Getting your driver's license won't take as long

The next time you get your Washington state driver’s license renewed, you can leave your copy of “War and Peace” at home. The Department of Licensing announced Monday that wait times continue to drop statewide.

In April 2003, the average statewide wait time for all transactions was 8.4 minutes, and no office had an average waiting time over 20 minutes – the lowest times recorded since DOL began tracking in 1999.

“The state Legislature has made a significant investment in our program, and Washington’s citizens are beginning to reap the benefits of that investment,” explained DOL Director Fred Stephens. “The public has made it clear that they expect shorter waits in our driver licensing offices and our staff has stepped up to the challenge. As good as these statistics are, we continue to look for ways to improve them.”

DOL has a lobby management system in the 34 highest-volume drive licensing offices, representing half of the total offices.

The recorded wait time measures the time between when a customer takes a number and when they are called up to the counter.

Those planning on renewing their driver’s license or conducting other business with DOL would to well to remember that summer is typically the busiest time of the year in driver licensing offices.

April 2003 average wait times for driver licensing offices serving Pierce County are:

Tacoma – South: 10. 8 minutes
Tacoma- West: 7.6 minutes
Parkland: 7.4 minutes
Puyallup: 3.8 minutes

Improvements include the following:

– Installation of customer service booths to review documentation and answer simple questions without requiring customers to stand in line;

– Replacement of the lobby management system;

– Implementation of the 5-year driver license renewal cycle;

– Implementation of a new automated testing system;

– Issuance of the new digitized driver license; and

– Hiring of additional staff in field offices.

The Washington State Department of Licensing provides service to the 4.4 million drivers throughout the state.