State reduces paper use, saves stack taller than Space Needle

June 5, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. June 5, 2011

The state Department of Licensing has saved enough paper during the last year to amount to a stack twice as tall the 605-foot Space Needle.

Nearly 400,000 Washingtonians signed up for email car tab renewal reminders, and then used a couple of mouse clicks from home to renew.

The email reminders represent a large-scale effort by the licensing agency to reduce costs. The agency estimates sending paper renewal notices cost the state about $3.5 million per year.

Though the agency does not have any plans to stop sending car renewal reminders by mail to people not signed up for email alerts, officials stopped mailing all boat renewal reminders last year.

“We know that not everyone has e-mail, so we still have options for them, but many folks do, so we’re asking them to sign up to help us be more effective with their tax dollars,” state Licensing Director Liz Luce said in a news release.

The agency has also expanded online offerings for citizens, reducing or eliminating the need for people to travel to a driver licensing office. Statewide, about 220,000 people renewed driver’s licenses online last year, and the number of people requesting driving records or using other online services has skyrocketed in the past year.

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