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Driver's Assistance

COVID-19 Updates:

Although the Treehouse Store and offices are closed, our team continues to work remotely to process requests as they are received. Please be aware that you may experience delays in processing and receiving payments. Due to reduced DOL operations, Driver’s Assistance will be processing reimbursements only for State I.D.s, Learner’s Permits, and Driver’s License requests. We appreciate your understanding. Please feel free to email us with any questions!  licensing@treehouseforkids.org

Increasing Mobility for Youth in Foster Care

Our goal is to financially assist youth in foster care, Extended Foster Care, Tribal Jurisdiction, or Indian Child Welfare programs by eliminating barriers from obtaining a driver’s license or auto insurance coverage.

Treehouse’s Driver’s Assistance program provides reimbursements only for all Dept. of Licensing services:

  • Washington state ID
  • Instructional/learner’s permit
  • Driver’s License

We can provide direct payments with a credit card or mailed a check for:

  • Driver’s education ($500 maximum)
  • Testing and practice sessions
  • Missed drive/ cancellation fees
  • Auto Insurance

Eligibility

How Can We Help You?

I am a Youth or Care Team Member.

Steps to Becoming a Licensed Driver

Youth ages 15-21 can follow these guidelines to achieve their driver’s license with the Department of Licensing:

1. Enroll and register with a DOL approved driving school.
2. Pre-apply online to achieve their learner’s permit.
3. Successfully complete the driver training course.
4. Complete at least 40 hours of daylight and 10 hours of night driving with someone who’s been licensed for five years or more.
5. Pass the driving test at any approved driver training and testing location.
6. Get your license!
7. Become an insured driver.

I am a DCYF/ Tribal Case Manager.

Treehouse’s Driver’s Assistance program wants to ensure achieving a driver’s license and auto insurance for youth in foster care is not out of reach. We partner with social workers to ease the process for youth and caregivers when they arrive at the Department of Licensing, DOL

The following forms are what social workers can complete and submit to the DOL for youth needing assistance.

  • DSHS 16-029 Request for Identicard reduced fee, located on the ASD forms drive.
  • DSHS 11-077 Request for Washington state Identicard, located on the CA intranet.
  • DSHS 02-636 Request for Washington state Instruction Permit or Personal Driver License, located on the CA intranet

DCYF Practices and Procedures >

Driver's Assistance FAQs

How else can Treehouse help me if I do not qualify for Driver’s Assistance?

For youth enrolled in other Treehouse programs, like Graduation Success you may qualify for payment assistance with our Just-In-Time Funding program! Be sure to ask your Treehouse Specialist for more assistance. If you have not participated in a Treehouse program before, we may be able to help you find another payment resource. Send an email to licensing@treehouseforkids.org to see if we have information on other financial resources in your area.

What are all the services Driver’s Assistance can pay for?

Thanks to our state-funded contract, we are able to provide reimbursements for youth state I.D.s, Learner’s Permits and Driver’s Licenses. We can also make payments directly to vendors for services like Auto Insurance, Driver’s Education, Missed Drive Fees, Practice Sessions, and Testing.

How do I know if the driving school I want to attend will meet the $500 limit?

Contact Us! We’ve got a list of schools that offer basic course packages under $500. We’re also partnered with a few driving school locations throughout the state. Reach out and we can give you all their contact information.

If I haven’t done well in my courses or on my tests, will Driver’s Assistance pay for a re-take? How much time will I have to finish?

For youth obtaining their driver’s license for the first time, there’s not necessarily a time frame. Your driving school will outline course expectations once you’ve completed your enrollment. Be sure to check-in with them regularly to keep up with make-ups and practice session appointments. Driver’s Assistance will need a request submitted on our website if another payment to the driving school is required. For as long as your permit is valid you can continue to work on achieving your license. A learner’s permit will be valid for up to 1 year.

Does Driver's Assistance accept annual referrals?

Driver’s Assistance can only accept requests made through our online application. For each service, a new request will need to be submitted. Before we can make a payment, we must verify the youth’s program eligibility with the Dept. of Children Youth Families (DCYF).

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

Payment processing usually takes 1-2 weeks, when there aren’t delays with the required information or documents. If funding is coming via check, it may take up to 10 days longer. Please submit your request at least 3-weeks before payment is needed.

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

Driver’s Assistance provides reimbursement funding by check delivered to the payee and address listed on the request submitted on our website.

Can Driver’s Assistance provide reimbursement funding without a receipt?

No. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any reimbursements without documentation. Youth and care teams must submit a receipt, bank statement, or picture showing proof of payment made for the service being requested. Documentation should include both the youth and business name, date, and total amount paid.

 

Is there a limit to how long Driver’s Assistance will pay for auto insurance?

Enrolled participants are eligible through their 21st birthday. Driver’s Assistance verifies youth’s eligibility with the Dept. of Child Youth Families (DCYF) every month in order to continue making payments. As long as a youth remains eligible and continues to provide their current policy documents during their renewals or changes, we will continue to provide funding.

How many youth are on the waitlist?

The request for Auto Insurance funding to get on the waitlist was effectively closed on April 1st, 2020 due to a high volume of demand and in coordination with our program’s funding capacity. At the time of closure, there were 104 youth on the waitlist. We will continue to enroll in small groups monthly and once the waitlist decreases to a more manageable size, we will reopen requests for this service once again.

Send an email to licensing@treehouseforkids.org if you have any questions or to see if we have information on other financial resources in your area.

What are the requirements for me to have my own auto insurance policy?

For youth to acquire their own auto insurance policy, they must be over the age of 18, have a valid Washington state driver’s license, and own the vehicle that they are wanting to insure.

Please note that to enroll in the program to receive funding, the youth must have their own unique email address to digitally sign program documents. We will also request specific documentation and details regarding your coverage. Reach out to us if you have any questions regarding enrollment.

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