State's online transactions on rise

Washington State Department of Licensing

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The Washington State Department of Licensing has added several new items

to the transactions that can be completed online, including replacing lost

or stolen driver's licenses, identification cards or instruction permits.

This service will be available only to current holders of Washington's

digital driver license, for whom a digitized photo and signature are already

on file. That, plus the use of name, date of birth, the last five digits

of a Social Security number, ZIP code and credit card number should be enough

to provide authentication that applicants are who they say they are, said

Mark Varadian, a DOL spokesman.

Also, the replacement license can only be sent to the applicant's last

address of record.

"This was put in place around a month ago, but we made it a soft launch

because we wanted to make sure it was up and running first before we had

to handle any spike in transactions," Varadian said. "But we are past that

point now and in full production."

Another new service allows people charged with driving under the influence

(DUI) to schedule hearings and pay the relevant $100 fee online.

Since December 2000, when the first online services were launched, to

July of this year, the DOL had logged more than 360,000 online transactions,

Varadian said, the majority of which were renewal of car registrations.

Online transactions are still only a small percentage of the overall

volume of transactions the DOL handles, he said, though they have been increasing

over recent months as concerns over such things as online security for transactions

have lessened.

Other online services include vehicle and boat registrations, and state

business registrations.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached

at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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