WSR 07-01-069

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed December 18, 2006, 12:00 p.m. , effective January 18, 2007 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: Driver training school program -- Administration and enforcement, amends existing rules regarding basic requirements governing the operations and scope of traffic safety education programs that are offered by commercial businesses and licensed by the department in order to conform to recent legislation and upgrade standards. Creates new sections concerning criminal background checks and setting licensing fees.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 308-108-020, 308-108-080, 308-108-100, 308-108-110, 308-108-120, 308-108-130, 308-108-140, 308-108-150, 308-108-170, and 308-108-180.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.82.290, 46.82.310, 46.82.320, 46.82.330, and 46.82.340.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 06-12-125 on June 7, 2006.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 308-108-025 is changed to correct the fee for an instructor license renewal application to $50; WAC 308-108-080 (1)(b)(i) is changed to correct an earlier typographical error in a cite to RCW 46.61.5249; WAC 308-108-120 (4) and (5) are changed to bring the records retention period into conformance with the requirements of RCW 46.82.360 (8)(d); WAC 308-108-130 is changed to require that records be made available at branch offices within twenty-four hours following request by the department; and WAC 308-108-150(4) is being changed to restore the requirement that a course be scheduled for not less than thirty days.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 2, Amended 3, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 2, Amended 10, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: December 7, 2006.

Becky Loomis

Assistant Director

Driver Services


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-020   Definitions.   The definitions of this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) "Behind the wheel instruction" means that portion of a traffic safety education course that consists of on-street, dual-controlled vehicle operation or similar instruction given under simulated conditions that has had prior approval of the director. ((Behind the wheel instruction is characterized by driving experience.))

(2) "Branch office" or "branch classroom" means a facility within a thirty-five mile radius of a driver training school's established place of business that has been approved by the department for use by the driver training school.

(3) (("Classroom" means a space dedicated to and used exclusively by a driver training instructor for the instruction of students. With prior department approval, a branch office classroom may be located within alternative facilities, such as a public or private library, school, community college, college or university, or a business training facility.

(4) "Classroom instruction" means that portion of a traffic safety education course that is characterized by classroom-based student instruction conducted by or under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor or licensed instructors.

(5) "Driver training school" means a commercial business offering instruction in the operation of automobiles for a fee:

(a) To any person for the purpose of securing traffic safety education prior to applying for a basic driver's license; and/or

(b) For the enhancement of an experienced driver's knowledge, skill, and ability.

(6))) "Engage in a course of instruction" means to enroll in, schedule, collect a fee for, or sign an application for an instruction permit in order to attend or take part in a driver training education course.

(4) "Inactive Instructor" means an instructor with a valid Washington instructor's license who is no longer employed by or otherwise associated with a licensed driver training school.

(5) "Instructor-trainer" means a currently licensed instructor who is training driving instructors and who has not less than:

(a) ((Not less than)) One thousand hours ((or five years of previous)) of experience in providing traffic safety education in the past year; ((or))

(b) ((Not less than)) Five years of previous experience in providing traffic safety education; or

(c) One thousand hours or five years experience in the field of traffic safety((, documented)) and proof of training acceptable to the director in ((teaching training techniques to)) how to teach and train others, and not less than three hundred hours of previous experience in ((providing)) training ((to)) others.

(((7) "Owner" means a person or group that has a financial interest in a driver training school.

(8))) (6) "Records" means all documents, papers and reports required to own a driver training school, including but not limited to:

(a) Vehicle registration, title, insurance policy, and maintenance information;

(b) Business financial documents, such as franchise agreements, corporate documents, bank records, partnership agreements, lease agreements, and purchase and sale agreements; and

(c) Student classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction reports.

(7) "Student" means any person ((enrolled in a traffic safety)) attending a driver training education course ((for which a fee is paid)) who is at least fifteen years of age.

(((9) "Traffic safety education" means a course of instruction in the operation of automobiles that consists of two phases, classroom instruction and behind the wheel instruction. Each phase must meet basic course requirements established by the department.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-020, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-025   Fees.   The following fees shall be charged by the driver services division, department of licensing:


Title of Fee Fee
Driver training school license original application $500.00
Driver training school license renewal application 250.00
Driver training school license transfer 500.00
Branch office or branch classroom original application 250.00
Branch office or branch classroom renewal application 125.00
Instructor's license original application 75.00
Instructor's license renewal application 50.00
Duplicate license 10.00
Knowledge and/or skill examination 25.00

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-070   Background check and fingerprint check.   An instructor, owner, or other person affiliated with a school who has contact with students must complete a background check through the Washington state patrol criminal identification system and through the federal bureau of investigation, including a fingerprint check, as required by RCW 46.82.325(1).

(1) An applicant for an instructor's license must complete the check at the time of initial application or, for a currently licensed instructor who has not completed such check within the past five years, at the time of the next application for a license renewal.

(2) An owner must complete the check at the time of initial application for a driver training school license or, for an owner of a currently licensed school who has not completed such check within the past five years, at the time of the next application for a license renewal.

(3) A person affiliated with a school who has contact with students must complete the check at the time of initial affiliation with the school or, for a person who is currently affiliated with a school who has not completed such check within the past five years, within the sixty-days prior to the next application for a license renewal for the school. A person who must complete the check under this subsection at the time of initial affiliation with a school may begin duties following the department's notice that it has received an acceptable local criminal background check through the Washington state patrol criminal identification system, pending the outcome of the fingerprint check using the fingerprint card.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-080   Instructor's license -- Application(( -- Background check and fingerprint check)).   (1) ((Unless waived by the department under the provisions of RCW 46.82.325(3), an applicant for an instructor's license must complete a criminal background check, including a fingerprint check, at the time of initial application or, for a previously or currently licensed instructor who has not completed such check, at the time of the first re-qualification examination required under RCW 46.82.320(1) following the adoption of this rule.

(2))) To ensure that an applicant or instructor meets the conditions set out in RCW 46.82.330 (2)(a), the department shall review the complete abstract of driving record for all instructor's license ((applicant's complete abstract of driving record at the time of each initial and renewal application. For purposes of RCW 46.82.330 (3)(a))) applicants and licensed instructors. For this purpose:

(a) A moving traffic violation is an offense listed as a moving violation in WAC 308-104-160. The department will determine the number of moving traffic violations received by an applicant within a given time period based on the date(s) that the violation(s) occurred.

(b) An alcohol-related traffic violation will be deemed to have occurred if within the ((three)) seven-year period immediately preceding the time of application an alcohol-related traffic incident occurred that resulted in:

(i) A conviction or finding that a traffic infraction was committed for violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.503, 46.61.504, 46.61.519, 46.61.5195, 46.61.520 (1)(a), 46.61.522 (1)(b), or ((46.20.5249)) 46.61.5249, or a substantially similar law, administrative regulation, local law, ordinance, regulation, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state, the federal government, or any other state;

(ii) An administrative action imposed under RCW 46.20.3101;

(iii) An administrative action imposed under RCW 46.25.090 (1)(a), (b), or (e); or

(iv) Entry into a deferred prosecution agreement for an alcohol-dependency based case.

(c) A driver's license suspension, cancellation, revocation, or denial will be deemed to exist within the preceding ((three)) five years if any such suspension, cancellation, revocation, or denial has been in effect at any time within the ((three)) five-year period immediately preceding the time of application.

(((3))) (2) The instructor's license applicant must submit satisfactory evidence of completion of ((the required sixty hours of)) a course of instruction as approved by the director in the training of drivers at time of initial application.

(3) For instructor's licenses that expire on or after July 1, 2007, each application for renewal of an instructor's license must be accompanied by proof of no less than eight hours of continuing professional development as approved by the director.

(4) Application for initial or renewal of an instructor's license is not complete until the applicant passes any examination requirement for licensure under RCW 46.82.320(1) or 46.82.330 (2)(e).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-080, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-100   Place of business -- Classroom space.   (1) The place of business of a driver training school:

(a) Shall not be established nor any business of a driver training school conducted or solicited within one thousand feet of an office building owned or leased by the department of licensing in which examinations for driver's licenses are conducted. The distance of one thousand feet shall be measured along the public streets by the nearest route from the place of business to such building. If the department establishes an office in which examinations for driver's licenses are conducted within one thousand feet of a driver training school's existing location, the driver training school may continue operations in such location until there is a change in school ownership, or the license to operate is not renewed or is suspended or revoked for cause.

(b) Shall be regularly occupied and used exclusively for the business of giving driver instruction. Regularly occupied means that the public and the department can expect to make contact with the school owner or its staff or instructors at the main office during its business hours; and

(c) Shall meet all applicable requirements of chapter 46.82 RCW.

(2) A driver training school's classroom space shall:

(a) Provide sufficient seating and table or desk space for all students enrolled in each class;

(b) Be properly equipped with all other equipment necessary for student training and instruction purposes; and

(c) Use walls, partitions, or separate scheduling of classroom and office activities if the classroom shares a single space with the driver training school office in order to mitigate student distraction or disruption of the instruction.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-100, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110. 91-01-063, 308-108-100, filed 12/14/90, effective 1/14/91.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-110   Traffic safety education vehicles.   (1) All vehicles used for student instruction by a commercial driver training school shall:

(a) Carry a twenty-piece occupational safety and health act (OSHA) approved first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency strobe light or reflective triangles;

(b) Pass an annual inspection meeting minimum equipment and safety criteria established by the department that has been conducted by or for the school owner; and

(c) Be used exclusively for driver training purposes at all times when student instruction is being given.

(2) Records of all traffic safety education vehicles used by a commercial driver training school shall:

(a) Be maintained at the school's primary place of business; and

(b) Include the original insurance policy or policies covering the vehicles and copies of the current vehicle registrations and annual vehicle safety inspection report.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-110, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-120   Administration.   (1) The driver training school's license and all instructor certificates shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the location where instruction takes place. The school license must be posted before((:

(a) Enrolling any students in a course of instruction;

(b) Issuing a verification of enrollment to any student; and

(c) Any classroom or behind the wheel instruction begins)) engaging students in a course of instruction.

(2) Each driver training school shall adopt and provide for its customers a written policy that includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Enrollment criteria;

(b) Student fees and student fee refunds;

(c) Course failures and course repeats; ((and))

(d) The minimum and maximum course duration;

(e) Refusing to allow a student to attend a driver training education course before the age of fifteen years;

(f) Refusing to enroll new students in a driver education course after the first three classes have been completed; and

(g) Information about Washington's intermediate licensing requirements, restrictions, and penalties.

(3) Driver training school owners and instructors shall maintain individual student records on forms provided by the department or on substantially similar forms that have been approved by the department. Student records shall document for each student:

(a) Course attendance, starting, and ending dates;

(b) ((Instruction starting and ending)) The dates and times for each session of classroom and behind the wheel instruction;

(c) Classroom and behind the wheel progress and time involvement or flowchart;

(d) Classroom and behind the wheel performance evaluation results; ((and))

(e) The name and signature of the instructor who provided each session of classroom and behind the wheel ((training session in which the student participated)) instruction; and

(f) That both the student and parent received intermediate license requirements, restriction, and penalty information.

(4) Student records must be maintained by a driver training school for the past five years from the date instruction has ended.

(5) Driver training school records that must be maintained by a driver training school for the past five years, ((including)) include but are not limited to:

(a) The school's written curriculum guide((,));

(b) Insurance policies((,));

(c) Collision or injury reports((,));

(d) Traffic safety education vehicle registration records((,)); and

(e) Records of any traffic violations committed by an instructor employed by the school((, must be maintained by a driver training school for the past three years)).

(6) Upon the sale or other transfer of a school by its owner, the school and student records shall be transferred to the new owner and become the property and responsibility of the new owner.

(7) The driving school owner must notify the department within thirty days of closing the school and submit all unused traffic safety certificates and student course completion reports to the department.

(8) Class size must not exceed city fire code requirements for the classroom.

(9) Traffic safety education classroom hours shall not overlap between two or more classes.

(10) Failure to renew a school license before it expires will put all related branch office or branch classroom licenses into an inactive status.

(11) Student records are subject to department audit and inspection anytime after ninety days of the school's initial licensing, or as soon as practicable for the department.

(12) Branch office or classroom locations must display an official license issued by the department in a conspicuous place.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-120, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-130   Inspection and review.   (1) The department may require that a driver training school owner submit to an inspection or review of the school's operations and records at any time during regular business hours.

(2) Records shall be housed and immediately available for inspection at a driver training school's primary place of business. Branch office records ((not immediately available for inspection)) may be housed at the primary place of business, however, such records must be made available for inspection at the branch location within ((forty-eight)) twenty-four hours following a request for review by the department.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-130, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-140   Reporting requirements.   All driver training school owners shall:

(1) Report to the department within ((thirty)) ten days any driving or traffic-related incidents involving an instructor employed by the school, including but not limited to:

(a) Conviction for a traffic violation;

(b) Finding that a traffic infraction has been committed;

(c) Entry into a deferred prosecution agreement; or

(d) Suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of driving privileges.

(2) Report to the department within twenty-four hours following any traffic safety education vehicle involved in a traffic collision for which an accident report must be or has been made under the provisions of RCW 46.52.030.

(3) Forward to the department by the seventh day of each month, a ((monthly)) report of student enrollment in traffic safety education courses provided by the school, including but not limited to:

(a) The start date and end date of any courses provided by the school that are initiated during the reporting period, including the total number of students enrolled in each course;

(b) The names and certificate numbers of all instructors providing classroom and/or behind the wheel instruction for each course;

(c) The names and instruction permit or driver's license numbers or dates of birth of all students enrolled in each course, along with the identifying number of the traffic safety education certificate reserved for each student for issuance upon successful completion of the course.

(4) Not less than annually, forward to the department a vehicle inspection report ((of the annual inspection of each traffic safety education vehicle conducted)) as required under WAC 308-108-110 (1)(b)((. The driver training school owner must maintain a copy of the report in the school's records)) for all traffic safety education vehicles in use by the school.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-140, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-150   Curriculum schedule.   A driver training school may offer classroom and behind the wheel instruction to students throughout the year. In order to be approved by the director, a curriculum schedule must satisfy or include the following requirements:

(1) Classroom and behind the wheel instruction ((must be)) that is complementary. This means that classroom instruction is ((augmented)) integrated in a timely manner ((by)) with behind the wheel instruction((.));

(2) Having students under age eighteen ((shall)) complete no more than two hours of classroom instruction and no more than one hour of behind the wheel instruction during any single day((.));

(3) For ((purposes of meeting)) students under the age of eighteen to meet the traffic safety education requirement of RCW 46.20.100, instruction ((for students under the age of eighteen must)) that:

(a) ((Include)) Includes not less than thirty hours of classroom instruction; and

(b) ((Meet)) Meets the behind the wheel instruction and observation requirements of WAC 308-108-160((.));

(4) Classroom and behind the wheel instruction ((must be provided)) in a course that is scheduled for not less than thirty days and not more than twenty-six contiguous weeks in length((.));

(5) Student enrollment in ((a class may be open for)) and attendance of classes no later than the third class session after the start date of ((a traffic safety education)) the course. Once enrollment is closed, no new students may be enrolled in that traffic safety education course or participate in the classroom instruction or behind the wheel instruction and observation for that course;

(6) Arrangements for any missed classroom sessions to be made up within the maximum twenty-six week length of the course. All assignments and instruction must be equivalent to the instruction given during the missed sessions;

(7) Distributing to students instructional material developed by the department and the federally designated organ procurement organization for Washington state relating to organ and tissue donation awareness education; and

(8) Review and approval of the local school curriculum by the department as part of the initial application for a school license. To help ensure that minimum standards of instruction are met, the local school curriculum must include but is not limited to the following:

(a) Comprehensive elements of classroom and behind the wheel instruction as defined by the department;

(b) Comprehensive written and behind the wheel examinations, to include:

(i) Written examinations as submitted to and approved by the department; and

(ii) Behind the wheel examination criteria as approved by the department;

(c) A flow chart that indicates how the classroom and behind the wheel instruction are integrated; and

(d) Information on the state of Washington's intermediate license requirements, restrictions, violations, and sanctions for violation of these requirements.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-150, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-170   Ensuring student accomplishment.   (1) Each driver training school must have a written curriculum guide available to each instructor and such guide shall be used for student instruction.

(2) ((At a minimum)) In order to receive a traffic safety education certificate, all students under the age of eighteen must ((receive)) satisfactorily complete all portions of the course of instruction ((according to)) included in the student curriculum as approved by the driver instructors' advisory committee.

(3) In order to satisfactorily complete a school's driver training course, all students under the age of eighteen must pass a comprehensive driving knowledge and skills test or tests meeting standards established by the department.

(4) Each driver training school must assess the needs and progress of students and give appropriate direction for additional driving experience and/or parent guided practice.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-170, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-16-061, filed 7/29/05)

WAC 308-108-180   Disciplinary action(( -- Term of license denial, suspension, or revocation)) -- Public notice of actions taken.   (1) Licensee responsibilities:

(a) School owners and instructors are responsible for knowing and complying with the requirements of chapter 46.82 RCW and rules promulgated under that chapter.

(b) Any failure to comply with these requirements may lead to disciplinary action affecting an applicant's or licensee's privileges to be licensed or to otherwise operate a commercial driver training school and/or to provide classroom and behind the wheel instruction.

(2) ((For purposes of consistently administering RCW 46.82.350 and 46.82.360, the department will use the following guidelines for determining the length of license denial, suspension, or revocation of a driver training school or instructor:

(a) Permanent revocation or denial of a license for conviction of a sexual offense involving a minor;

(b) Revocation or denial of a license for ten years for conviction of a felony, when the felony is related to the activity for which the person is seeking licensure;

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2)(a) and (2)(b) of this section, revocation or denial of a license for one year for conviction of a felony, crime of violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy, or moral turpitude;

(d) Revocation or denial of a license for one year for:

(i) Falsification, fraud, or deceit in connection with an original or renewal license or application;

(ii) Fraudulent business practices;

(iii) Fraud or inducement to commit fraud in order to obtain a driver's license; or

(iv) Failure to secure and maintain liability insurance;

(e) Suspension or denial of a license for not less than one hundred eighty days nor more than one year for:

(i) Allowing or conducting unlicensed classroom or behind the wheel instruction, except when under the direct supervision and in the presence of an approved instructor-trainer.

(ii) Failing to satisfactorily adhere to and utilize all required classroom and behind the wheel concepts;

(iii) Failing to maintain or submit student and school records as required by the department; or

(iv) Failing to submit to an inspection or technical assistance visit by the department;

(f) Suspension or denial of a license for ninety days for:

(i) Violating vehicle equipment and signage requirements;

(ii) Instructing a student who is not in possession of a valid instruction permit or driver's license;

(iii) Prohibited advertising;

(iv) Doing business or providing instruction in a prohibited or unlicensed location; or

(v) Instructing or training on a department of licensing driver license testing route;

(g) Suspension or denial of a license for no more than thirty days:

(i) For failing to display the school or instructor license or licenses, or the required minimum curriculum; or

(ii) For failing to satisfy the other conditions of these rules or of chapter 46.82 RCW.

(3) The department may stay all or any portion of the period of a license revocation, suspension, or denial for causes specified in subsections (2)(b), (2)(c), (2)(d), (2)(e), (2)(f), or (2)(g) of this section, subject to such terms and conditions as shall be deemed by the department to be appropriate.

(4))) The original or a facsimile of each final order imposing disciplinary action that is issued to a driver training school or any of its instructors by the department shall be conspicuously displayed immediately adjacent to the driver training school's license. The final order shall be displayed for not less than the duration of the sanction period plus the next sixty days or for one year, whichever is less.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290. 05-16-061, 308-108-180, filed 7/29/05, effective 8/29/05.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office