Monday, May 16, 2011

Lines, wait times to decrease at DOL offices

The lines at many state Department of Licensing offices are about to get shorter.

Today, Governor Gregoire signed House Bill 1635, which gives Washingtonians over six times as many locations to take the driver's license exam.

Rep. Dave Upthegrove came up the idea to allow driver training schools licensed by the DOL to administer the exam, figuring that with 200 of these schools throughout the state versus only 30 DOL offices, people would have more options besides their local licensing office. Some of these offices have notoriously long lines, resulting in hours of wasted time for customers as they wait for their number to be called.

The driving training schools will have to contract with the state, but allowing them to take over this time-consuming task frees DOL staff to focus on other areas of customer service and oversight.

Although long wait times have been a problem for years, nothing has ever been done about it until now.

"Licensing offices are the face of state government, and this change will make that face more customer-friendly," Upthegrove said.

To read this blog post in Spanish, go here.