WSR 17-11-032
[Filed May 11, 2017, 8:40 a.m., effective July 1, 2017]
Effective Date of Rule: July 1, 2017.
Purpose: This rule making adds a new section to chapter 308-104 WAC to provide a process for nominating, selecting and indexing hearing examiners' decisions that are significant and resolve a question about reoccurring legal issues or statutes under the department's authority. A significant decision will give guidance to the attorneys and the public on the way in which the department has interpreted the law and exercised its discretion.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending chapter 308-104 WAC.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.01.110 and 34.05.220.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 17-04-028 on January 24, 2017.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: May 11, 2017.
Damon Monroe
Rules Coordinator
WAC 308-104-350 Significant decisions in driver license cases.
(1) The department will use the process outlined in this section to nominate, select, and index significant decisions in the following types of adjudicative proceedings related to a sanction of the driving privilege:
(a) The implied consent law (RCW 46.20.308);
(b) The financial responsibility law (chapter 46.29 RCW);
(c) The habitual traffic offender law (chapter 46.65 RCW);
(d) The Uniform Commercial Driver's License Act (chapter 46.25 RCW);
(e) Any formal hearing affecting the driving privilege conducted pursuant to the provisions of RCW 46.20.329 through 46.20.333.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a significant decision is a final order or a portion of a final order in an adjudicative proceeding that is of substantial importance to the department in carrying out its duties. Generally, an order is of substantial importance only if it analyzes and applies a statute or rule under the department's authority, demonstrates the department's reasoning as to a frequently recurring legal issue, provides a legal analysis or interpretation not found in existing case law, or applies settled law to unusual facts.
(3) Any person may nominate a final adjudicative order to be evaluated for indexing by completing an Order Index Nomination Request Form. The form can be obtained from the department's web site at and returned to the Hearings and Interviews Unit, P.O. Box 9031, Olympia, WA 98507-9031, along with a copy of the nominated order.
(4) The director or director's designee shall make a final decision as to whether to select the nominated order as a significant decision based on the criteria in subsection (2) of this section, and that decision is not appealable.
(5) A decision that has been selected by the director as significant shall be maintained in a separate index. The index shall at a minimum contain a description of the type of document, name of parties, brief description of the legal subjects and pertinent legal citation. A copy of the index and a copy of the significant decision will be made available on the department's web site at The general public records index maintained under WAC 308-10-067 will contain a reference to the specific location and identification of significant decision index and copies of the significant decisions.
(6) The department shall periodically update and review the index to verify that the indexed documents continue to meet the criteria in subsection (2) of this section. The department may, at any time, delete a document from an index. Under RCW 42.56.070(6), a significant decision may not be cited in a proceeding if it has not been indexed.