How can I get a copy of my driving record?

A driving record is usually referred to as a driving abstract. When would you need your driving abstract?  If you volunteered at your child’s school to drive the school van on a field trip.  The school wants a copy of your driving abstract to make sure you’re a safe driver.

Here’s the link to the Department of Licensing I use:

  • to check the status of a driver license
  • to learn how to reinstate your license
  • to purchase your own driving record (a/k/a Driving Abstract):

http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/checkstatus.html

The driving abstract includes convictions, violations, collisions, suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications. It is easy to obtain your own record but there are strict rules about obtaining someone else’s record.

Posted May 11, 2016
Kathleen J. Marshall, PLLC
119 N. Commercial St., Ste. 310
Bellingham, WA  98225-4447
Telephone:        (360) 676-0355
Toll Free Fax:    (888) 880-8310
Email:               Kathy@KJMarshallLaw.com

Where can I find free legal help?

For criminal matters contact the Whatcom County Public Defenders Office.

215 N. Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-778-5640
360-778-5641 fax
Website
Hours of operation – Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


For civil matters there are a number of resources.

Street Law – This is a great program operated by LAW Advocates. It is a free, drop-in, legal advice clinic where people can ask questions and get legal advice in one-on-one consultations with volunteer lawyers. Demand for this clinic is high, so we recommend that attendees arrive on time to ensure being seen by an attorney. Click here to see the LAW Advocates calendar for upcoming Street Law sessions.

Whatcom County Superior Court

Types of Cases Superior Court handles:
  • Adult Felonies
  • Civil cases – (includes cases involving real property and/or claims in excess of $35,000)
  • Divorce/Child Custody/Child Support matters
  • Probate/guardianships
  • Paternity actions
  • Adoptions
  • Juvenile cases
  • Mental Illness cases

Information source: Whatcom County Superior Court website
Updated: 03-25-2016

Whatcom County District Court

About the Court
The Whatcom County District Court consists of 2 Judges, elected for 4 years, 1 appointed Commissioner, and professional and paraprofessional staff. The court hears criminal, civil, infraction and miscellaneous cases.

Criminal Cases
Criminal misdemeanor cases carry a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Criminal gross misdemeanor cases carry a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Some examples of criminal cases heard by the court are:

  • Assault (Including Domestic Violence)
  • Driving While License Suspended
  • DUI
  • Theft and Miscellaneous Property Crimes

Civil Cases
Civil cases including both general civil actions and small claims actions. General civil actions with damage claims in the maximum amount of $100,000. The court does not hear cases involving title to or possession of real property. Small claims actions with money claims in the maximum amount of $5,000. The small claims court may only grant a judgment for monetary damages. The court may not order the other party to return property or do any action except the payment of money.

Infractions
Infractions including traffic and code violations.

Miscellaneous
Miscellaneous proceedings including:

  • Anti-harassment Petitions
  • Domestic Violence Petitions
  • Name Change Petitions
  • Vehicle Impound Hearings

Information source: Whatcom County District Court website
Updated here: 03-25-2016

Notice of Small Claim

Watch our video on how to complete the Notice of Small Claim form.

Notice of Small Claim form

NOTE: The form contains fillable fields which allow you to complete the form on your screen. If you can’t see the fields then you may need to use a different browser or save the file to your device or print the form and fill it out by hand.

Any individual, business, partnership, or corporation (with a couple of exceptions) may bring a small claims suit for recovery of money only for an amount up to $5,000.

In general, the claim must be filed in the district court of the county in which the defendant(s) reside.

Name Change

Watch our video on how to complete the Petition for Name Change.

Petition for Name Change (PDF)

NOTE: The form contains fillable fields which allow you to complete the form on your screen. If you can’t see the fields then you may need to use a different browser or save the file to your device or print the form and fill it out by hand.

Where & When to File
A person desiring to change his or her name or that of a child or ward may file a petition in the judicial district in which he or she resides. The petition must be filed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Hearings are held in open court Fridays at 1:30 p.m.

How to File
A petitioner must fill out a Petition for Name Change (PDF). The petitioner must appear in court for the hearing. The name cannot be changed by mail. Bring picture ID with you for your hearing. If you are requesting a name change for a minor child, it is suggested that you bring the following information:

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate and social security card
  • An affidavit signed by both the child’s legal parents agreeing and consenting to the name change; or, alternatively, information or documentation showing the measures you have taken to notify the other parent of the requested change and the date and time of the hearing
  • Picture ID for yourself, and for your child (if available, e.g. school ID card)

It is suggested that minors age 10 and above be present at the court hearing. A separate petition must be filed for each name changed. Each petition filed will be charged a filing fee of $166.00.

If you are seeking a sealed name change order under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, you must contact the Whatcom County Superior Court for filing information.

Filing Fees
Effective June 12, 2014, the filing fee is $166. We accept cash only. This is a non-refundable fee, which includes the fee to record the name change with the Whatcom County Auditor and an additional fee to provide you with 2 certified copies of the Name Change Order.

Note
This information applies to Whatcom County District Court. Details may have changed which have not been updated on this page. It is your responsibility to check the court’s website to assure the accuracy of this information. The court’s website is locate here.