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Department of Licensing MFA upgrades

The Washington State Department of Licensing is upgrading our security measures to protect your identity and data --- and that of your customers.

We are improving security soon by adding stronger authentication methods to the site you use to work with us.  The security upgrade that you will see and experience is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).  You already experience MFA if you use on-line banking or have a Yahoo or Google account.  That is when the system challenges you to use a code sent to you by way of a text message or e-‑mail message or a telephone call.

MFA makes it about four times more difficult for an attacker to impersonate you or one of your customers on-line and access accounts or other resources.

The change is coming to our on-line interactions starting in late spring.  In early May, DOL will send you more details, including enrollment instructions.

Below are a few key points about the change:

  1. What is multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security in verifying a person’s identity when using online accounts.  A study[1] shows that MFA makes it almost four times more difficult for an attacker/hacker to impersonate you (or one of your customers) and get access to your computer, online accounts, or other resources.

  1. How does it work?

Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech) provides MFA for the Department of Licensing (DOL).  To determine whether you are an authorized user, WaTech must first verify your identity.

The identity verification method requires:

  • Username and password
  • A unique, secret code sent to you via email, text, or presented on-screen and requested via phone call.

You must enter these in order to access your account.

  1. Why do I need this for my account?

DOL is upgrading our security measures to protect your identity and data and that of your customers.  All DOL online accounts will be required to have MFA.

  1. When will DOL implement this?

Implementation will begin in early summer 2018. 

  1. Does anyone else have to do this?

Yes, Federal banks all use MFA, and many organizations such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft use MFA.  Washington State requires the use of multi-factor authentication for all state services holding sensitive data in order to protect that data.


If you have questions, please email them to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please be sure to include a contact email address if different from the sender’s address.

Thank you.