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Licensing a New Vehicle

So You Bought a New Car or Boat. Now what?

Congratulations on purchasing your new vehicle or vessel! Whether you bought a car, truck, camper, trailer, boat, or any other type of vehicle or vessel, you probably have to license it with the State of Washington. Fortunately, if you purchased your vehicle from a dealer in the state, that dealer will probably take care of the licensing for you. Ask your dealer if this is so.

However, if the dealer did not do the licensing for you, or if you purchased your vehicle from out-of-state, you will need to license the vehicle yourself.

Application for a title and/or license must be made immediately. You can do this by going to the main Auto Licensing center in downtown Vancouver, or better yet, you can license your vehicle at any of the county's vehicle licensing agencies. See the Listing of Locations for addresses and hours of operation.

Some items you will need

When you go to either the main office or to any of the agencies:

  • Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO)
  • Notarized signatures
  • Documentation of the purchase price
  • Federal odometer statement
  • Dealer bill of sale
  • Leased Vehicle - need Washington Department of Revenue Tax Number
  • Unexpired Washington state driver's license as required by RCW 46.16A.050 unless exempt under RCW 46.20.025
  • Cash, check, money order, debit or credit card (except VISA credit cards) (There is a convenience fee for debit and credit cards)

What about special or personalized license plates?

You can get information about special or personalized license plates from the Washington State Department of Licensing, including the ability to find out whether a certain personalized license plate may be available


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Clark County Auto Licensing Department: Paul Harris, Auto Licensing Manager
Street Address: 1408 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 9812, Vancouver, WA 98666-8812
Main phone: (360) 397-2288 | FAX: (360) 397-6025
Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388, then call (360) 397-2445
Responsible Elected Official: Greg Kimsey

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