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
- 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
- Leaving the scene of a collision in which you are involved, without
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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
Do not drive until you have been notified by DOL that you are authorized to
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
For More Information
Washington State Department of Transportation