more safely,  but (and perhaps more importantly) gain a clearer understanding about why they should drive more safely.

Because A Second Look was developed for young drivers in driver training, we chose to present a stereotyped version of a rider.  However, as the story unfolds, it reveals that people who are stereotyped are, in fact, real human beings.

Using that approach, our hope is that the learning will go deeper, and remain memorable for a lifetime of safe driving.

Producing a video with a teen audience in mind provided the opportunity to make some unexpected choices, such as NOT showing the actual crash at the end of the story.

In using that approach, we’ve left it up to the “mind’s eye” of each viewer to see the consequence of Ian’s mistake in a way that is most powerful and relevant to him or her.

Why did the crash happen?

What could the driver and rider have done differently?

Did Randy die?

All of those questions are left for the viewer to consider.

Driving instructors can then use these questions, in conjunction with the companion materials, to re-enforce the power of making safe, effective choices on the road.

Though created for driving students, this video reminds us all of the power in simply looking twice; doing so really can–and does–save lives.


New rest area signs help promote motorcycle safety

July 16, 2013

VIDEO

New sign at Maytown rest area

New sign going in at Maytown rest area on May 29th.

New signs aimed at making our roads safer for motorcycles now appear at two rest areas along the busy Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland.

The signs carry two motorcycle-related safety messages. The top half reads “Look Twice – Save a Life, Watch for Motorcycles.”

The message on the lower half of the sign is directed at motorcyclists, “Ride Safe, Ride Sober, Ride Endorsed.”

The state’s Department of Transportation installed the signs on May 29th at the Maytown and Scatter Creek rest areas south of Olympia.

The signs were paid for with federal motorcycle safety grant funds.

This project was created through a partnership between the state’s Department of Licensing, Traffic Safety Commission, State Patrol and DOT.

The signs are featured in a new video produced by the DOL.


Boat email renewal reminders make for smooth sailing

March 24, 2011

by Mark Horner

Everett Marina with Mt. BakerOwn a boat (or know someone who does)? Here’s an important story.

Due to state budget cuts, registration renewal reminders for boats are no longer being sent out in the mail. However, there’s a simple solution.

Boat owners can sign-up to receive renewal reminders by email. Signing-up typically takes a minute-or-less on the Department of Licensing’s website

Yep—it’s really simple,  really fast, and super convenient.

If you know other boat owners, it’s likely that they’d want to know about this change and would also like to continue receiving boat renewal reminders.  Feel free to share this blog post.  If you have a website or blog, you’re certainly welcome to embed the video below into your site.


More Washington drivers choosing to “embrace life”

September 22, 2010

by Mark Horner

This week’s news that nearly 98-percent of Washington drivers are wearing seat belts reminds us of one our favorite videos of 2010.  Titled Embrace Life, the powerful video has received more than 11.4 million views since its January 29th debut on YouTube.  If you haven’t watched the video, it’s 89-seconds well spent. 

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 97.6 percent of our state’s drivers are buckling-up this year, an increase of 1.2 percent from 2009.

“The closer we get to 100 percent seat belt use, the more difficult it becomes to realize higher use rates,” said commission Director Lowell Porter.  “To jump from 96.4 to 97.6 percent is truly a significant improvement that moves Washington closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.”

To paraphrase the  unspoken message of the popular YouTube video, one might say that when Washington residents settle into a car or truck,  more than ever,  they are choosing to embrace life.

-watch the video, Embrace Life


Lynnwood DOL office featured in international video project

May 21, 2010

Video aims to help Marshallese immigrants transition to life in U.S.

by Mark Horner

In the “Did you know?” department, it turns out that the Puget Sound area is one of the most popular U.S. destinations for people immigrating from the Marshall Islands. The transition to life in a new country can seem a bit confusing.  That’s why a video now in production hopes to put essential information into the hands of Marshallese immigrants before they leave the islands.

The working title for the video is Marshallese Immigrants: An Orientation Program. The project is a joint-effort between the U.S. Department of Interior and the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Washington, D.C.

The video production crew recently shot some footage at the DOL’s Lynnwood Licensing Service Office. After all, it’s important to know what documents are needed when applying for a driver license or identification card.

According to an information sheet provided by the video project’s leader, Tina Stege:

“With sizable and active Marshallese communities living in Everett, Lynnwood and Federal Way, the Seattle area provides the perfect backdrop for the video.”  -Tina Stege, Project Leader

No word yet on when the project will be completed.  But Stege said that, once it’s finished, the video will be published on YouTube.