Last Friday, a reader told us they’d heard that West Seattle Licenses – the longtime vehicle-licensing office at 5048 California SW – would close at year’s end. We went to the office to ask; they would not comment. Though you might think that these offices are part of the state Department of Licensing, they’re actually “sub-agents,” and their contracts are administered in this area by King County, so we contacted the county next, and were told Friday that negotiating were continuing with WS Licensing, and to check back this afternoon. We did – and tonight county spokesperson Cameron Satterfield replied with this statement:
The contract between King County and West Seattle Licensing Agency will terminate on December 31, and the agency will permanently close at the end of the business day. This only affects WSLA – other licensing subagents in King County have new contracts going into effect on January 1.
There is a process for selecting a new licensing subagent for the West Seattle area, outlined in state law. The timeline for that process is still to be determined. However, it will likely take at least couple of months to select a new subagent for West Seattle and for them to open to customers.
In the meantime, West Seattle residents can visit www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/ to renew tabs online or obtain other services. If customers prefer to do business in person, they can visit kingcounty.gov/vehicle to find another licensing location. Some nearby alternatives include:
– King County Administration Building in downtown Seattle
– Vashon Island
– Rainier Valley
The King County website has addresses and hours of operation for each location.
We don’t know yet why a new contract was not reached; Satterfield had told us last week that “some changes to the contracts [with all sub-agents were] coming into force” as of January 1st but did not elaborate. Note that this does NOT involve the driver-licensing office in Westwood – just the vehicle-licensing office south of The Junction. (Image: King County Assessor’s Office)