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The Washington State Department of Licensing (Washington DOL) is the government agency in charge of driver records, and this office issues them upon request. They act like a DMV in other states. However, they require strict adherence to Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.
The state offers four different records for various purposes. They allow people to get them online or through the mail. Insurance companies may use these records when setting insurance rates. Employers may use driver records when doing a background check.
The WA driver records do contain personal information such as the driver's full name, social security number, driver's license number, and date of birth. They also include driving offenses and convictions, accident history, driver license status, revocations, suspensions, and cancellations.
The state offers a couple of different ways to get a copy of someone's driving history. First, they have an online system called License eXpress. Users can purchase a copy and print it. It will remain available on the system for 30 days and then expire.
The other way to get records is to fill out a records request and mail it in with payment to:
Driver Records, Department of Licensing
PO Box 3907
Seattle, WA 98124-3907
Purchases by mail may take up to 10 days to process.
All driving records in the state cost $13 each. The state offers four main types. When ordering through the mail, the requestor can pay with a check or money order. When buying them online, they can use a credit card or debit card.
Anyone 15 & 1/2 years or older can apply for a Washington Learner's Permit. Anyone 16 or 17 years old may apply for their Intermediate Driver's License. That license comes with restrictions. Someone 16 or 17 is eligible to apply for their Standard Driver License which is unrestricted.
To get an instructional permit, the driver must:
Anyone under the age of 18 requires parental or guardian approval.
To get an Intermediate License, the driver must:
The Intermediate License comes with the following restrictions:
To get a Standard Driver License, the driver must:
Some other driving laws in the state include:
"If you operate a motor vehicle registered in this state, you must have liability insurance and carry proof that you have such insurance. Drivers of government vehicles, mopeds, and common or contract carrier vehicles are exempt from this insurance requirement."
When holding a first license, the penalties for driving infractions are the worst. They are as follows:
Although the state does not have an official license points system, they do keep track of violations. If someone accumulates six moving violations in 12 months or seven over 24 months, they will lose their license for 60 days and spend a year on probation.
The state uses four main types of driver records for different purposes. Each is explained below:
This report covers the last ten years and is used by chemical dependency agencies.
Employers, volunteer organizations use this report and transit authorities to determine eligibility.
The insurance record covers the last three years and is used to create and renew life, vehicle, and commercial vehicle insurance policies.
A complete driving record is provided to the person named on the record.
Criminal driving offenses in the state are serious moving violations that risk someone's life. The punishments are high fines, jail or prison time, and the loss of license. Some examples include:
Civil driving offenses are far less serious and usually only result in a traffic ticket. Some examples include:
The state keeps track of all driving data to improve roadway safety. Some interesting statistics from that data include:
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
Anyone who can show just legal cause can get a copy of your driving history. However, they will need a signed consent form from you in many cases and must comply with strict DPPA laws.
Yes. The state has a License eXpress system set up for this very purpose.
When ordering a copy of your own report, you will need your name, address, date of birth, and Washington driver's license number.
No, but they do keep track of moving violations. Anyone who earns too many in a 12- or 24-month period will lose their license for 60 days and must spend a year on probation. Some people are ordered to take a defensive driving course.
On the eXpress website, the state has step-by-step instructions on how you can get your license reinstated after a suspension. The basic steps include:
Below are some helpful state driving record links.
Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.