WSR 12-17-059

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed August 10, 2012, 1:34 p.m. , effective September 10, 2012 ]


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

Purpose: To create guidelines for driver training schools (DTS) to administer knowledge and driving examinations. By creating rules there will be a clear understanding of the requirements to administer examinations. This will establish procedures to be in compliance with the terms of the agreements between the department of licensing and DTS. The anticipated effect will be that wait times in the LSOs will be reduced and provide customers the flexibility to obtain a license examination at a DTS.

Creates new chapter 308-110 WAC, to define terms, set requirements for the establishment of agreements to administer knowledge and skills tests, set standards for the administration of examinations and examiners, set record-keeping requirements, provides for inspections and audits, and imposes sanctions for violations. Makes a conforming amendment related to classroom use in WAC 308-108-100 and clarifies language in that section.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 308-108-100.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.01.110, 46.82.450.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 12-12-073 on June 6, 2012.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 6, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 6, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: August 10, 2012.

Damon Monroe

Rules Coordinator

Chapter 308-110 WAC

Administration of Knowledge and Skills Testing by Driver Training Schools


NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-010   Definitions.   As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the term:

(1) "Agreement" means a written agreement entered into between the department and a school for the purposes of RCW 46.82.450.

(2) "Applicant" means a person taking an examination administered by an examiner to qualify for a Washington driver's license.

(3) "Examinations" mean the tests that meet the department's criteria to assess an applicant's knowledge and skills to operate a motor vehicle.

(4) "Examiner" means a driver training instructor licensed under chapter 46.82 RCW, who has been approved by the department as meeting department qualifications, education, and training standards for administering examinations.

(5) "Knowledge test" means a written or electronically delivered test that measures the applicant's knowledge of traffic laws and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

(6) "School" means a driver training school licensed under chapter 46.82 RCW.

(7) "Skills test" means a demonstration of behind-the-wheel driving that measures the applicant's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle on the roadways without endangering the public or property.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-020   Agreements -- Establishment -- Requirements.   The department may enter into an agreement to conduct examinations with a school that:

(1) Is currently licensed under chapter 46.82 RCW to provide driver training instruction;

(2) Complies with chapters 18.235 and 46.82 RCW and regulations adopted under those chapters;

(3) Has submitted a request to enter into an agreement on a form or in a format prescribed by the department; and

(4) Has provided to the department:

(a) A list of examiners the school intends to use to administer examinations;

(b) A description of the school's examination practices that includes, but may not be limited to, a school's skills test route(s) and test starting point(s);

(c) A summary of the school's schedule for administering examinations;

(d) A school's knowledge test questions; and

(e) Any other information as may be required by the department.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-030   Administration of examinations.   (1) Schools and examiners must conduct skills tests using routes that meet department standards.

(2) Knowledge test questions must be supplied by the department or meet department criteria.

(3) Knowledge tests must be conducted in an area separate from classroom instruction or when a class is not in session, minimizing distractions or interactions.

(4) Examinations must be conducted by examiners.

(5) Knowledge test results may be used to obtain a driver license for no more than two years from the date of completion.

(6) Skills test results may be used to obtain a driver license for no more than one year from the date of completion.

(7) In accordance with the department's guidelines, schools must refer to the department for testing any applicant who has a condition that may impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

(8) Prior to administering the knowledge and skills tests, schools must ensure that applicants are at least fifteen years of age. When the applicant is less than eighteen years of age, the applicant must have successfully completed a traffic safety education course.

(9) Prior to administering the skills test, schools will ensure that applicants are properly informed regarding testing requirements and their test results. Schools must also inform applicants of the school's current retesting, refund, and grievance policies and procedures.

(10) Applicants must possess one of the following to participate in the skills testing portion of the examination:

(a) A Washington instruction permit issued under RCW 46.20.055;

(b) A temporary authorization to drive issued on a form prescribed by the department; or

(c) A valid foreign driver's license.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-040   Applicant records, recordkeeping and reporting.   (1) Schools must keep applicant records for at least three years. Applicant records must be kept at a school's primary place of business. Records must be immediately available for inspection or audit by the department or its representative.

(2) Schools must keep applicant records on a form or in a format approved by the department. The form must include at least the:

(a) Applicant name, date of birth, and driver's license or instruction permit number;

(b) Knowledge and skill test results;

(c) Examiner's name(s), instructor license number(s), and signature(s);

(d) Dates and times the examinations were administered to the applicant; and

(e) Other information required by the department.

(3) Schools must submit to the department the knowledge and skills test results for each applicant in accordance with the school's agreement with the department.

(4) The department will monitor outcomes for applicants who take a driver's license examination and will make aggregate outcomes available to the public.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-050   Inspection and audit.   The department or its representative may conduct examinations, inspections, and audits of school and applicant records, facilities, and operations at any time during regular business hours in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of chapter 46.82 RCW, the rules promulgated under this chapter, and the agreement.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-110-060   Violations -- Impact on agreement.   (1) Schools and examiners are responsible for complying with the requirements of chapters 46.82 and 18.235 RCW and the rules promulgated under those chapters.

(2) If the department finds that an examiner or school has violated or no longer meets the qualifications or requirements of chapters 46.82 and 18.235 RCW, the rules promulgated under those chapters, or the agreement; the department may either (a) rescind approval of an examiner to conduct examinations, (b) terminate or suspend for any period of time an agreement with a school, or both.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-01-069, filed 12/18/06, effective 1/18/07)

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

(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, except for purposes of administering examinations as may be permitted under chapter 308-110 WAC. 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)) must:

(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)) Be separated from the business office by using walls, partitions, or ((separate)) alternate 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)) when a school must use one space for both activities.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.82.290, 46.82.310, 46.82.320, 46.82.330, and 46.82.340. 07-01-069, 308-108-100, filed 12/18/06, effective 1/18/07. 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.]