Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I contact the police when I need them?

  2. To reach an officer in Ferndale, dial 911, even if it's not an emergency. If not an emergency, just let the call receiver know when the phone is answered, as they may have to put you on hold to take a higher priority call. The administrative office does not dispatch officers, nor do officers wait in the office to receive calls. Please use 911! If you are outside Whatcom County, call 360-676-6911 to reach Dispatch.

  3. How do I reach the administrative office?

  4. The office phone number is 360-384-3390.

  5. Where is the Police Department located?

  6. We are located at 2220 Main Street, Ferndale WA, just west of Washington Street. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 1257 Ferndale, WA 98248

  7. Where do I go to pay a ticket or to make a court date?

  8. The Ferndale Municipal Court and Probation offices are in the Police Department building at 2220 Main Street, at the left side of the lobby.

  9. Where is court held?

  10. The courtroom is at the City Hall Annex in the Council Chambers, 5694 2nd Avenue, at the corner of Second and Vista Drive.

  11. What should I do if I notice suspicious activity in my neighborhood?

  12. Call 911 and tell the call receiver the address you’re calling from and what you see or hear. A police officer will be dispatched to investigate.

  13. My neighbor says he can play his music as loud as he wants to up until 11:00 P.M. and nothing can be done about it. Is this true?

  14. No. Any time a person makes noise of sufficient volume or duration as to unreasonably annoy or disturb another or the peace and quiet enjoyment of the public, they can be cited for disorderly conduct. Call 911 and ask for an officer to contact the noisy neighbor. He will be warned to keep the noise down. If the noise continues, he may be cited for disorderly conduct.

  15. What should I do if I hear my neighbors involved in a violent fight?

  16. Call 911 and tell the call receiver what you hear. Answer the call receiver’s questions as clearly and precisely as you can. If you are afraid to give your name, you are not required to do so, but your information may help police identify the problem.

  17. What should I do if I believe a child is being abused or neglected?

  18. If the abuse is in progress, call 911 immediately. If you suspect on-going abuse or neglect, call Child Protective Services at 360-647-6100. CPS will take the information and investigate, with police assistance if necessary.

  19. What can be done about vehicles speeding through my neighborhood?

  20. For on-going speeding or traffic issues, call the Police Department office at 360-384-3390 and request extra patrol for speeding vehicles. Patrol officers will be made aware of the location and problems. If you have a driveway and would allow an officer to park there to run radar, please let us know.

  21. What can be done about a car that’s been abandoned on the street for months?

  22. Call 911 and have an officer respond. The officer will investigate your complaint and the vehicle may be tagged with a notice giving the owner 24 hours to remove the vehicle. If it is not moved within 24 hours, it may be towed at the owner’s expense.

  23. Do I have to report a minor traffic accident I’m involved in?

  24. Any accident in which the total damage to all vehicles and/or property is over $700 must be reported. If the police respond and complete an accident report, you are not required to fill one out. If the police do not respond, you will have to complete the paperwork yourself. You can pick up the Washington State Accident Report form at any police department in the state.

  25. What is the Ferndale Police Department’s policy on dealing with NSF or Account Closed checks?

  26. NSF checks must total over $25, either individually or in a series. Account Closed checks have no monetary limit. Checks must show the issuer’s full name, street address, phone number, driver’s license and/or ID number or date of birth. The individual who accepted the check must initial the check, and confirm that identification has been checked. Checks must be presented twice to the bank. The business must show that an effort was made to contact the issuer of the checks either by letter or phone. The check must be presented to the Ferndale Police Department within 90 (ninety) days of the date of issue. The Ferndale Police Department must be given the full name, address and phone number of the individual who accepted the check on behalf of the business. If the issuer of the check returns and pays the debt after the check has been turned over to the police, the issuer must be given a receipt to show that payment has been made, and the business must notify the Ferndale Police immediately. The issuer must also be instructed to present the receipt to the Ferndale Police immediately,so that the check can be returned.

  27. I’m interested in starting a Block Watch group in my area. Where can I get information on this?

  28. Contact our office at 384-3390 extension 5745 or 5746.

  29. Does Ferndale Police Department have a Lost and Found?

  30. Yes, if you’ve lost something call Kim Martin at 483-5746 to make a report and have the property files searched.

  31. If I turn in some found property and it’s unclaimed, can I have it back?

  32. Yes, after 60 days, if you comply with requirements, and as long as the property is legal to possess. When you turn in the property you’ll be asked to sign a Field Release and Receipt form, and you will be given the pink copy of it. On the back of your copy are detailed instructions on the steps that must be taken in order to claim the property.

  33. Does the Ferndale Police Department auction off its found bicycles?

  34. We turn over our unclaimed property to Property Room.com, an online auction company that sells the items on our behalf.

  35. How can I find out if there’s a warrant for my arrest?

  36. Email the Ferndale Court Clerk at shirleyzimmerman@cityofferndale.org or phone 360-384-2827.

  37. How can I find out if someone has a criminal record?

  38. Conviction data is public record, and can be obtained from the Washington State Patrol. Visit their web site at https://watch.wsp.wa.gov or call their Identification and Criminal History Section at 360-705-5100 for details.
    You may request a copy of your own "rap sheet" from the FBI. Follow the FBI's procedure detailed here.

  39. Does Ferndale Police Department do fingerprinting?

  40. Yes, we do fingerprinting for most purposes with the exception of U.S. Immigration. Fingerprinting is done by appointment only, beginning August 6, 2013, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Our fee is $12.00 per card for Ferndale residents and Ferndale School District employees and volunteers, and $15.00 for non-residents.  Please call the office at 360-384-3390 extension 5745 or 5746 to schedule an appointment.

  41. How do I get a Concealed Pistol License?

  42. Concealed Pistol Licenses are available to U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years of age, free of any felony convictions and any domestic violence convictions since July 1, 1993, have no outstanding warrants for any offenses, and are of sound mental health. If you live within the city limits of Ferndale, application is made at the Ferndale Police Department. Upon receipt of your application and a $52.50 non-refundable fee, an appointment will be made to take your fingerprints as part of the background check. Once the background check determines you qualify under the law, the permit will be issued to you. This can take up to 30 days. For more details on concealed pistol licenses, please click here.

  43. If I am not a U.S. citizen, can I still get a Concealed Pistol License?

  44. In July of 2009 the Alien Firearms License Law changed. It is now legal for a non-citizen who is a lawful permanent resident in the State of Washington, or for a non-resident who is legally here visiting for hunting or to participate in trade shows or shooting events, to possess or carry a firearm without having to first obtain an Alien Firearms Licence. Aliens who are here temporarily, such as students or people with temporary work visas, will have to acquire the Alien Firearms License before being allowed to possess or carry firearms. City police departments will no longer be issuing these licenses; they must be obtained from the Sheriff's Office in the jurisdiction where the alien resides. For more information, visit the Department of Licensing Firearms Section website.

  45. Can I get a Firearms Dealers License from Ferndale Police Department?

  46. Yes. You must bring your Federal Firearm License and your Washington State Business License with you when you make application, and the fee is $125 for one year. You and any employees who will be selling firearms must undergo fingerprinting and a background check. The process may take up to 30 days.

  47. How can I get a restraining or protection order against someone?

  48. Information on obtaining protection orders in Whatcom County can be found here, or go to the Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Avenue Room 304, Bellingham, WA 98225.

  49. What is an "At Risk Youth?"

  50. The Law defines an at-risk youth as an individual under the age of 18 years who:
    • is absent from home for more than 72 consecutive hours without parental consent
    • is beyond the control of his/her parent such that the child's behavior substantially endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person; or
    • has a serious substance abuse problem for which there are no pending charges related to the substance abuse


  51. How do I file an At Risk Youth petition?

  52. Contact the designated social worker at Department of Children and Family Services at 360-647-6138 or 360-647-6135 to begin the process.

  53. How can I become an officer with your department?

  54. The minimum selection standards for an entry level officer with the Ferndale Police Department are:
    • Be at least 21years of age
    • Minimum education high school graduate or equivalent
    • Have or be able to obtain a valid Washington state driver’s license
    • Have a driving record free of violations that relate to fitness to perform in the position
    • Meet LEOFF II medical standards
    • Have no felony convictions. Misdemeanor arrests and convictions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
    • Be a U.S. Citizen
    • Show no excessive past or current drug/alcohol use
    • Read and speak English
    Further information is posted on our website. Please visit Public Safety Testing to learn more about our testing and hiring procedures.

  55. What is the procedure for lateral transfers?

  56. Please contact the Ferndale Police Department for an application, or download and print a copy here.

  57. I am certified in a state other than Washington. Can I be hired as a lateral or would I have to come in at entry level?

  58. Washington State recognizes certification from all other states in the union. You would only be required to take a two-week equivalency update.

  59. I am trained in federal law enforcement. Can I be considered as a lateral hire?

  60. In 2002, the Criminal Justice Training Commission recognized the Border Patrol Academy from FLETC as an equivalent to our Basic Law Enforcement Academy.  If you have completed this academy, you could be hired as a lateral and would only need to take the two week Equivalency Academy.

  61. My friend was arrested on a warrant. Where will he be taken?

  62. If your friend is booked into jail it will be the Whatcom County Jail, 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham. The jail phone number is 360-676-6848. In some cases he will be brought to Ferndale Police Department to be booked and sign a promise to appear in court, and released.

  63. What is an infraction? A misdemeanor? A felony?

    • Infraction: An act which is prohibited by law but which is not legally defined as a crime. In Washington State, many traffic violations are classified as infractions.
    • Misdemeanors: Criminal offenses less than felonies; generally those punishable by fine or imprisonment of less than 90 days in a local facility. A gross misdemeanor is a criminal offense for which an adult could be sent to jail for up to one year, pay a fine up to $5,000 or both.
    • Felony: A crime of graver nature than a gross misdemeanor. Conviction for a felony offense deprives the convicted person of certain rights such as the right to vote and the right to bear arms.


  64. My car was impounded. Where was it taken?

  65. We use a rotating list of county towing companies. To ascertain which company towed your car, contact our dispatch at 360-676-6911 or our Records Section at 360-384-3390.

  66. I've just moved to Washington state. How long do I have before I'm required to get a new driver's license and Washington plates for my car?

  67. New residents have 30 days after establishing residency in which to obtain Washington vehicle license plates and driver's license.(RCW 46.16.028 and 46.20.021.)

  68. What is considered "valid identification"?

  69. Any state or federally issued photo ID, such as driver's license, passport, military ID, tribal ID, Resident Alien card, etc.

  70. What reasons would cause a person to have their driving privilege taken away?

  71. There are a number of reasons why an individual’s driving privilege would be suspended, revoked, or cancelled. The most common are failure to pay a traffic citation (FTA) and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

  72. How would I know if my driving privilege was suspended, revoked or canceled?

  73. You would receive a letter in the mail from the Department of Licensing (DOL) informing you that your driving privilege is suspended, revoked or cancelled on a particular date and what you must do to reinstate that privilege. If you moved, and did not change your address with DOL, the letter would be sent to the last mailing address on file with DOL.

  74. What is the difference between suspended, revoked or canceled?

  75. The definitions are as follows:
    • Suspension: Driving privilege withdrawn for 364 days or less
    • Revocation: Driving privilege withdrawn for 365 days or more
    • Cancelled: Driving privilege withdrawn for fraudulent application of a driver license, including unauthorized parental consent; failure to submit a required medical or visual physician's examination to DOL; and, out-of-state suspension of a Washington State resident's driving privilege.


  76. How can I clear up a problem in another state that is preventing me from getting my driving privilege back from Washington state?

  77. You must contact the state where the problem appears, and follow that state’s instructions for clearance.

  78. I have unpaid tickets in Washington state courts that need to be paid. However, I'm not sure where the courts are located or how to contact them.

  79. You may write for that information to:
    Department of Licensing
    Driver Responsibility
    PO Box 9030
    Olympia, Washington 98507-9030 A printout of the unresolved citations will be mailed to you, including the addresses and telephone numbers of the courts. You may also call DOL Customer Service at 360-902-3900, email drivers@dol.wa.gov, or visit any local driver licensing office.

  80. Is there some kind of temporary license you can get to drive back and forth to work when your driving privilege has been withdrawn?

  81. Washington State does allow an Occupational Driver License (ODL) in some cases. This is a temporary authorization to drive issued during a suspension period. However, there are very specific criteria that must be met before the ODL can be issued. An ODL can take 7 to 10 working days to process after receipt of the application, not from the day it was mailed. For further information you may contact DOL Customer Service at 360-902-3900.

  82. How long does it take to get my driving privilege back once I’ve been suspended, revoked or cancelled?

  83. There are too many variables to provide a particular, or most common, answer. You would need to contact DOL Customer Service at 360-902-3900 for further information on reinstating your driving privileges.

  84. Is there anything I can do about the neighbor's dog running loose around the neighborhood?

  85. The Whatcom Humane Society is the animal control agency for the City of Ferndale.  Call them at 733-2080 for any animal related problems.

  86. What can I do about a dog that barks all night long?

  87. Call the Whatcom Humane Society at 733-2080.

  88. I'm a retired police officer from another state, and allowed to carry a gun there. Do I need to get a concealed carry license in Washington to pack my weapon here?

  89. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 permits certain eligible retired law enforcement officers the right to carry a concealed weapon throughout the United States. Go to WASPC's website for details.