You must follow the driving rules and regulations in the state of Washington in order to keep the roads safe. If you are caught breaking these laws and putting other drivers in danger, there is a fair chance that your Washington driving license will be suspended.
Learn all about the causes of drivers license suspension and the necessary reinstatement process in the sections below.
Common Reasons for Drivers License Suspension
There are several ways that your Washington drivers license can be suspended by the Department of Licensing. These include DUI arrests, DUI convictions, reckless driving, failing to appear in court, failure to pay fines, violating insurance laws, felonies in a vehicle and an excess of driving points. In the event that you have experienced any of the aforementioned instances, you will have to complete the WA drivers license suspension requirements and pay all necessary fees before you can reinstate your license in the state of Washington.
It is important to note that there are various kinds of drivers license suspensions that you can face, and that your punishment will depend on the kind of violation you committed. If you have received six moving violations in 12 months, for example, that is cause for a 60-day suspended drivers license in WA. Your driving privileges will be suspended from 90 days to two years if you're arrested for a DUI, and 90 days to four years if you're convicted of one. In addition, you can get a 30-day drivers license suspension if you are convicted for reckless driving.
The way that Washington drivers license suspensions work is that they are typically put on probation first. If you violate your probation, then your driving documents will be suspended. Probation can be received by getting four moving violations in 12 months or five in 24 months. If you are close to this amount of points, you can keep track of your driving status by ordering your Washington driving record through the Department of Licensing.
How to Contest a Drivers License Suspension
In the event you are facing a drivers license suspension in Washington, you have the option to contest. You can ask for an administrative hearing with the Washington Department of Licensing, but you have to do so within 15 or 20 days depending on the type of suspension. A request to challenge a DUI suspension, for example, requires that you complete a hearing request form and pay a $375 hearing request fee. Additionally, in the state of Washington, you even have the chance to appeal your decision hearing. However, you will need to submit the appeal within 30 days and pay a $40 administrative fee. You can mail the payment and your notice of appeal to the following address:
Hearings and Interviews Unit
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 9048
Olympia, WA 98507-9048
How to Reinstate a Suspended Drivers License in Person
Once you have completed the drivers license suspension requirements, regardless of what your violation was, it's important that you know exactly how to reinstate your Washington drivers license. It's crucial because the necessary steps will vary depending on the reason for your suspended drivers license. Fortunately, the Washington Department of Licensing website features a way to verify exactly what you will need to do.
All that is required is that you provide your name, date of birth, drivers license number and eye color (as it appears on your Washington license). After that, you put a check next to whether or not you have a Social Security Number, and you will be told what your suspended drivers license reinstatement requirements are. In most cases, you will have to pay all of your remaining fines, show proof of insurance with SR22 and pay the driver licensing and reinstatement fee to finish the process.
Typically, you can expect to pay a driver licensing fee of $45 when you visit the local DOL office. Along with that penalty, you will have to pay a non-alcohol related suspension fine of $75 or a fine of $150 if the suspended drivers license reinstatement is for driving credentials that were taken away because of an alcohol-related offense. But these aren't the only costs you may incur if you're dealing with Washington drivers license suspension. For those that are considering the idea of getting a restricted driver license while they wait for reinstatement, the driving documentation costs $100. Probationary prosecution after a DUI costs you another $50. And finally, monthly charges for an ignition interlock device are $20. These can be paid in cash, check, money order, or credit and debit cards.
How to Obtain Restricted Drivers Licenses
In any case, while your current WA drivers license is suspended, you may still be eligible to obtain a restricted Washington driver license. You can either look into occupational/restricted driving documents (if your suspension was non-alcohol or non-drug related) or ignition interlock licenses (if your license to drive was suspended for alcohol or drug-related offenses).
In order to apply for these restricted driving licenses, you will need proof of your financial responsibility, like an SR22 from your insurance company, a completed Restricted Driver License Application, and you'll have to install an ignition interlock device on your car (if applying for IIL). Finally, you will have to pay an application fee of $100. If you are interested in doing so, you can submit your form to the Washington Department of Licensing office or you can mail it to the following address:
Restricted Driver License
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 3907 Seattle