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Failure to Appear License Suspension in Washington State

Seattle, WA |

I was told by several attornies that FTA for a DUI in Washington will NOT result in a suspended license and several others have told me that it will. I am currently in the middle of a DUI case where I won the DOL administrative hearing but the criminal case is ongoing. Please advise?

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Attorney answers 3


Failing to appear for traffic court will result in the suspension of your license.


"The department [of licensing] shall suspend all driving privileges of a person when the department receives notice from a court...that the person has...failed to appear at a requested hearing" related to a traffic citation or infraction ("other than for a standing, stopping, or parking violation"). RCW 46.20.289.

If you fail to appear for a court hearing in a DUI case where your presence is required by the court, your license will be suspended.

Keep in mind that just because you’re reading this answer does not make me your attorney, and therefore nothing written here constitutes legal advice targeted at your situation. Because the law is so often fact-sensitive, you’d be remiss in relying on anything I write without having spoken with me first, and I’d ask you not to do that. If you have any specific questions, give me a call at (360) 352-8004, or contact me directly via email at, and I'll try and help you out.


Yes, an FTA results in a 'third degree' suspension, which of course you can can cure by appearing in court. As long as you show up for court, then that can't happen.
You probably know already, but conviction on the DUI will result in a 'second degree' suspension, regardless of what DOL decided on your case.