Habitual Traffic Offender

A habitual traffic offender (HTO) is a driver who, within a 5-year period, has been:

  • Convicted of 3 or more offenses listed in RCW 46.65.020(1).
    or
  • Been found to have committed or convicted of 20 or more of the moving violations listed in WAC 308-104-160.
  • The violation dates of all the offenses must have occurred within the 5-year period. However, if more than 1 of these offenses are committed within a 6-hour period, they’re only counted as 1 offense on the first occasion.

Loss of driving privilege

If you’re found to be a habitual traffic offender, your driver license will be revoked until it is eligible to be reinstated.

If you meet requirements, you may request a hearing to stay (not impose) the revocation or to reinstate your driving privilege. All hearing requests must be submitted in writing.

Stay hearings

If the offenses that led to the HTO were caused by drug or alcohol dependency, you may request a hearing to have your license revocation stayed (not imposed). A stay may be granted if:

  • You’ve been assessed as “substance dependent” (“substance abuse” or “insufficient evidence of substance abuse/dependence” doesn’t qualify). To prove you meet this requirement, you must contact your assessing agency and have them fax a completed Assessment/Treatment Report for DSHS Certified Agencies to our Alcohol Section at 360-570-7044.
  • Since the last offense, you’ve completed a treatment program or have completed the first 60 days of treatment with current compliance. To prove you meet this requirement, you must contact your treatment agency and have them fax a completed Assessment/Treatment Report for DSHS Certified Agencies to our Alcohol Section at 360-570-7044.
  • You aren’t in HTO status for violating a previous stay or probation.
  • The offenses leading to your license revocation were caused by or the result of alcoholism or drug addiction.

Reinstatement hearings

You may qualify for a reinstatement hearing if:

  • You have been in HTO status for at least 4 years.
  • There’s no evidence you’ve driven within the past 2 years.
  • You have met all alcohol requirements (if any).
  • You aren’t suspended for non-compliance with treatment.
  • At least 1 year has passed since any previous reinstatement requests have been denied.
  • You can’t reinstate your driving privilege if you’re currently incarcerated in any correctional facility. If you’re incarcerated, please wait until you are close to your release date before requesting a reinstatement hearing.

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