• Suspended License

WA Suspended License

The reasons for license suspension in Washington can vary, depending on the violation and the record you hold. The DOL in Washington will suspend your license for an array of reasons, but most definitely and commonly for the failure to appear in traffic court for a violation, or even or a DUI/DWI related offense. The actual cause of most license suspensions in Washington is the failure to pay a traffic ticket or a DUI, and can cause long-term consequences for your driving.

When your license is suspended, you are mailed a notice of suspension from the DOL, which will tell you whether the license is suspended, revoked, or if it has been canceled, when effective, the length or term, and other information as well, including reinstatement of your license and privileges. Since all this information is sent to your home by mail, it is pertinent that the accurate address is on file with the DOL.

Losing Driving Privileges in Washington

There are different ways you can lose your license, including suspension, revocation, and cancellation.

When it comes to a Washington license suspension, the term will typically be for:

  • a period of 1 year (364 days) or less.

If your license is revoked, however, the term can be:

  • over 1 year (364 days) and can often last for quite some time.

If you get a license cancellation in Washington, which is typically due to a fraudulent license application, not completing the terms of the application, incurring suspension out-of-state, or other similar offenses, the term is permanent, or perpetual.

License Reinstatement in Washington

If you contact the driver’s license office, you can obtain information about reinstatement of a license you have lost to suspension or revocation, which you can:

Once requested, you will receive a letter by mail which details the unresolved citations, the information you need to contact the appropriate courts for resolution, and other information pertinent to reinstatement.

If you don’t even know why your license was suspended or if you have any questions about paying your traffic tickets and preventing license suspension, you can send an inquiry letter to:

            Department of Licensing
            Driver Responsibility
            P.O. Box 9030
            Olympia, WA 98507

Temporary License Restriction in Washington

Just because your license is suspended, it doesn’t mean that there is no hope for you if you have legitimate needs for transportation. If you are in need of transportation to and from your job, the DOL will provide you with an

  • Occupational/Restricted License

This is a temporary license that will only be offered to those who meet the appropriate criteria, and can take up to 10 days in order to be processed after application. You will be charged a $100 fee which is nonrefundable to complete the application, so it is essential that you are aware of whether or not you will qualify before you apply.

If the suspension of your license was because of a DUI or other related offense, you will then apply for an:

  • ID
  • ignition interlock device, which requires you test your BAC level before the vehicle will be started. This will depend on the actual circumstances of your offense.

Checking Washington License Status

If you ever need to check up on the status of your license, such as if you have let tickets get past you and aren’t sure whether your license has been suspended or revoked, you can obtain a driver’s history report from the DOL or several sites online to see what violations, incidents, and other information exists, including your license status.


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