Driver's Assistance

Important Program Update

Beginning March 1, 2024, Treehouse will not be accepting any new requests for insurance payment or reimbursement. This change is a temporary adjustment until our fiscal year ends on June 30. See here for more details.

Increasing Mobility for Youth in Foster Care

Youth experiencing foster care, Extended Foster Care, Tribal Jurisdiction or Indian Child Welfare face many barriers in obtaining a driver’s license and auto insurance coverage. Our goal is to remove these barriers by alleviating the financial burden on youth and caregivers.

Treehouse’s Driver’s Assistance provides payment for:

  • Washington State ID*
  • Instructional/Learner’s Permit*
  • Driver’s License*
  • Driver’s Education including Missed Drives and Cancellation Fees
  • Testing and Practice Sessions
  • Roadside Assistance and Towing*
  • Motor Vehicle Registration and Tabs*
  • Basic Car Repairs and Maintenance*
  • Gas Assistance

*Treehouse provides payment by reimbursement only.

Please note: Treehouse will issue reimbursements by PayPal or check only. All reimbursements will require a receipt showing date, amount and name of vendor. Treehouse will issue direct payments to vendor by credit card or check only. Reimbursement is not guaranteed until a request has been approved. Please contact us if you have any questions about if a reimbursement would be approved.

Program Eligibility

Driver's Assistance Roadmap

Not sure where to start when filling out forms? Learn more by watching the video below.

How to Become a Licensed Driver

Steps to Becoming a Licensed Driver for Youth & Care Team Members

Youth ages 15-21 should 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 with the DOL to get a learner’s permit.
3. Successfully complete the driver training course.
4. Practice driving at least 40 hours during the day and 10 hours at night 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.

Participants 18 and over are not required to complete driver’s education to get their license.

What can I do as a DCYF Social Worker or 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.

The following forms are what social workers will need to complete and submit to the DOL for drivers on their caseload.

  • DCYF 16-029 Request for Identicard Reduced Fee
  • DCYF 11-077 Request for Washington State Identicard
  • DCYF 02-636 Request for Washington State Instruction Permit or Personal Driver License

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 and Launch Success, you may qualify for payment assistance with our Just-in-Time Funding program. Be sure to ask your Treehouse specialist or coach 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 [email protected] 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, as well as provide reimbursements, for services like State ID, permit, license, drivers ed, missed drive fees, practice sessions and testing, towing services, car registration and tabs, basic car repairs and maintenance, road assistance through AAA Washington and gas assistance during the licensing process.

There is a temporary pause on auto insurance assistance from March 1 – June 30, 2024. Click here for more details.

Is there a maximum amount that Treehouse Driver’s Assistance provides for driver’s ed?

We do not have a maximum. Driver’s education course prices vary across the state. Please choose the course that is the best fit for the driver. We will pay for additional driving lessons, missed class fees, late fees, course re-takes and all testing. Please send an email to [email protected] for a list of driving schools in your area.

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?

Yes, Driver’s Assistance will pay for driving course and test re-takes. Please submit an additional request on our website if another payment to the driving school is required.

There is not necessarily a time frame for youth obtaining their driver’s license for the first time. The driving school will outline course expectations once enrollment is complete. Be sure to check-in with them regularly to keep up with make-ups and practice session appointments. 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?

Unlike other Treehouse programs, Driver’s Assistance does not require 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 Department of Children, Youth and 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. We can now offer reimbursement through PayPal as well.

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.

 

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