The state of Washington requires vehicle owners to complete the Washington vehicle registration process for their vehicles. Motor vehicles must be properly titled and registered with the Washington State Department of Licensing before being allowed to be driven on Washington highways and roads.
First Time Washington Vehicle Registration
When you become a resident of Washington State, you have thirty (30) days to correctly title your vehicle and apply for Washington vehicle register. Once you do so, you will be given Washington license plates. In order to complete the WA vehicle registration process, you can submit your application to your local vehicle licensing office either in person or by mail.
First Time Washington Vehicle Registration in Person
Before beginning the WA registration process, you must make sure you meet all the requirements that are applicable apply to your motor vehicle. If your motor vehicle is a 2009 model or newer SUV, passenger van, or light-duty truck, it must meet necessary emission standards in order to receive its WA vehicle registration.
If your motor vehicle is ten years old or newer, you must also submit the Odometer Disclosure Statement along with your WA registration application. In certain counties of Washington, you may also need to submit the results of an emissions test for your vehicle.
If the vehicle weight is not on your title, you may have to present a weight slip for your vehicle for your Washington vehicle registration. You may be able to get this from your local vehicle licensing office.
Once you have satisfied all of these requirements for the WA vehicle registration, you can go to a Department of licensing office and present the following documents and forms:
• Out-of-state title or photocopy if there is a lien holder.
• Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application. This must be signed by all registered owners.
• Applicable fees must be paid as well. These fees depend on your jurisdiction, weight of your vehicle, and choice of license plates.
First Time Washington Vehicle Registration by Mail
You must still meet all the special requirements discussed in the previous section. You can then submit the following documents by mail for your Washington vehicle registration:
• Out-of-state vehicle title or a photocopy of the title if there is a lien holder.
• Notarized Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application with all registered owner signature.
• Applicable Washington vehicle registration fees
You can mail your Washington vehicle registration application and relevant documents and fees to any vehicle licensing office location.
Washington Vehicle Registration Fees
WA registration and title fees depend on many factors, including vehicle weight, jurisdiction, and plates. If you are registering for the first time, you should contact your local vehicle licensing office to find out the cost of WA registration.
Renewing Your Washington Vehicle Registration
While the state of Washington sends renewal notices, you can renew your registration without it either by mail, in person, or online. You can renew your registration up to six months before your current WA vehicle registration’s expiration date. Renewal fees depend on the type of WA vehicle registration, weight, and other factors. Some common Washington vehicle registration fees include the following:
• Passenger vehicles up to 4,000 pounds: $43.75
• Passenger vehicles between 4,001 and 6,000 pounds: $53.75
• Passenger vehicles between 6,001 and 8,000 pounds: $63.75
• Motorcycles: $43.75
• Subagent fee at a licensing office: $5