Washington state bills cover OOS violations, license renewals

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 2/2/2012

Washington state lawmakers are considering multiple bills of interest to truck drivers.

One legislative effort is aimed at getting tough with “the worst of the worst” trucking operations that do not heed out-of-service orders. Another effort would extend by one year how long most driver’s licenses are valid.

House and Senate lawmakers are pushing legislation to authorize law enforcement to confiscate license plates from motor carriers that continue to operate with a revoked registration.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill – SB6206 – to require the Washington State Patrol, city police and county sheriffs’ deputies to take plates off trucks in operation while the vehicle registration is revoked, suspended or canceled. The authority to pull plates would apply to trucks and tractors.

Law enforcement would be instructed to recycle or destroy plates on all vehicles in an affected fleet.

“It’s a good commonsense bill. We don’t want these guys out there driving if their license has been revoked or suspended,” Sen. Tracy Eide, D-Federal Way, told lawmakers before the committee vote.

SB6206 is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor. The companion bill – HB2459 – is on its way to the House floor.

A separate initiative would lengthen the time period between license renewal periods. The proposed change would affect commercial and personal licensing.

Washington state now requires licenses to be renewed every five years. Multiple bills at the statehouse would increase the time period to six years.

Expiration dates for hazmat endorsements would remain unchanged to remain in compliance with federal rules.

The Department of Labor would issue eligible drivers an extension of their license expiration varying from one to six years to help evenly distribute the yearly renewal rate.

Licensing fees for truck drivers would increase from $61 to $73.20. Personal licensing fees would be raised from $25 to $30.

Three bills to address license renewals are in committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Washington, click here.

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