Moved To Washington with a Vehicle
If you have just moved to Washington, you have 30 days to register your vehicle. The FIRST STEP in this process is to obtain your Washington driver license. In Washington, driver licensing and vehicle licensing are handled by separate departments. You will need to visit a driver license office to get your Washington driver license. Visit the Driver License website for more information.
Once you have obtained your Washington driver license, check to see if your vehicle will need a Washington emissions test. Tests from other states are not honored in Washington, so even if you recently had one done in the state you’re coming from, you may need to get one here. If ownership of the vehicle is not changing AND the vehicle is not a model year being tested this year, you will not need to have the vehicle tested. If ownership is changing OR the vehicle is a model year being tested, you will need to have the emissions test done. View this information on emissions testing to verify if your vehicle will need a test.
With your Washington Driver License and, possibly, your Emissions Test in hand, you would now be ready to come in to a licensing office to register your vehicle. Here are the things you will need to bring with you:
- The Title
- If you are still making payments on the vehicle, we require a photo copy of the original title. Your financial institution can send you a copy or fax one directly to the licensing office you are working with. We will file and hold the copy until you come in.
- Odometer Reading
- If your vehicle is less than 10 years old, we need to know how many miles it has. Bring the reading with you and we will have you fill out the Odometer Disclosure when you arrive at a licensing office.
- Scale Weight
- Washington bases part of the registration cost on the scale weight of the vehicle. If the title from your home state does not have a scale weight printed on it, you may need to provide one. This applies to all passenger cars and trucks, motor homes, and motorcycles. For most vehicles we have the resources available to find this information, but it is not guaranteed.
- Proof of Taxes Paid*
- If you purchased your vehicle in the state you’re coming from less than 90 days before moving here, you will need to provide proof that you paid tax in that state, otherwise you will be taxed again in Washington. If the state you’re coming from does not have a sales/use tax, and was purchased less than 90 days ago, tax will be due.
- All registered owners must be present with their unexpired Washington driver license.
*When moving to Washington, you may be subject to Washington’s use tax. Passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, and personally used trucks with a gross weight of 12,000 lbs or less are not subject to use tax as long as they were acquired and registered in your home state for at least 90 days prior to moving to Washington. All other vehicles, including trailers, motor homes, ORV's and vessels are not exempt. Proof of taxes paid must be provided or tax will be due on the fair market value.