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License fees increase on Monday

Increases include renewals, license plates

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Judy Warnick

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 9:00 am

OLYMPIA - Driver's licenses start costing more on Monday.

The increases were approved during the 2012 Legislative session and include a $20 increase for renewing, a $25 increase for identification cards and a $15 increase for driver license applications and examinations.

Brad Benfield, a Department of Licensing spokesman, said the Legislature was looking at a way to fund the operation and maintenance of the transportation system.

"They had a budget gap they needed to work on and this looked like a way to take care of that," he said. "It is going to be related to the operation and maintenance of our vital transportation system."

The increases will raise $60.3 million for the current biennium, which lasts until the middle of 2013. For the 2013 to 2015 biennium, it's expected to raise $186.5 million.

The increases came from Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6150 and Engrossed House Bill 2660, according to records.

The house bill report stated 21 percent of the funding for statewide transportation comes from licenses, permits and fees.

Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, explained she opposed the bill, saying the maintenance is important, but a significant amount of the money is going to fund public transit projects in Western Washington. The users of public transit aren't having to pay the increased fees.

  • Driver's licenses are increasing from $25 to $45. The costs include new licenses and renewing licenses.
  • Identification cards are increasing from $20 to $45. The costs include new cards and renewing licenses.
  • Commercial driver's licenses are increasing from $61 to $85. The costs include new licenses and renewing licenses.
  • Driver's license applications and examinations are increasing from $20 to $35.
  • Duplicate driver's licenses or identifications are increasing from $15 to $20.
  • Abstract of a driver's record is increasing from $10 to $13.
  • Driving under the influence hearings are increasing from $200 to $375.
  • Title applications are increasing from $5 to $15.
  • The original issue of a license plate is increasing to $10.
  • The original issue of a motorcycle license place is increasing to $4.
  • Motorcycle replacement plates are increasing from $2 to $4.
  • Late title transfer penalties are increasing from a range of $25 to $100 to a range of $50 to $125.

As part of the change to licenses fees, the Legislature also tied the cost of a license to the amount of years the license is issued for, Benfield explained. For example, a driver's license costs $9 a year for the five years it's valid.

DOL is implementing a six-year license in 2013. The cost per year won't change, but the price paid when renewing or getting a license or identification card will increase by $9 for most cards or licenses and by $17 for commercial driver licenses.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Aristotle posted at 9:02 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Aristotle Posts: 280

    I think we can tax, borrow, and spend our way to prosperity.What ever happened to that $500 Million Tire plant in Ephrata? Lets have the City of Ephrata float bonds and buy the closing KATANA Windpower plant,
    and save those jobs. Maybe we can start a 2nd Internet Server Farm, despite the developers looking at Ephrata and Moses Lake, and opting for Quincy.

  • K McLeod posted at 8:02 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    K McLeod Posts: 293

    I say pile it on and keep doing so. Don't live with less, just keep raising those taxes and fees.

    Hopefully people will get mad as h #ll and actually wake up to what is going on around them.

  • Taro Tanaka posted at 3:13 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    Taro Tanaka Posts: 12

    I find it odd that, if you go to the dol website, all the fees for DUI related expenses, interlock licenses, etc. are unchanged. So while the lawabiding citizens get hit with MORE fees and expenses, the DUI-getting scum get no extra fees.

  • Just Me posted at 1:56 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    Just Me Posts: 11

    Or... maybe the voters could keep themselves educated, and know what is going on. Could also be thankful that the paper put the information out at all.

  • Beelzebub posted at 11:36 am on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    Beelzebub Posts: 118

    These taxes were passed months ago, and taxpayers only learn about it in newspapers days before they take effect. Apparently our state elected officials have been too busy fund raising for re-election to be concerned with what the taxpayers think. My strategy will be to vote against all incumbents.