- Location: Washington
Buying and Selling FAQs in Washington
Please explain to me Washington's use tax?
A use tax is charged in the absence of a sales tax. For example, when you purchase a used vehicle from an individual, there is no sales tax involved, so the state instead charges a use tax. But unlike a sales tax, which is based on purchase price, a use tax is based on a vehicle's fair market value.
In regards to the use tax, how is a vehicle's fair market value determined?
The Department of Licensing (DOL) relies upon National Market Reports (NMR) for determing fair market value.
Can I challenge the determined fair market value, if I'm convinced my vehicle is worth less?
Sure. To do so, provide the DOL with one or more of the following:
- An estimate in repairs as determined by a mechanic. You can't guess this on your own. You must employ a certified mechanic to create the estimate.
- An appraisal authored by a registered dealer.
- Photocopied evidence of another maket value-setting source listing your vehicle at a lower value. Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) are all considered legitimate sources.
- Submit a Declaration of Buyer and Seller Regarding Value of Used Vehicle Sold (Form REV 32 2501).
If I'm importing a car into Washington, is it true I must have the undercarriage cleaned before shipping?
True. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that all undercarriages be thoroughly cleaned before shipping cars between states and into this country, so as to safeguard against transporting any dangerous pests.
What documentation will I need if I'm importing a vehicle into Washington?
You'll need the following:
- The shipper's or carrier's original bill of lading.
- The bill of sale.
- Foreign registration documents.
- A letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirming that the vehicle adheres to all U.S. emission standards.
Or, if all of the above seems like too much work, hire an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) to import your vehicle. Be willing to pay, however. ICIs are extremely expensive.