The state of Washington, like the other US States, has strict requirements for residents, who register their vehicles within its area. This Washington license plate lookup will help you to get introduced to all the nuances of the process.
The Washington State Department of Licensing manages all vehicle licensing processes in Washington. In addition, if you are a Washington state resident, you should pass a different registration process than that of non-residents. The categories of registration processes for residents might also differ. Thus, it depends on the type of your vehicle. To find out more about the registration process and clarify all the details, visit the local DOL office. If you have purchased your car from a dealer’s office, they should manage all the documentation for you. If you have bought your vehicle for a private seller, you must do the paperwork by yourself.
You can register your car either by mail or in person. Take notes to submit the following documents:
Take notes to have insurance for your car’s license plates and registration. You can register your car and get a license plate at the same time.
If you are a new resident, Washington law demands that you register your car within 30 days from the stay. Still, those who will register their cars within other states to escape from taxes will be liable. A year of imprisonment and a fine in the amount of 1.529 is possible.
If you are not a Washington resident, you can get a title for your car and operate within the state legally. The registration is available in person or by mail. For in-person registration, you can visit your local car licensing office. It is worth mentioning that you will get your license plate within 10 days. Still, if you want to get it in a shorter period, an additional fee is necessary. To get the license plate on the spot, visit the Quick Title office.
Nonresidents should provide the following documents for the application:
According to state law, salvaged cars are vehicles that carried serious damage. Hence, these types of vehicles are subject to serious repair, which is above their actual market cost. Insurance companies consider its compensation a total loss for the company.
So, the following type of vehicles ranks under the category “salvaged”:
To rank your vehicle among the category salvaged and to re-register it, you need a car inspection. The first institution to carry out the inspection is Washington State Patrol. The car is thoroughly checked.
To pass the inspection, car owners should submit the following documents:
The re-titling is available only for those, who have bought a salvaged car. If your car has crashed and you do not want to sell it, no need to re-title it again.
The procedure of getting new license plates for salvaged cars is the same as applying for regular titling. Still, if you have questions, contact the department of licensing for further information.
If you do not know what to do with your old license plates, there are a few options.
The renewal of license plates in Washington is an annual procedure. Three months before the expiry, you can renew your plates without returning them to the DOL. The department of licensing mails a notice or sends an email message a few weeks before the expiry date.
The notification includes renewal fees, the registry deadline, and the release testing notice. The renewal procedure is available online, by mail, or personally.
To renew your license plates online, you must submit:
Take notes that online renewal of your license plate is available if:
If you want to renew your tags in person, you should visit your local DOL office. To start the process, bring with you:
Washington state law allows the operation of seven-character license plates. Accordingly, the country recently went to 7-character plates from 6-digit tags. The reason is that they have been using 6-character tags for a long time.
The state of Washington has changed the number of digits on a license plate twice since 1968.
Currently, it produces tags by digital printing. Earlier, the tags were stamped by an embossing device. According to the official announcement, digital printing is a way faster process than stamping.
Important to realize is that all license plates in Washington are made at the Walla Walla prison. During the previous eight years, the institute gained $5.8 million in the license tag business.
The state of Washington demands that you stick your license plates on the front and back sides of your car. Still, according to state laws, there are some exceptions. It is impossible to stick two tags when the manufacturer did not provide a license plate bracket. In this case, the car owner should contact the manufacturer and see whether it is possible to get brackets. However, if the manufacturer denies the proposal, the car owner might get a front license plate waiver.
To apply for the license plate waiver, the applicant should make a written proposal to Washington State Patrol. The application should contain data about the car, including:
The state of Washington suggests several types of license plates. To enumerate, these are handicap, specialty, and personalized (vanity) plates.
Vanity plates will give some tricky character to your car. It is fun to have personalized plates designed on your own. They speak about the identity of the owner. The process of getting a personalized car is easy and quick. However, you need to match some state requirements. The quantity of digits in vanity plates is limited to 1-7 characters. They should not contain words that are vulgar, discriminating, and indecent. Tags also should not contain unusual characters like hashtags.
Your vanity license plate application may be rejected for various reasons, check out our banned Washington license plates page for more details.
Fees for personalized plates are added to the regular registration costs.
Handicap license plates are available for those entities, who suffer from certain diseases. These types of tags can provide a special parking area for the owners. To qualify for handicap license plates, turn to a physician or a certified nurse. They will give you a special permit to qualify for the handicap license.
The diseases meant for the provision of handicap licenses are as follows:
The Washington department of vehicle licensing provides special interest plates for:
The fees for special interest tags might differ based on the vehicle type.