Washington law
5:16 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Suspended drivers given help to get back on the road, legally

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Nearly 300,000 Washington drivers currently have suspended licenses because they failed to pay their traffic tickets. The Department of Licensing on Monday introduced a new tool to help them get their licenses back.

It's an on-line portal where suspended drivers can look up their record and find out what's holding up their license. You can't use it to pay off tickets but it will direct suspended drivers to the courts where they owe money.

Tony Sermonti is with the Washington Department of Licensing. He says the agency doesn't know how many suspended drivers continue to get behind the wheel.

"But clearly many of those folks choose to break the law and to drive," Sermonti says. "What we want to do is to encourage those folks – everyone with suspended licenses – to get your license back legally, take responsibility, take care of your responsibilities and be a safe driver."

Sermonti notes all drivers have a stake in this issue: If an unlicensed driver hits you, chances are that driver also doesn't have insurance.

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