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Driver’s Assistance

Treehouse will be closed October 15-17 for staff training.

Any Driver’s Assistance requests received after Thursday, October 10th will have a delay in processing time.

Increasing Mobility for Youth in Foster Care

A crucial aspect to long-term success for youth in foster care is the ability to take care of their own transportation needs.

Treehouse provides funding and assistance for youth in foster care, extended foster care or under jurisdiction of tribal court to obtain:

  • Washington State ID Cards
  • Driver’s Education Courses
  • Washington State Learner’s Permits
  • Washington State Driver’s Licenses & Enhanced Driver’s Licenses
  • Automobile Insurance

Make a Driver's Assistance Request

Eligibility

Next Steps

Washington State ID Cards
  1. The youth’s social worker will need to complete DSHS Form 11-077 (ID Application) and e-mail it directly to the Department of Licensing. Email address is listed on the form.
  2. The youth’s social worker will also need to complete DSHS Form 16-029 and deliver it to whomever is taking the youth to the Department of Licensing or DOL. This form needs to be present when the youth goes to DOL for their Washington State ID Cards.
  3. The youth or caregiver needs to pre-apply on the Department of Licensing website. This pre-application is the same for Washington State ID Cards, Learner’s Permits and Driver’s Licenses.

What do DSHS forms do?

DSHS Form 16-029 allows the cashier at the DOL to ring up a reduced $5 fee. DSHS Form 11-077 allows DSHS to prove the youth’s identity to the Department of Licensing without the youth’s vital documents.

Once these steps are complete the youth can go to the DOL to get their Washington state.

*If youth is approved for funding the Driver’s Assistance Program will mail a check to the individual indicated on the application, made out to the Department of Licensing. Please note this can take up to two weeks to be received.

Learner's Permit

A learner’s permit is to be obtained before starting Driver’s Education. You can only get your permit up to 10 days before the start of your course. For example, if your course starts on the 20th of the month, you need to get your permit between the 10th and 19th.

  1. If the youth doesn’t have a Washington State ID Card, please follow steps to obtain the ID first.
  2. If the youth already has a Washington State ID Card, a Learner’s Permit can be obtained by the youth being enrolled in a Driver’s Education Course.
  3. The Driving School will then create an electronic waiver using the youth’s ID Number and submit it directly to the Department of Licensing.
  4. The youth’s DCYF social worker will need to complete DSHS Form 02-636 (Learner’s Permit and Driver’s License Application) and e-mail it directly to the Department of Licensing. This form allows DSHS to prove the youth’s identity to the Department of Licensing without the youth’s vital documents.
  5. After these steps are completed, the youth goes to the DOL within 10 days before the start of driver’s ed to obtain their permit.

*If youth is approved for funding Treehouse will mail a check to the individual indicated on the application, made out to the Department of Licensing. Please note this can take up to two weeks to be received.

Driver’s Ed Courses
  1. To enroll in Driver’s Ed, please allow at least two weeks before the start of the course to allow time for Driver’s Assistance funding. If course starts before two weeks, Driver’s Assistance can’t guarantee funding.
  2. Youth will need a Washington State ID. If you don’t have a Washington State ID, please start with this process. See instructions under Washington State ID Card for next steps.
  3. Once enrolled in a Driver’s Ed Course of your choosing, the driver’s ed school will send an electronic waiver to the DOL to obtain a learner’s permit. See instructions under learner’s permit next steps.
  4. Communicate with Driver’s Assistance which Driver’s Ed school you have enrolled in with the start and end date of the course.

*If youth is approved for funding Treehouse will call the Driver’s Ed school and make payment.

Driver's License

Unsure if the youth is ready to get their license? Please check out the requirements on the Department of Licensing Website:

  • If the youth DOES have a Washington State ID or a Learner’s Permit they will already exist in the Department of Licensing system and no additional paperwork needs to be completed.
  • If the youth DOES NOT have a Washington State ID or Learner’s Permit, they will need to begin at these steps.

*If youth is approved for funding Treehouse will mail a check to the individual indicated on the application, made out to the Department of Licensing. Please note this can take up to two weeks to be received.

Auto Insurance

Youth is being added to an existing automobile policy or has their own policy.

  • The youth and their caregiver, if applicable, need to digitally sign the Driver’s Assistance Behavioral Contract and Release of Information via DocuSign. This is an email that will be sent to both the youth and their caregiver via DocuSign from Driver’s Assistance. These forms are a release of information and must be completed for Driver’s Assistance to continue the process.
  • The youth, the caregiver or the insurance company needs to email Driver’s Assistance what is called a “Declaration Page” which is a form provided by your insurance company that has all of your policy information on it as well as all the drivers and vehicles listed on the policy.
  • Depending on the insurance company and type of plan, there may be more steps to allow Driver’s Assistance to make a payment on the insurance policy. Please contact us if you have questions.

*Once approved for funding Driver’s Assistance will contact the insurance company and begin making monthly payments. Driver’s Assistance can provide up to $225 each month that the youth is eligible for the Driver’s Assistance program.


Youth needs their own new automobile policy.

  • The youth needs to digitally sign the Driver’s Assistance Behavioral Contract and Release of Information via DocuSign. This is an email that will be sent to the youth via DocuSign from Driver’s Assistance. These forms are a release of information and must be completed for Driver’s Assistance to continue the process.
  • The youth is free to choose whatever insurance company they wish but we highly encourage the youth to reach out to one of the Driver’s Assistance Partner Brokers/Agents to receive a quote. Upon receiving,  the youth will choose which policy they would like to start.
  • Depending on the insurance company and type of plan, there may be more steps to allow Driver’s Assistance to make a payment on the insurance policy. Please contact us if you have questions.

*Once approved for funding Driver’s Assistance will contact the Insurance Company and begin making monthly payments. Driver’s Assistance can provide up to $225 each month that the youth is eligible for the Driver’s Assistance program.

Driver's Assistance FAQ

How does Driver's Assistance work?

Youth, Caregivers, Social Workers and other support providers can submit requests for Driver’s Assistance Services via our online application or by mailing in a completed paper application. The Licensing Coordinator for Driver’s Assistance will review the form and verify eligibility. Once the youth’s eligibility has been confirmed, the Licensing Coordinator will contact with next steps and how a payment will be issued.

Who is eligible for Driver’s Assistance?

Youth in foster care, extended foster care and Tribal dependent youth ages 15-20.

Youth who are in Federal Foster Care, Refugee status, Unaccompanied Minors or ICPC youth are unfortunately not eligible for funding from Driver’s Assistance at this time.

Does Driver's Assistance accept annual referrals?

No. Driver’s Assistance can only accept requests made through our online or paper application. For each service a new request needs to be submitted, even if youth has already received previous Driver’s Assistance Funding.

Once I’m approved how long will it take to receive funding from Driver’s Assistance?

On average funding usually takes 1-2 weeks when there aren’t delays with required information or documents. If funding is coming via check, it can take up to 10 days longer. Please allow ample time between making a request and needing payment to be made.

Once funding is approved, how do I get the money and where does the check go?

Driver’s Assistance provides funding by check made out directly to the merchant providing the service and checks will be mailed to the appropriate party.  Other form of payments are online or by phone credit card payments directly to the vendor.

Does Driver’s Assistance provide reimbursement funding?

Yes, provided that there is sufficient documentation to support the request and proof of payment is submitted.  Reimbursements will only be honored for one month prior to the request. Please allow time for check processing to receive a reimbursement.

What does a youth need to start Driver’s Ed?
  1. A Washington State ID.
  2. Learner’s Permit: The process begins with enrolling in a driver’s ed course and can only be obtained 10 days prior to the start of driver’s ed.
Are there any requirements for the youth to have their own Auto Insurance policy?
  1. The youth must have a Washington State Driver’s License.
  2. The youth must be at least 18 years old.
  3. The youth must own the vehicle that they are wanting their own policy for.
  4. The youth must have their own unique e-mail address to digitally sign documents required by the Driver’s Assistance program.

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