Some drivers could see new tab fee next year

June 3, 2014

OLYMPIA — Some Washington drivers could see a new fee added to their vehicle-tab transactions starting next year.

Both the Senate and House agreed on a bill that would add a $5 fee for vehicle-registration renewals and purchases and a $12 fee for title transactions through public offices.

The money generated by the new fees would pay for a third 144-car ferry.

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Time to upgrade your ‘farkle’

March 11, 2014

As spring arrives, this old man’s heart turns once again to motorcycles and getting ready for yet another riding season, which means deciding what “farkle” (a combination of function and sparkle) to upgrade, add or delete.

As I was upgrading my hand guards and the power outlet, to better accommodate my GPS and cellphone charger, a neighbor stopped by.

Joe Grove Press proofreader

Joe Grove
Press proofreader

“How do you know what kind of motorcycle to buy?” he asked.

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Department of Licensing streamlines driver’s license process

November 20, 2012

The state Department of Licensing recently rolled out a secure service, License Express, for motorists to manage driver’s and vehicle licenses online.

License Express allows motorists to complete the most common license transactions, such as renewals and address changes.

Department of Licensing customers can find more information about the service and sign up at www.dol.wa.gov.

For bridge toll violators, penalty is vehicle registration hold

October 2, 2012

The state Department of Licensing placed holds on registration renewals for about 7,900 vehicles after owners ignored notices for unpaid bridge tolls.

Violators should start to receive notices about unpaid tolls and registration holds in the days ahead. Department of Licensing officials said violators cannot renew registrations until they pay all tolls, accrued fees and penalties.

The holds affect toll violators on the state Route 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges.

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Department of Licensing increases fees Oct. 1

September 25, 2012

Motorists should prepare for increased driver and vehicle fees from the state Department of Licensing soon.

Starting Oct. 1, the agency is enacting a series of increases authorized by state legislators. Officials said the hikes should help offset operation and maintenance costs for roads, bridges, ferries and other transportation infrastructure.

The fee to receive a driver’s license or state identification card, or to renew a license or ID card, rises from $25 to $45. The revision increases the commercial driver’s license fee from $61 to $85.

Registration fees also increase Oct. 1. The cost for a certificate of ownership application, for instance, rises from $5 to $15.

Find a complete list of fees at the Department of Licensing website, www.dol.wa.gov.

For bridge toll violators, penalty is vehicle registration hold

September 18, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 18, 2012

The state Department of Licensing placed holds on registration renewals for about 7,900 vehicles, after owners ignored notices for unpaid bridge tolls.

Violators should start to receive notices about unpaid tolls and registration holds in the days ahead. Department of Licensing officials said violators cannot renew registrations until they pay all tolls, accrued fees and penalties.

The holds affect toll violators on the state Route 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges.

Owners with registrations set expire in December should receive the initial renewal notices from the Department of Licensing with holds resulting from unpaid civil penalties.

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State launches summer motorcycle safety campaign

June 26, 2012

The state Department of Licensing launched a safety outreach campaign last month to reduce motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities throughout the summer.

The agency’s “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaign is geared to reach millions of motorists across the state and motorcycle owners.

Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of motorcycles’ smaller size and profile. Motorists should take extra time to be aware of what’s around them.

Since 2008, the number of other drivers failing to yield the right of way to motorcyclists has dropped by about 20 percent, according to collision data compiled by the state Department of Transportation.

The top three rider causes of motorcycle crashes rank as alcohol or drug impairment, improper lane position and speeding.

To legally operate a motorcycle on Washington roads, a rider must have a driver’s license endorsement — or his or her bike could be impounded even after a simple traffic stop. The licensing agency offers information for unendorsed riders at www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motorcycles.html.

Deadline for renewing boat, watercraft decals is June 30

June 26, 2012

NEW — June 26, 2012

Independence Day is not far off, and state officials expect boaters and watercraft users to flock to Lake Sammamish and other waterways in the days ahead.

But before boaters set sail, owners should remember to renew boat and watercraft registrations. In Washington, all boat registrations expire June 30.

Renew registrations at the state Department of Licensing website or in person at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office. For owners planning to renew in person, note the registration number on the watercraft’s bow and take the information to the office.

Due to budget cuts, the agency discontinued paper renewal notices for boats in 2010 and instead offered boat owners the opportunity to sign up to receive email renewal reminders.

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Substitute bus driver, a former teacher, arrested for child porn

May 15, 2012

Andrew Rekdahl

Issaquah School District and Eastside Catholic High School officials sought to reassure parents and students May 11 after federal agents arrested a substitute bus driver for the Issaquah district and former Eastside Catholic teacher for possession of child pornography.

Andrew Bernard Rekdahl, 29, faces child pornography charges after federal prosecutors said the Carnation resident shared explicit images and videos of boys online from his home computer.

Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Rekdahl at a school district facility May 10 after a monthslong sting operation.

Federal prosecutors charged him with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Rekdahl served as a substitute bus driver for more than a dozen routes throughout the school district between Nov. 14 and May 10 and as a science teacher at Eastside Catholic in Sammamish from 2005 to June 2010.

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County transit charge appears on vehicle tab renewals

May 15, 2012

Motorists in the process of renewing vehicle license tabs should notice a $20 charge authorized by the state Legislature and enacted by the King County Council last year.

The fee, billed as a Congestion Reduction Charge, is meant to prevent cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service. The county starts collecting the fee on June renewals sent out by the state Department of Licensing. The charge remains in effect until May 2014.

The renewal forms also include information for motorists to obtain tickets for eight free ride tickets on Metro Transit. The ticket incentive program is designed to build ridership.

Motorists must fill out a request form in order to receive the tickets. The value of the tickets also can be donated to a fund to support low-income residents relying on bus service.

Find information about the ticket incentive program and eligibility requirements at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/tip. Learn about the Congestion Reduction Charge at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/crc

Officials estimated the charge should generate about $50 million for transit service.

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