March 1, 2013
OLYMPIA — The Department of Licensing is continuing expansion of the program that allows driver training schools and school district driver training programs across the state to conduct driver knowledge and skills testing for new driver license applicants.
As of March 18, driver knowledge and skills tests will no longer be offered in the following licensing service offices: Forks, Port Townsend, Hoquiam, Ilwaco, Shelton, Goldendale, Oroville, Coulee Dam, Republic, Clarkston, and Colville.
Previously scheduled drive tests will be honored in these offices. The Department of Licensing will continue to offer tests in areas that don’t have driver training schools nearby that offer testing.
To conduct driver tests, driver training schools must be licensed with the state or be part of a state-certified public school driver training program. They have to apply for the authority to administer driver testing, and are subject to audits and record checks.
After passing the tests, customers will go to a licensing office to obtain their license. Customers are still required to pay the driver license application fee to DOL. Driver training schools will set the fee they charge for the tests.
The program is the final phase of implementing House Bill 1635, which gives the Department authority to contract with private driver training schools, school districts and motorcycle training schools to conduct some knowledge and skills tests. The bill was passed in an effort to reduce wait times in licensing service offices.
For a list of state-approved driver training schools, go to: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/testing.html.