Washington State Driving Record

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In Washington State, your driving record is a complete history of your time on the road as a driver, since you were first licensed—you can order an official copy online from the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) or by mail for $13.
Maintaining a clean driving record is not only important for keeping your license, but it can impact other aspects of your life as well. If you ever notice a problem or inaccuracy on your driving record, take action—contact the Washington State DOL to ensure your driving record is accurate.
To keep everyone in The Evergreen State informed, the car insurance broker and comparison shopping app Jerry has put together everything you need to know about your driving record in Washington State.

What is a driving record?

Your driving record is a confidential document that contains both personal information as well as a detailed history of your time on the road. This includes records of any accidents, tickets, license suspensions, or any other driving-related infractions.

How do I access my driving record in Washington State?

If you need to access your Washington driving record, you can do so online through License eXpress. You must be a Washington State resident to order a record with this option, for $13.
In order to access an official copy of your driving record by mail, do the following:
Driver Records
Department of Licensing 
PO Box 3907 
Seattle, WA 98124-3907

Requesting a driving record for someone else

Only certain individuals or entities are permitted to purchase the driving record of another person in Washington. This includes:
  • Lawyers
  • Government, justice, or law agencies
  • Employers, prospective employers, and authorized agents
  • Insurance providers and their authorized agents
  • Transit authorities
  • Transportation Network Companies
  • Volunteer organizations
  • School districts
  • Local government, state colleges, state universities
To purchase someone else’s record online:
  • Create a business account on the Washington State DOL website
  • Pay the $13 fee
  • Print and download the driving record within 30 days of accessing it online
To purchase someone else’s driving record by mail:
Driver Records
Department of Licensing 
PO Box 3907 
Seattle, WA 98124-3907

Where else can I find my driving record in Washington?

You can request your driving record from car insurance agents or online third-party vendors. However, these routes will likely be more expensive than requesting a driving record from the DOL.

Car insurance agents

During the process of vetting you for an insurance policy, a car insurance company will have access to your driving record. You can ask them for a copy, and they will likely provide you with one. Be warned though, getting a copy of your driving record from an insurer does not constitute an official record.

Online third party vendors

If you’re in a real hurry, you can purchase a copy of your driving record from a third-party vendor online. Do know, however, that a record obtained by a third-party vendor might not be totally up to date. Be sure to ask the vendor if they can get an official record from the DOL before going this route.

What is on my driving record?

Your full Washington State driving record will show the following, available to you, attorneys, government agencies, and law and justice agencies:
  • Violations
  • Citations
  • Collisions
  • Departmental actions
  • Suspensions, revocations, disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear (FTA)
Insurance carriers get access to a specific type of driving record, which shows any of the following infractions from the past three years
  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Failures to appear (FTA)
  • Collisions
Employers, prospective employers, school districts, volunteer organizations, and their respective agents have access to another form of your driving record, which includes the following information:
  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions, revocations, disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear (FTA)
Finally, alcohol and drug treatment facilities are granted access to your driving record from the past five years. They can access this record if you are referred for treatment.
Infractions remain on your driving record for at least five years, and more severe infractions, like vehicular assault or driving under the influence, will permanently remain on your record.
Depending on the severity of the infractions, your license may be suspended or revoked. If you are vulnerable to suspension, you can attend a DOL-authorized driver awareness meeting, which may help you avoid having your driver’s license suspended.
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How can my driving record affect me?

If you drive carelessly or dangerously, or rack up multiple tickets or fines, your license can be suspended or revoked. A poor driving record can impact your life off the road as well. Your insurance premiums, credit rating, and employment prospects can all suffer if you own a spotty driving record.

Car insurance premiums

The worse your driving record is, the higher the insurance premium you’ll have to pay. Insurers label drivers with poor driving records as high-risk. Even a minor incident on your driving record can cause your insurance premiums to rise steeply—you’ll pay much higher rates than drivers with clean records will pay.

Your ability to drive

Washington State has the power to suspend or revoke your driver’s license for multiple minor driving violations that display unsafe driving practices, such as speeding or running stop signs.
For major driving violations, penalties are more severe, including immediate suspensions, revocations, or driver’s license cancellations. Such egregious violations include:
  • DUIs
  • Hit and runs
  • Failing to appear in court
  • Failure to pay traffic tickets

Your credit rating

Your driving record doesn’t directly impact your credit rating. However, if you rack up multiple speeding tickets or other fines and fail to pay them, you could be in some trouble. If a municipality or state dispatches a collection agency after you for those unpaid fines, your credit rating will take a hit.

Your employment prospects

If you’re looking to land a job and driving is a big part of it, you’d best have a clean driving record. Most employers who require their employees to drive company vehicles insist on clean driving records. If your driving record is less than stellar, you could be out of luck.
Key Takeaway Your driving record can impact much more than your ability to drive, so it’s best to keep it as clean as possible.

What is the difference between driving records in each state?

As a Washington State resident, your driving record exists right here in The Evergreen State. However, don’t think this allows you to drive recklessly in other states—it does not.
Most U.S. states, including Washington, have signed onto the Driver License Compact (DLC). This pact facilitates the sharing of data between states regarding license suspensions and driving violations. This means that if you commit a traffic infraction out of state, the state where you committed the offense will report it to Washington’s DOL, and you can be charged.

Which states don’t share driving records?

There are only five states that are not a party to the DLC. They are:
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
Still, these states can use other agreements to share information.
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