Because legislators felt the state transportation budget needed help, the cost of a license is going way up Monday.

A new license will go from $45 to $80, renewals from $25 to $40, and there could be more costs involved with taking a driving exam.

The state is no longer performing the driving exam most youngsters take to get their first license, or anyone else who is required to re-certify behind the wheel. The Washington Department of Licensing is subcontracting those duties to private companies, usually driving schools. While drivers will have to pay the $35 application fee to the state, there now could be additional fees set by the driving schools who will administer the tests.

State officials defend the changes, saying the funds will go to the general transportation fund, and they say the sub-contracting of driving tests will alleviate the often long lines found at the DMV.

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