Licensing Transfers and Registration

Just moved to Washington State?  You have 30 days to title, register and get WA plates on your vehicle. (You can get a $529 minimum traffic fine if you are a resident and do not license your vehicle in this state. You are considered a resident when you register to vote, receive state benefits, apply for any state license at residential rates, or seek in-state tuition rates.)  Bring the following to Eastside Auto Licensing and we will help you transfer your vehicle/s and vessel/s to Washington. 

Please bring the following to transfer title:

·         Current Driver’s License

·         Title.  If there is not a lien holder on the title, bring in the original title.  If there is a lien holder on the title, it is your responsibility to contact the lien holder and ask them to provide you with a fax or photocopy of the title they are holding.  Most lien holders will want to mail the original to our office, or in the case of an electronic title, fax a copy (front and back of title) to our office.  We cannot proceed with your title transfer until we either have the original title, or the information from the lien holder.

·         Lost the title?  Do you hold title to your vehicle, but have lost the title? We can still help you. You will need to apply for a duplicate title from the state that issued the title.  It is your responsibility to do this.  You can also apply for an Affidavit of Loss of Title. 

If you travel these routes you may also want to register for a Good to Go! account:

For more detailed information or for information not included on this web site, please go to the WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site at www.dol.wa.gov/

Registering Your Vehicle/Transferring Ownership into Your Name

If you purchased a vehicle from a private party with a Washington State title (certificate of ownership), you will need to register the vehicle in your name. (If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer, the dealer has 45 days to transfer the title into your name, plus provide plates, tabs and registration. If the dealership has gone out of business, you will need to contact DOL in Olympia directly.) 

Please bring the following to Eastside Auto Licensing and we will help you through the registration process:

·         Title:  The title needs to have been signed by all persons listed on the front of the document, or in the event of a lost title, you will need an Affidavit in Lieu of Title/Release of Interest form with notarized or certified signatures from all persons listed as owners of the vehicle.  If there is a lien holder on the title, meaning payments are still being paid on the vehicle/vessel, it is your responsibility to contact the lien holder and ask them to provide you with a fax or photocopy of the title they are holding.  Most lien holders will want to mail the original to our office, or in the case of an electronic title, fax a copy (front and back of title) to our office.  We cannot proceed with your title transfer until we either have the original title, or the information from the lien holder.

·         Emissions:  You will need to provide proof that your vehicle has passed a Washington State emissions test, if a test is required. Emission testing is required in urban areas of King County, Pierce County, Clark County, Snohomish County, and Spokane County.

·         Sell Price of the Vehicle:  The sell price of the vehicle must be on a bill of sale, or be written on the title.  Should the sell price be more than $5,000 below fair market value for the vehicle, you may need to provide additional information.  Washington State law RCW82.12.010 requires a use tax be collected on the clean, fair market retail value.  If the sell price is below the clean, fair market retail value of the vehicle/vessel, you may need to provide proof of value. For instance, purchasing a vehicle or vessel, claiming you paid $100 for it, yet the clean, fair retail market value is $6,500, will result in raised eyebrows and a list of questions from a licensing agent!  Know that even with proof, DOL will review your documents and may later access a use value on the vehicle/vessel should they not be able to verify your submitted values of a vehicle or vessel.

·         Odometer Statement:  This is required for vehicles less than ten (10) years old.  One buyer and one seller MUST sign the form.  It is acceptable to complete this information on the back of the title, or to submit a federally approved odometer form (available at Eastside Auto Licensing).

·         Proper ID for all persons to be listed on the new title.  All people to be listed on the title must be present at the time of transaction.  If this is not possible, a notarized Power of Attorney for this transaction may be acceptable.  Please check with one of the licensing agents at Eastside Auto Licensing.

·         Proof of sales tax paid on your vehicle, vessel, RV, motorhome, motorcycle, or trailer must be provided. If you cannot provide proof of sales tax paid when the vehicle was purchased, you will be required to pay use tax before the transaction can be completed.  A Title Clerk can help you determine a use tax, which will be based on the clean, fair market retail condition of the vehicle.  (See Sell Price of the Vehicle above.)

·         Lien Holder:  If one is to be listed on the title, it must be provided at the time of transfer.  We will need the lien holder’s name and address.

·         IMPORTANT NOTE 1: You are required by state law to transfer your title within 15 calendar days of purchase if you purchased the vehicle from a private party or you received the vehicle as a gift.  Day 16? A penalty of $50 applies.  This penalty increases $2.00 per day up to a maximum penalty of $125.  Avoid the penalties by transferring the title within the allotted timeframe. If you purchased from a dealership, the dealership should transfer the title for you.

·         IMPORTANT NOTE 2We cannot stress this enough!  The new owner is responsible for transferring the title.  If you sold or traded your vehicle, transferred, gifted the vehicle, donated, turned it over to an insurance company/wrecking yard, or released interest in a vehicle/vessel, the registered owner should file a Report of Sale within five (5) days of sale or transfer.  For the Report of Sale you will need: License plate number; Date of the sale or transfer; Sale price (Zero if a gift or inheritance; Name and address of the person or organization who took ownership of the vehicle; and, the VIN (Vehicle ID number). This action helps protect the seller from certain civil and criminal liabilities, tolling bills, or towing charges incurred by the new owner.  You can file a Report of Sale at Eastside Auto Licensing (a service fee applies), or do it online. Either way, be sure to keep your receipt as proof of filing. Plus, be sure to update your Good To Go electronic tolling pass to show you no longer own the vehicle.

 

Even More Helpful Information Follows!

Primary Residence Requirement

Washington State requires all vehicle owners to keep their current primary Washington state residence updated with the Department of Licensing. This information is used solely for vehicle record. When you register a new or used car, or renew your tabs, you will be asked to verify your primary Washington state residence. For a personally-owned vehicle or boat, use your residence street address. You do not need to provide an address if any of these apply: You are exempt from paying motor vehicle excise taxes or fees; your vehicle is exempt from motor vehicle excise taxes of fees; you are in the military and stationed overseas; you are homeless. Business-owned vehicles need to use the street address of the principal place of business in Washington State.

Even though you are required to provide your primary residence address, you may use a separate mailing address which DOL will use to send vehicle renewal notices (until they are completely phased out and online only).

The reason for this requirement enables fair vehicle/vessel tax assessment; an address to contact should you be in an accident; and to notify you of emission tests required for your vehicle.

Fair Market Value

Fair market value reflects the value of a vehicle according to the “clean condition” retail selling price. The actual selling price may or may not be the same as the average “clean condition” fair market value. This is especially true for a used vehicle or vessel. Fair market values are determined from industry standard sources, i.e. Edmunds.com, National Auto Dealers Association (NADA), or Kelley Blue Book.

To establish that a vehicle or vessel is worth less than the average fair market value, the buyer may provide:

·An estimate of repairs prepared by a registered mechanic (must be on their letterhead)

·An appraisal prepared by a registered dealer (must be on their letterhead)

·Documentation from another value source, such as NADA, Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds, that cites a lower average retail value for the vehicle or vessel. The purchase price will be accepted if it is within $5,000 of the value cited by the alternate source. Photocopies of printed materials or a printout from the Internet are acceptable.

·A completed Department of Revenue Declaration of Buyer and Seller Regarding Value of Use Vehicle Sold form stating the selling price and condition of the vehicle. The buyer ¬and the seller must sign the form. These are subject to review by the WA State Department of Licensing (DOL) and/or the WA State Department of Revenue (DOR). The DOL and DOR both use a value system that receives data from Price Digests.

Trip Permit
$30.00 / NON-REFUNDABLE (Once purchased, no exchanges, refunds, or credits)

A Trip Permit is good for three (3) consecutive days of customer’s choosing, beginning with the first day of use. Photo ID required. A Trip Permit must be purchased at a licensing office.

The Trip Permit includes, but is not limited to the following uses:

·Driving/using a rarely-used car, motorcycle or trailer that has an expired registration

·Allowing people to test drive a vehicle that you are trying to sell, but vehicle has expired tabs

·Taking a vehicle with expired tabs in for repairs and subsequent test driving

Transit Permit
$5.00 / NON-REFUNDABLE (Once purchased, no exchanges, refunds, or credits)

A Transit Permit is good for two (2) days of customer’s choosing. The days do not have to be consecutive, but the dates must be selected at the time the permit is issued. Photo ID is required, as well as the vehicle’s year, make, model, and VIN/serial number. A Transit Permit must be purchased at a licensing office.

A Transit Permit is valid only for specific, limited situations:

·Driving a vehicle with expired tabs to an authorized emissions test facility, and returning to Eastside Auto Licensing for registration renewal

·Driving a vehicle to a Washington State Patrol inspection station and returning to Eastside Auto Licensing for applicable vehicle transaction

Report of Sale
$5.00 / NON-REFUNDABLE (Once purchased, no exchanges, refunds, or credits)

The Seller is responsible for filing a Report of Sale within 5 (five) days of selling the vehicle/vessel. If vehicle/vessel is a trade-in at a dealership, some dealerships file the Report of Sale as a courtesy. Be sure to ask!

 

Gross Weight

 

There are new requirements for vehicles rated over 16,000 pounds. Go to the Washington State Patrol website: www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/dotnumber.htm; or the website for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/online-registration for additional information.