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Washington State Auto Driving Laws

Keeping Your Driver License

In order to keep your driver license, you must drive safely and obey Washington State driving law at all times.

You can lose your license for the following violations of Washington traffic laws:

  • Driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
  • Refusing to be tested for alcohol or drugs if you are asked to do so by a police officer,
  • Leaving the scene of a collision in which you are involved, without identifying yourself,
  • Giving false information when you apply for a license,
  • Being involved in a collision if you are uninsured. An uninsured driver involved in a collision can have their license suspended for up to three years. In addition, failing to settle a civil court judgment resulting from the collision can result in a suspension for 13 or more years if the driver fails to make restitution,
  • Failing to appear for a reexamination when requested to do so by the Department of Licensing,
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or causing the death of someone in a motor vehicle collision,
  • Having too many moving traffic violations on your driving record (Habitual Traffic Offender),
  • Reckless driving or reckless endangerment of a roadway worker,
  • Racing, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide,
  • Eluding a police vehicle,
  • Leaving a gas station without paying for your fuel,
  • Failing to appear or respond to a traffic citation or Notice of Infraction,
  • Driving while your license is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or denied,
  • Carrying a license that has a fictitious name, incorrect information, or fraudulent alterations,
  • Lending a license to another person or using another person's license, or
  • Using a driver license issued by another state while your Washington license is suspended.
  • Two or more traffic offenses if driving on an intermediate license,
  • Manufacturing, selling, or delivering a forged, fictitious, counterfeit, altered, blank, or unlawfully issued driver license or identification card.

Failure to Appear

Failure to Appear (FTA) is the most common reason for license suspension. FTA is failure to appear, comply with, respond to, or pay a traffic infraction or criminal citation.

If you are cited by a law enforcement officer, the back of the ticket provides information on how to comply.

In accordance with Washington State driving law, if the court does not receive payment or a request for a hearing within 15 days from the date you are issued a ticket, the court notifies the Department of Licensing (DOL) and a Suspension Order is issued.

Under Washington State driving law, you will have 30 days from the date the suspension is issued to comply or your driving privilege will be suspended.

Arrangements should be made with the court to respond to the ticket as soon as possible. Courts may set up time payments for the fine and/or may reduce fines.

Under Washington State driving law, the suspension for failing to comply with the ticket is ten years or until the court authorizes reinstatement. The court will notify DOL when the matter is resolved and DOL will release the suspension.

Do not drive until you have been notified by DOL that you are authorized to do so.

In accordance with Washington State driving law, if you are caught driving while suspended you are subject to arrest and your vehicle may be impounded.

Under Washington State driving law, there is a $20 reissue fee in addition to any other licensing fees. If the FTA is alcohol-related, the reissue fee is $150.

For More Information

Washington State Department of Transportation

(Source: StateDrivingLaw.com)


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