Suspended License in Washington
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your driver's license if you have been cited for a driving infraction and failed to appear in court, or if you have been cited for drug- or alcohol-related offense. In fact, the DOL reports that the most common reasons for driving privileges in the state to be suspended, canceled, or revoked are failure to pay a traffic ticket or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
You'll receive a letter from the DOL informing you when your Washington driver's license is suspended, revoked, or canceled. The letter will also include instructions for how to reinstate your driving privileges. All correspondence is sent to the address on file with DOL, so be sure to always notify the DOL if you move.
In Washington, a license suspension consists of a ban on driving for 364 days or fewer. License revocation results in the loss of your driving privileges for 365 days or more.
A canceled license in Washington, which can be the result of a fraudulent driver's license application, failure to submit to a required physical exam, or an out-of-state suspension, represents the total loss of your driving privileges in the state―for good.
You can get information about how to reinstate your license in person at a Driver Services Office, by phone at (360) 902-3900, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Upon request the DOL will send you a letter detailing your unresolved citations, including contact information for the appropriate courts so you can resolve the tickets. That phone number is also where you can find out how to get your license reinstated after the suspension or revocation period has expired.
If you are unsure of the nature of your suspension, or have questions about paying traffic tickets and avoiding a suspension, you can write to the following address for more information:
- Department of Licensing
- Driver Responsibility
- P.O. Box 9030
- Olympia, WA 98507
For those whose driver's license is suspended but they need to get to and from work, the Washington DOL provides an Occupational/Restricted Driver License (ORL). The temporary ORL is provided only if specific conditions are met, and it could take a week to 10 days to process your application. There is a $100 nonrefundable application fee, so make sure you meet the criteria before you apply.
If your license was suspended due to a DUI, you may be able to apply for an ignition interlock device. This depends on the circumstances of your DUI.
Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a copy of your driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver's license is currently valid. If your license has been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what's on record at the DOL. The report will also list the points against your license and, if appropriate, information on any accidents you have had.
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