How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Washington
Washington drivers license suspensions will be issued to motorists who have failed to obey state road rules and regulations. Operators of motor vehicles may receive suspended drivers licenses for driving or non-driving-related offenses.
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) has a set list of requirements that drivers must satisfy in order to restore their driving privileges. The steps to reinstate suspended drivers licenses in WA may vary depending on the type of offense committed. For more information about the drivers license reinstatement procedure, continue reading the sections below.
Reinstating a Washington Suspended License
Motorists must complete a WA drivers license reinstatement process if they want to continue legally driving on public roads within the state. The WA DOL may suspend or revoke a driver’s privileges for offenses such as:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Violating auto insurance laws
- Failing to pay fines or appear in court
- Accumulating a high number of driving record points
- Committing felonies while operating motor vehicles
Drivers can reinstate suspended driving licenses in Washington by completing certain requirements that vary depending on the type of offense committed.
How to Reinstate a Washington Suspended Drivers License
To begin a WA suspended drivers license reinstatement procedure, motorists must satisfy certain requirements that vary depending on the type of offense they have committed. The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) website offers online service for reinstating driving privileges. The online drivers license restoration procedure requires motorists to provide their full names, dates of birth, and driver’s license or ID card numbers in order to retrieve their driving records and personalized instructions.
In addition, drivers will have to state whether they have Social Security Numbers or not. Those specific instructions will guide you through the online reinstatement process. In certain situations, motorists may also need to satisfy court requirements, maintain proof of car insurance for three years and pay both licensing and reinstatement fee. To reinstate drivers licenses in Washington, motorists must satisfy the DMV requirements and pay the applicable fees.
Suspension Periods in Washington
The duration of a Washington drivers license suspension or revocation varies depending on the type of offense committed and on the number of previous traffic violations. Different offenses and misdemeanors may lead to a suspended drivers license in WA for a period between 90 days and several years.
Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) may get their driving privileges suspended for a period of 90 days to four years. Drivers arrested as a result of DUI will get suspended driving licenses for a period between 90 days and two years.
Washington Point System
Suspended drivers licenses are oftentimes issued as a result of accumulating demerit points. Washington, unlike other states, does not have a point system. The WA DOL has established a violation system for drivers who have committed various traffic offenses.
The number of traffic offenses is accumulated on the motorists’ driving records. Drivers may receive driving license suspensions in Washington if they accumulate too many traffic violation points on their driving records.
Traffic School in Washington
Washington suspended drivers licenses may be issued as a result of a variety of reasons. Drivers can defer their traffic tickets, earn a car insurance discount, or satisfy court orders by completing a state-approved traffic school. Defensive driving courses are created for drivers who want to gain additional knowledge and practice defensive driving techniques.
Driving classes held in Washington usually last from four to eight hours, and can be completed either online or in person at a commercial driver’s training school. Drivers can choose to complete the course in person and finish the classes on the same day, while the online driver safety courses can be taken at the convenience of the drivers.
Note: DUI offenders must complete a DUI course as part of the WA drivers license reinstatement process.
Types of Washington Drivers License Suspensions
Washington suspended drivers licenses may be issued as a result of various types of traffic offenses. The WA Department of Licensing will suspend or revoke your driving credentials for the following violations:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
- Reckless driving.
- Violating auto insurance laws.
- Failing to pay fines or appear in court.
- Accumulating a high number of driving record points.
- Committing felonies while operating motor vehicles.
Washington DUI Suspensions
Washington suspended drivers licenses may be issued to motorists who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Committing DUI offenses may bring you drivers license suspension periods from 90 days to two years for a DUI arrest or between 90 days and four years for a DUI conviction.
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) imposes strict penalties for drivers who commit DUI-related offenses. Drivers who are caught operating their vehicles under the influence will be requested to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. The allowed amount of alcohol in the blood of motorists varies depending on their age.
Older Than 21
WA drivers license suspensions may be issued to motorists who are caught driving under the influence and are older than 21 years of age. The allowed limit of alcohol for adult motorists is 0.08 percent. Suspended driving licenses will incur when motorists are caught driving with higher amount of alcohol in their bloodstream.
Younger Than 21
Driving license suspensions in Washington may also be issued to motorists younger than 21 years of age who are pulled over and requested to submit to a BAC test. The WA Department of Licensing (DOL) has set the BAC limit to 0.02 percent for minor drivers. Motorists who are driving with a higher amount of alcohol or drugs in their blood will get their driving privileges suspended.
Car Insurance Suspensions
Washington drivers license suspensions may incur in situations when drivers violate state auto insurance laws. When registering motor vehicles, drivers are required to purchase and maintain car insurance.
The minimum requirements include payments of $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two people in an accident and $10,000 for property damage or injury in an accident. Motorists will face suspended driving licenses as a result of failure to provide proof of auto insurance when asked by a law enforcement official.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
Suspended drivers licenses in Washington may be issued due to failing to appear in court and pay traffic citations. In those situations, motorists will receive a Failure to Appear (FTA) notice which will inform them to pay their traffic tickets in a period of 45 days. A drivers license suspension will be issued to drivers who fail to pay the traffic citation in that period of time.
In Washington, you may pay your traffic ticket either online, by mail, by phone or in person, depending on your presiding court. Traffic tickets differ from one situation to another, so you are recommended to read the back of your ticket for more information and details.
Washington Hardship Drivers License
Drivers facing suspended driving licenses in WA may be eligible to apply for hardship licenses in certain situations. The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) offers two types of hardship licenses: an ignition interlock license (IIL) or an occupational/restricted license (ORL).
The former is issued to drivers who have committed DUI offenses, while the latter is for drivers who need to drive to work, school, apprenticeship or job training, to a court-ordered community service, to a substance abuse treatment or for the purpose of continuing the healthcare of the driver or someone under the driver’s care.
Applying for a Washington Hardship License
While holding WA suspended drivers licenses, motorists may apply for hardship credentials, such as IIL or an ORL. DUI offenders waiting for their drivers license suspension periods to be completed, may apply for an IIL which allows drivers to operate their motor vehicles with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicles.
Motorists are eligible to apply for this type of hardship license only if they have been arrested or convicted for driving under the influence, reckless driving, or committing a vehicular assault or homicide involving drugs or alcohol. Drivers must also have an unexpired WA driver’s license or out-of-state driving credential. Motorists who have received suspended or revoked driving licenses as a result of violations such as Minor in Possession or Habitual Traffic Offender will not be eligible to apply for an IIL license.
Drivers with suspended or revoked driving licenses in Washington may also apply for an ORL for driving to work, school, community service, substance abuse treatment, apprenticeships or job trainings and to health care provider or to a place where they provide care to persons in need. Motorists may apply for a hardship ORL license by completing a Restricted Driver License Application form, providing proof of financial responsibility and paying the applicable $100 fee.
Once the required documentation has been collected, applicants may mail the package or submit it in person to a local WA DOL office.
Fees to Reinstate a Washington Drivers License
Motorists must pay the WA drivers license reinstatement fees in order to restore their credentials and to continue legally operating their motor vehicles throughout the state. The fees for reinstating drivers licenses may amount to $75 for non-alcohol-related offenses, or $150 for alcohol-related offenses and misdemeanors.
In addition to the reinstatement fee, drivers are also required to pay a licensing fee of $54. The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) allows payments made online, by mail or in person.