Inslee Rescinds COVID Orders For Licensing Offices, Public Meetings

OLYMPIA, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced rollbacks for two pandemic-related emergency proclamations, which suspended certain requirements for obtaining or renewing driver’s licenses and identification cards and required local governments to ensure remote access to public meetings while barring in-person attendance.

According to the governor’s office, both orders will be effectively respinded on June 1, but many licensing offices and public institutions are already implementing the changes.

“Although our state remains in a state of emergency and most COVID-19-related barriers that required issuance of these orders have largely receded, impacted agencies and governing bodies may need notice and time to adjust to pre-COVID-19 procedures,” Inslee’s office wrote Friday.

Proclamation 20-15 temporarily suspended or waived requirements for in-person eye exams and renewals for licenses and identification cards. As part of the change, more of the Department of Licensing’s 56 offices will begin offering full services. The governor’s office said some locations are already back to normal operations, while others have until June 1 to make the shift.

Drivers who meet the eligibility requirements still qualify to access certain services online, and residents who need to visit an office can also schedule an appointment to cut down on wait times.

For public meetings, state lawmakers approved a bill last session that grants governing bodies the authority to hold some meetings remotely when warranted.