Northwest NEWS

July 8, 2002

Local News

License fees increase

A number of vehicle and driver related fees increased July 1 to reduce inequities and bring them in line with processing costs.
   Examples include an increase in title application fees from $1.25 to $5, an increase in the driver examination fee from $7 to $9, and an increase in the fee to obtain a duplicate driver's license from $5 to $15. However, Washington fees remain low compared to other states.
   The Legislature directed the Department of Licensing to increase the fees after a study found that licensing fees fell far short of the actual cost of delivering the associated products and services.
   In addition to increasing the number of fees, Substitute Senate Bill 6814 also extends the $30 license tab fee to certain trailers that, as a result of Initiative 695 and subsequent legislation, were no longer assessed a basic license fee. It also eliminates the $3.50 fee for registering small personal use trailers, those with one axle and a gross weight of less than 2,000 pounds, and makes them subject to the annual $30 tab fee.
   The new fee structure, based on a study requested by the Senate Transportation Committee, is expected to generate an additional $36.5 million annually.
   The money will help fund the Washington State Patrol, highway maintenance, traffic safety programs, the state ferry systems and other transportation needs.
   Most of the new fees took effect July 1, but a few won't be effective until Sept. 1 and Oct. 1. More information about the fees is available on the DOL web site at www.dol.wa.gov.