This page has the following resources to help you with Transportation Service in Pierce County
Driver Licensing and Car Registration
You can use this link to find licensing offices that offer testing, car registration, license/ID distribution, and other important services. After you choose a city, you’ll find the contact information, address, and operating hours of each location along with other updates on service availability.
Wait times for walk-ins can be very long and some offices may currently be closed, so making an appointment at the office you want to visit is strongly encouraged. To schedule an appointment with a DOL office, you will need to provide:
- The reason for your visit
- The service you need
- The location you will visit
- Your appointment date and time
- Your name, phone number, email address, and additional notes if you require accessibility accommodations including translation services
Licensing Offices in Pierce County
- 6010 Main St SW, Ste 102 Lakewood, WA 98499
- Phone: 253-593-2990
- Fax: 360-570-4907
Driver Training Schools
Licensed driver training programs will offer instruction that meets the State of Washington requirements. Some locations even offer testing services so you don’t have to schedule an appointment at a DOL office. A complete course must include:
- 30 hours of classroom instruction (maximum 2 hours per day)
- At least 6 hours of practice driving (maximum 1 hour per day)
- At least 1 hour of behind-the-wheel observation
Links for some driver training schools and services in Pierce County:
Buying and Insuring Personal Vehicles
The link above takes you to the primer breakdown for finding and purchasing the right car. As long as you purchase a car from a dealership in Washington State, they can take care of transferring the title for you. You can even look for cars in different cities to see if you can find better or more affordable deals.
Links for buying cars in Pierce County:
- Find Local Car Dealers (Autotrader)
- This site allows you to search for local dealerships based on their zip code. This is a great resource for researching the price and availability of cars. Some cars may not be listed, so you can call or visit a dealership to find out what they have available.
Tip: When buying cars online, be cautious about ones being sold by private sellers through things like Craigslist. There are fewer policies in place to guarantee the quality of the car.
The link above takes you to the primer breakdown for car insurance and some agencies that provide it. Local insurance agencies sometimes work directly with specific insurance companies, but some provide the service of shopping for auto insurance for you. Searching for highly rated insurance companies in your area and asking for a quote is a great place to start. Remember: you must carry your proof of insurance with you while driving!
Links for finding car insurance in Pierce County:
Lowest Average Rates
Pierce Transit is now accepting Orca Cards!
Orca Cards are reloadable transit cards that allow you to pay for transit from participating agencies with a single tap! There are different card options depending on your age and income that can offer reduced fares if you qualify. Once you have an Orca account you can add funds to your card online or at kiosks to pay for buses, trains, or even water taxis. When you use an Orca Card, you tap the card at a kiosk to begin your trip and then again once you reach your destination.
How to pay with an Orca Card:
- Bus: Tap your card on the reader at the front of the bus and wait for fare confirmation.
- Light Rail: Tap your card on a yellow card reader before you enter the station. After you have reached your stop and left the train, tap your card on the yellow card reader at your final station to complete your ride.
Other Transit: Tap your card on the readers presented to you by a transit attendant.
- Provide your first and last name, a valid email address, and choose a memorable password.
- This account will be used for any actions related to your Orca Card, including adding funds or ordering a replacement.
- Get a Card In Person or Online
- Anyone over the age of 19 can buy an Adult card that allows them to ride transit and manage the funds on their card.
- With a Youth card, children 6-18 years old can ride transit that accepts Orca Cards for free!
- The Reduced Fare Application allows you to apply for an Orca Card with more affordable fares. These cards are available to low-income households, those with disabilities/medicare, or seniors.
- Reload Your Card
- Login to your Orca Account and add a valid credit card to reload your Orca Card.
- Orca Apps: IOS Store, Google Play Store
Pierce Transit operates nearly 30 routes across the region. They now accept Orca Cards to pay your fares and offer other microtransit options to designated locations.
Links for Pierce Transit’s bus services:
- System Map
- Microtransit Service
- How to Pay
- How to Ride
- Apps and Tools
Sound Transit offers Express bus service with over 28 routes between major cities and connections to Sounder and Link Light Rail stations.
Links for Sound Transit’s bus services:
- 422 E 25th St, Tacoma, WA 98421
- Phone: 1-800-872-7245
South Tacoma Station
- 5650 S Washington St, Tacoma, WA 98409
- Phone: (888) 889-6368
- 11424 Pacific Highway Southwest Lakewood, Lakewood, WA 98499
- Phone: 1-888-889-6368
Tacoma Light Rail
Sound Transit offers Sounder rail service from Everett to Lakewood and Link Light Rail service in the Tacoma area.
Links for Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail and Sounder train services:
- Service Map
- Trip Planner
- Winter Travel Advisory
- How to Pay
- How to Ride
Amtrak maintains nationwide rail lines from coast to coast. The Amtrak Cascades offers service directly in Pierce County. You can also connect to other lines and travel to many destinations across the country.
Links for Amtrak’s train services:
Vanpool programs can be very cost-effective for groups of people commuting to work in the same area. Starting a vanpool requires an application process, licensed driver, bookkeeper, and communication channels between riders to schedule rides. If you are interested in these programs, talk to your neighbors and others who are interested to learn about the program together!
Links for Pierce Transit’s vanpool services:
Ferries and Water Taxis
There are a number of ferry routes that provide transportation across and throughout the Puget Sound. You can ride these ferries on foot or board with your vehicle if there is room. Vehicle space fills up fast, so it is recommended that you show up at least 20-30 minutes before your departure time. These operate on a first-come first-served basis, so boarding with your vehicle is not guaranteed. Space for pedestrians is nearly always available.
Links for WSDOT’s ferry services:
The Steilacoom, Ketron & Anderson Island Ferry are operated by the county. This ferry system is separate from WSDOT and functions using a different ticketing system.
Links for Pierce County’s ferry services:
These apps allow you to schedule rides to your destination from your phone! Taxi service that allows you to call for a ride is also included below.
Links for various rideshare services operating in Pierce County:
Bikes and Scooters
Many areas maintain designated bike lanes for commuters to use on roadways. Motorized bike and scooter rentals can also be used in these lanes for short trips (while obeying road safety laws). Always wear a helmet and stay aware of your surroundings.
Links for bicycle routes, trip planning, and other resources in Pierce County:
As a pedestrian, you will have access to public trails, paved sidewalks, and the numerous public transit options available throughout the county. Walking with a group of two or more is a good way to keep yourself safe when traveling. Stay aware of traffic to keep yourself and those around you safe when crossing or walking near roadways.
Links for pedestrian trails and safety in Pierce County:
- Basic Pedestrian Laws
- You must use a sidewalk when they are available.
- You must obey traffic signals and use crosswalk signals when they are available.
- If these are not available, you must walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic.
- Walking Maps and Resources
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