Published June 27, 2009
Getting settled: The basics for becoming a residentThe Olympian
DRIVER’S LICENSE Drivers must apply for a license within 30 days of becoming a resident – which is accomplished by establishing a permanent home in the state, registering to vote, receiving state benefits, applying for any state license or seeking in-state tuition fees. When applying for a driver’s license, vision and color recognition tests are required. If your previous license is expired, you might be required to take a written and driving test. If you move from another state and apply for a Washington license, you must bring two valid documents proving age and identity and your current license. You also should bring cash or a personal check to pay the $45 license fee, which includes the $20 application and $25 license. An additional $20 is paid for each expired application or test failure. In Thurston County: Driver’s licensing examinations are in Lacey at 645 Woodland Square Loop S.E. The phone number is 360-459-6754. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. In Mason County: Driver’s licensing examinations are in Shelton at 2511 N. Olympic Highway, Suite 100. The phone number is 360-427-2165. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. In Pierce County: Examinations are at the Tacoma Licensing Service Office, 6402 S. Yakima Ave. Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98408-4514. The phone number is 253-593-2990. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. On the Web: Find other locations at www.dol.wa.gov. VEHICLE REGISTRATION New residents must license their vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency. To register vehicles, bring the title and registration. If a lien holder holds the title, supply a fax or photocopy of the title being held by the lien holder, or a letter from the out-of-state Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, bring cash or check for the license fee. The basic license fee for most passenger vehicles is $30. Boats must be registered within 60 days of the owner becoming a resident. Boats must be registered unless they are less than 16 feet long and have a motor capacity of 10 horsepower. Boats used on federal or navigable waters, no matter the size, must be registered. In Thurston County: There are 10 places in Thurston County where vehicles can be registered, including the state Department of Licensing at 1125 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Call 360-902-3770. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. In Mason County: There are three places in Mason County where vehicles can be registered, including Mason County Auditor Auto License at 411 N. Fifth St., Shelton. The phone number is 360-427-9670, ext. 466. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In Pierce County: There are 11 places to register vehicles in Pierce County, including Lakewood Vehicle/Vessel Licensing Agency at 10102-A Bristol Ave. S.W., Lakewood, WA 98499. The phone number is 253-588-7786. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. On the Web: For a complete list of licensing offices in Thurston and Mason counties, go to www.dol.wa.gov. For Pierce County, go to www.co.pierce.wa.us, go to “Services” and click on “Auditor.” UTILITIES Puget Sound Energy: General inquiries: 888-225-5773. PSE customer service hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Business offices are at 2711 Pacific Ave. S.E., Olympia. There are 10 pay stations in Thurston County, including Ace Cash Express stores, 3530 Pacific Ave. S.E. and 400 Cooper Point Road No. 14 in Olympia; Bailey’s IGA, 10333 U.S. Highway 12 S.W. in Rochester; Hedden’s Pharmacy, 196 W. Sussex Street in Tenino; Las Palmas Jarochas, 909 Sleater-Kinney Road No. 5 in Lacey; Lyon Electronics (Radio Shack), 1010 Algiers Drive S.E., Suite A, in Yelm; Mega Foods, 700 Trosper Road S.W. in Tumwater; Paycheck, 1905 Fourth Ave. in Olympia; and Falcone’s, 1900 Harrison Ave. N.W. in Olympia. Go online to www.pse.com. Qwest: In-home service: 800-475-7526 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residential repairs: 800-573-1311. Qwest Solutions Center, Westfield Capital mall, 625 Black Lake Blvd. S.W. in Olympia. Store hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 360-786-0190. Go to qwest.com. Comcast Cable Services: General customer service: 888-266-2278. Business offices are at 440 Yauger Way S.W., Olympia. 877-824-2288. Local retail locations include Circuit City, 2815 Capital Mall Drive S.W. in Olympia; and Best Buy Olympia, 625 Black Lake Blvd. S.W., Olympia. Go to comcast.com. City of DuPont: Questions about water service can be directed to City Hall at 253-964-8121. For questions about sewer service, those living in the historic district can call City Hall as well. Those living outside of the historic district can call Pierce County sewer services at 253-798-4050. Public Works also can be contacted at 253-798-4050. For emergencies after 5 p.m., call 253-912-5389. City of Lacey: Water, sewer and stormwater billing: 360-491-5616. Maintenance and operations: 360-491-5644. Any public works emergency, including streets, after 5 p.m. or on weekends: 360-704-2740. Services available at City Hall include voter registration, police reports, building permits, animal licensing, bus tickets and passes, recreation registration, and notary public. City Hall is at 420 College St., S.E. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers may deposit checks or money orders for utility bills, assessments, business and occupation tax, or traffic citations at any time in the night depository in front of City Hall. City of Olympia: Water, sewer, stormwater or garbage-recycling billing and service: 360-753-8340. For after-hours emergency city utility service (after 5 p.m. and on weekends/holidays, call 360-753-8333. City of Shelton: Water, sewer and garbage billing service: 360-426-4491. Maintenance and operations or regarding streets: 360-426-9731. City of Tumwater: Water, sewer and stormwater billing and service: 360-754-4133. Maintenance and operations, and for weekend and emergency service: 360-754-4150. Underground utility location assistance: 800-424-5555. SCHOOL ENROLLMENT New students are required by state law to provide a birth certificate or other accepted proof of birth date, and immunization records. Clover Park School District: (for DuPont) Administration office is at 10903 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W., Lakewood. 253-583-5000. North Thurston Public Schools: Administration office is at 305 College St. N.E., Lacey. 360-412-4400. Olympia School District: Administration office is at 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia. 360-596-6100. Tumwater School District: Administration office is at 621 Linwood Ave. S.W., Tumwater. 360-709-7000. Steilacoom Historical School District: (for DuPont) Administration office is at 510 Chambers St., Steilacoom. 253-983-2200. VOTER REGISTRATION You can register by mail at least 30 days before an election. But, by state law, when it is 15 to 29 days before an election, you must register in person at the local elections office. You must complete a voter-registration form if you are registering for the first time in Washington or if you have moved to a new county, and provide valid ID. You are offered a chance to register when getting a state driver’s license. In Washington, you do not have to register by political party or declare political party membership. In Thurston County: Thurston County Auditor, 2000 Lakeridge Drive S.W., Olympia. 360-786-5408. In Mason County: Mason County Auditor’s Office, 411 N. Fifth St., Shelton. 360-427-9670, Ext 469. In Pierce County: Pierce County Election Department, 2501 S. 35th St., Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98409; 253-798-7430 or 800-446-4979.