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Washington Vehicle Registration

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Washington DMV Vehicle Registration Guide

On our Washington Vehicle Registration page, you’ll find information about how to register a vehicle with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), car registration for new Washington residents, WA registration renewal, duplicate registration, replacements & changes WA auto insurance requirements, and WA military member registration.

Washington Car Registration Overview

Registering a Vehicle in Washington State

You must register your vehicle through the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL).

Here is a quick checklist of items to bring when visiting your local Washington licensing office.

What to bring to the WA DOL:

  • Proof of identity (e.g., driver’s license, ID, or passport).
  • A completed Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001).
  • Proof of vehicle ownership including both:
  • Acceptable form of payment for WA car registration fees and taxes.
  • Continue reading for more specific details about how to register a vehicle in Washington.

    Registering Vehicles Purchased from a Washington Dealer

    When you purchase either a new or used vehicle from a licensed Washington car dealer, they will submit the necessary documents to the WA DOL to transfer ownership into your name.

    The dealer has 45 days from the delivery date to transfer the vehicle title into your name. They must provide plates, tabs, and registration.

    Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

    In Washington, you must register and transfer the title of your vehicle within 15 days of the purchase date. If you do not transfer the vehicle title within 15 days, you’ll have to pay penalties (up to 125):

    • $50 on the 16th day.
    • $2 per day after the 16th day .

    To register your vehicle, visit your local Washington licensing office and present:

    • A completed Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001).
      • As per the form.
    • The original title, signed by both the buyer and the seller.
      • The WA DMV requires you to sign the title in the presence of a notary public OR a
        licensing agent
        at a WA vehicle licensing office.
      • If the vehicle is model year 2011 or newer, complete the odometer disclosure section on the title.
    • A completed Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale (Form TD-420-065).
      • The Washington DOL uses the sales price on the Bill of Sale to determine the use tax.
      • Enter $0 for sales price if the vehicle was a gift or inheritance.
    • Proof of identification.
    • Proof of car insurance, if required.

      • You must have car insurance in Washington. However, the WA DOL does NOT require you to show proof of insurance when registering your vehicle.
    • Payment for WA car registration and title fees.

    Register By Mail (Private Party Sales)

    You may also mail all of the above documents and fees to your nearest WA DOL office. it will take 8-10 weeks to receive your title.
    NOTE: To expedite the process, you can also register in person or mail your forms and fees to a Quick Title office. You will pay an additional $50 fee for this service.

WA Vehicle Registration for New Residents

New to Washington?

The Washington DOL requires you to apply for a Washington title and vehicle registration within 30 days of establishing residency.

As a new resident, you must first obtain a valid Washington driver’s license. Once you complete this process, you may register your vehicle.

Visit your local Washington DOL office and present:

  • The current certificate of title.
    • If there is a lien on your vehicle, your lending institution must fax a copy of the title to your local WA DOL office.
    • Model year 2011 or newer? You must complete the odometer disclosure statement on the title.
  • A completed Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001).
    • IMPORTANT: You must sign this form in front of an agent OR complete it in front of a notary, if submitting to the DOL by mail.
  • A bill of sale or dealer purchase agreement if you have owned the vehicle for less than 90 days.
  • A California Emission Compliance/Exemption Certification (Form TD-420-539), if applicable.
  • Payment for WA car registration, fees, and taxes.

NOTE: You may also mail all of your documents to a DOL office. It may take 3 weeks to receive your license plates from the time the WA DOL receives your application.

WA Registration for Military Drivers

Washington military residents currently residing in the state can register their vehicles as normal. Visit the section above Registering a Vehicle in Washington to learn more.

Registration for WA Residents Stationed Outside Washington

To register your vehicle by mail as a WA resident stationed outside of the state, please gather all of the following:

  • A completed and notarized Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001).
    • You must include vehicle weight.
    • All registered owners must sign the form.
  • A properly assigned original vehicle title.
    • For new vehicles, you must include a Statement of Origin.
    • If your vehicle has a lien, include a copy of the front and back of the title.
  • For vehicle model years 2011 or newer, complete the odometer disclosure statement on the title.
  • A bill of sale or dealer purchase agreement if you have owned the vehicle for less than 90 days OR a purchase agreement from the dealership with proof of any taxes paid.
  • A completed Primary Residence Address Exception (Form TD-420-004).
  • A copy of your military orders showing your billet outside of Washington for at least 90 days.
  • A copy of a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) showing Washington as your home State of record.
  • Payment for your WA car registration and fees.

Mail payment and all required documents to any Washington vehicle licensing office.

Registration for Non-Residents

The WA DOL does not require non-resident military service members stationed in Washington to register their vehicles in the state.

Washington military personnel must maintain current registration and car insurance from their home state during deployment.

If a military service member becomes a resident of Washington, he or she will need to apply for WA car registration.

Read Vehicle Registration for New Residents to learn more.

Renewing Your Registration in Washington

You can renew your WA vehicle registration online, in person, or by mail.

  • The Washington DOL mails your renewal notice several weeks prior to the expiration.
    • Washington emails these renewal notices to drivers who previously signed up via
      License eXpress.
  • You must renew your Washington vehicle registration annually.
  • Your WA registration renewal notice indicates your registration expiration and total fees due.See Washington Renewals to learn more.

Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration

If your WA registration document or tabs are lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a replacement by mail or in person at your local Washington DOL office.

See below for instructions on how to apply for duplicate registration by mail and in person.

Replace Registration By Mail

To replace your WA registration card or decals in person, you’ll need to visit your local WA DOL office and present the following:

  • A completed Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest (Form TD-420-040).
    • Complete the Affidavit of Loss section only.
    • All owners of the vehicle must sign the form in the presence of a notary.
  • Appropriate payment for duplicate registration card fee.
    • Make checks payable to the Department of Licensing.
  • NOTE: Duplicate registration card fees can vary. Contact your local WA DOL office to get your exact fee.

    Replace Registration In Person

    To replace your registration/decals by mail, send all of the above to your local WA DOL office.

    NOTE: If you do not receive your vehicle tabs in the mail, please contact the Washington DOL directly.

    They may send a replacement at no cost, if you meet these requirements:

    • The DOL verifies issuance of your tabs.
    • You have been waiting for more than 15-90 days.
    • Your current mailing address is on file with DOL.

Changes to Your WA Car Registration

Name Changes on WA Registration

Before you can make changes to your Washington registration documents, you must first change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Once you complete your name change with SSA, you can make changes to your name with the
Washington DOL.

To change a name on your vehicle registration in person at the WA DOL, be ready to provide:

  • Your Washington certificate of vehicle title.
  • A completed Vehicle Title Application (Form TD-420-001).
  • Legal documents supporting your name change, such as a:
    • Marriage license, if the name change is due to marriage.
    • Divorce decree.
    • A court-ordered name change document.
  • Payment for the duplicate registration fee.

To update your name by mail, please send all of the above to:

Application & Issuance
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 9043
Olympia, WA 98507

Address Changes on WA Vehicle Registration

You may change your address with the WA DOL online, or in person.

Online Address Change

To change your Washington address online, please visit the WA DOL’s website online services portal or log in to your License eXpress account.

Please have the following ready:

  • Vehicle license plate number.
  • Last 4 digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN).

Follow the prompts to update your address.

Once complete, WA DOL’s system will update your new address.

Address Changes in Person

To change your address in person, please visit any WA DOL office or Quick Title Office.

Vehicle Registration Fees in WA

Washington Vehicle Registration Fees

Washington calculates registration fees by vehicle weight, location, and taxes.

The base registration fee is $43.25.

Washington may require you to pay a use tax if:

  • You purchased the vehicle from a private party or if.
  • You transport the vehicle from a state that does not collect sales tax.
  • To understand the sales/use tax, visit the DOL’s tax rate lookup tool.

    Washington DOL vehicle registration and related fees:

    • Passenger and non-commercial vehicles: $43.25, which includes a:
      • $4.50 filing fee.
      • $8 service fee.
      • $0.75 license service fee.
      • $30 basic renewal fee.
    • Vehicle weight fee for passenger vehicles 0 pounds to 4,000 pounds: $25.
    • Transport Benefit District fee: $0 to $100. This fee depends on the county in which you live.
    • Original title certificate fee: $15.
    • Plate transfer fee: $10.
    • Duplicate/corrected title fee: $15.
    • Replacement registration ID card fee: $14.
    • Replacement tabs fee: $13.75.

    To estimate your total Washington vehicle registration fees, use the WA DOL’s fee calculator.

Last Verified:
Nov 29, 2023