Frequently asked questions
Can I renew my tabs on line?
Yes. You can renew your tabs over the internet using a credit card at this website: www.internettabs.wa.gov
. All information on your registration must be current. You will not
be able to make any changes to address, etc.
How soon must I license my vehicle?
Your vehicle must be licensed in the state within 30 days of becoming a Washington resident. You are considered a resident when you:
- register to vote.
- receive state benefits.
- apply for any state license at residential rates.
- seek in-state tuition rates.
- manifest an intent to live or be located in this state on more than a temporary or transient basis in any continuous six-month period.
Please do not wait for out-of-state plates to expire! RCW 46.16.010 states in part:
(4) The licensing of a vehicle in another state by a resident of this state, as defined in RCW 46.16.028, evading the payment of any tax or license fee imposed in connection with registration, is a gross misdemeanor punishable as follows:
(a) For a first offense, up to one year in the county jail and payment of a fine of five hundred twenty-nine dollars plus twice the amount of delinquent taxes and fees, no part of which may be suspended or deferred;
(b) For a second or subsequent offense, up to one year in the county jail and payment of a fine of five hundred twenty-nine dollars plus four times the amount of delinquent taxes and fees, no part of which may be suspended or deferred;
(c) For fines levied under (b) of this subsection, an amount equal to the avoided taxes and fees owed will be deposited in the vehicle licensing fraud account created in the state treasury;
(d) The avoided taxes and fees shall be deposited and distributed in the same manner as if the taxes and fees were properly paid in a timely fashion.
Do I need to register my boat in Washington?
You must register your boat with the Department of Licensing, unless it is under 16 feet, has a motor capacity of 10 h.p. or less and is used exclusively on non-federal waters.
However, if your boat is registered in another state, it can be used in Washington temporarily as long as the primary use is in the other state.
Self propelled boats are also exempt as are commercial vessels with a valid marine document.
The cost is $16 for an original title and registration. Boats 16 feet and longer are subject to an additional one-half of one percent excise tax on their fair market value.
Find out more by contacting your County Auditor or subagent office.
Documented pleasure vessels are exempt from titling, but are required to be registered with the Department of Licensing. Vessels Documented for commercial use must be registered with the Department of Revenue.
How do I change the address on my registration or title?
You can change your address by visiting any County Auditor or subagent office. You may also contact the Department of Licensing directly. You will need to provide your name, information for each vehicle you own to include the year, make, identification number and/or Washington license plate number.
Forward this information and your new address to:
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9909
Olympia, WA 98507-8500
How do I change my name on my registration or title?
If your name has been changed by court action, you must bring the title, current registration, if available, a certified copy of the court order authorizing the name change, and proper identification to the County Auditor or subagents office.
If your name has been changed without obtaining a court order, such as by marriage or divorce, you must bring the title, current registration, if available, and proper identification to the County Auditor or subagents office. In addition, you will be required to complete an affidavit of change of name.
The cost of this transaction is $9.00, licensing fees if applicable, plus minimal service fee if processed at a license subagents office.
How do I get a duplicate title (ownership document) and how long will it take?
To obtain a duplicate title, please submit a request signed by the legal owners with the signatures notarized. If there is a lienholder on the title, the lienholder will have to apply for the duplicate title. The request must describe the vehicle by year, make, identification number and/or Washington license plate number. Send this information, or take it to any County Auditor or license subagents office with the proper processing fee of $9.00. Subagents charge an additional service fee.
The duplicate title will be mailed in approximately three to four weeks.
I mailed my renewal notice with the fees, where are my tabs?
Call the license agency to whom you mailed the renewal notice. The issuing officer will advise whether the tabs have been issued and when, or they will advise your further.
Do not stop payment on a check if you have not received your tabs.
I paid off my loan. Now where is my title?
It takes approximately four weeks after the lien holder submits the paperwork for the new title to be issued. You may call any vehicle license agent to check on the status of your title. If the title has not been issued please call the lien holder regarding the date it was forwarded to a vehicle licensing office to have their lien removed. If it has been longer than four weeks, please call the Customer Service Unit at (360) 902-3770 #5.
How do I get a copy of my sellers report?
Forward a written request providing the year, make, identification number and/or Washington license number to:
Vehicle Record Section
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9038
Olympia, WA 98507-9038
How do I obtain a Washington Title and/or Registration in my name?
Please check the New Vehicle, Used Vehicle, and/or New Washington State Resident page to see what documents are required. Take the required paperwork to the County Auditor or license subagents office. You may also apply for title and/or registration by mail; however, please contact the Department of Licensing Customer Service Unit at telephone number (360) 902-3770 option 5 for the correct fee quote.
How do I reinstate my vehicle registration after it has been insurance destroyed? Will my title be branded?
After repairs are completed, take the vehicle to the Washington State Patrol and have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. See VIN Inspection page for date and times. The inspector will require bills of sale for all major component parts used in the repair of the vehicle.
Take the inspection form and the vehicle registration to the County Auditor or license subagents office and apply for a new title.
The new title will be branded as rebuilt if the vehicle is newer than 6 years at the time of destruction.
Junk Vehicles? How do I claim a vehicle which has been abandoned on my property?
A property owner cannot claim ownership for an unattended vehicle. They also cannot obtain registration only or apply for a bonded title on these vehicles. The vehicle must be picked up by a tow truck operator and held for 97 consecutive hours. It is then sold at auction by the tow truck company as an Abandoned vehicle.
How do I find a record and title elimination instructions on mobile homes?
This information is only available to lending institutions. The general public can only receive this information if they are, and can prove, they are the legal and/or registered owners.
To locate the record of a mobile home, forward your request to:
Department of Licensing
PO Box 2957
Olympia, WA 98507-2957
or FAX to (360) 664-0831
You will need to provide the reason for the request and a description of the mobile home including the year, make, model, identification number and last owner's name.
Title elimination: Require supporting documentation for a title elimination is the same as any title transfer, except a manufactured home application must also be attached. The application, form number TD 420-729 (R12/96), can be obtained from the County Auditor or license subagents office. Follow the instructions on the front of the form.
How do I qualify for free licensing if I am a Disabled American Veteran?
You will need to have:
1. Received an honorable discharge or received a discharge for physical reasons with an honorable record, and:
- Served in any branch of the armed forces of the United States between World War I and World War II, or during any period of war, or
- Served in any branch of the armed forces of the United States and received the armed forces or marine corps or navy expeditionary medal, for opposed action on foreign soil.
2. Received a service connected disability rating from the Veterans Administration or the military service from which the veteran was discharged, and:
- have lost the use of both hands or one foot, or
- have become blind in both eyes as a result of military service (verification of vision correctable to less that 20/200 may be provided by an ophthalmologist or optometrist), or
- rated by the Veterans Administration or the military service from which the veteran was discharged and, is receiving service connected compensation at the 100% rate expected to exist for more than one year.