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  • Special Vehicles in Washington

    SUMMARY: How to Register a Special Vehicle Type in Washington

    For vehicles other than standard cars and trucks in Washington, the registration process may vary slightly in the forms to submit or the fees to pay. ATVs require a separate application and inspection, while snowmobiles are registered according to the age of the vehicle. Custom-built vehicles should first have a VIN assigned, and RVs and motorhomes are registered using the same process as regular vehicles. Find your vehicle type below for details.

    In Washington, the Department of Licensing (DOL) requires just about every motorized and wheeled vehicle operating on public road and property, including snowmobiles and trailers, to be registered.

    All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Registration

    If you intend to only operate your ATV on private property, you do not have to notify the Washington DOL. Otherwise, you must register it.

    You will need to apply for a metal tag (to affix to your ATV) and keep your registration document with you whenever you're operating the vehicle.

    Street-Legal ATVs

    Generally, ATVs can only be operated off road. However, if your vehicle is street legal, you can apply for an on-road tab in addition to your registration which allows you to operate your ATV on some roads in Washington.

    To qualify for an on-road tab in Washington, your ATV must:

    • Have all of the following equipment:
      • Head lamp.
      • Tail lamp.
      • Stop lamp.
      • Turn signals.
      • Brakes.
      • Mirror.
      • Horn.
      • Spark arrester and muffler.
      • Windshield.
      • Seatbelts.
    • Have your ATV inspected by a licensed repair shop or dealer in Washington.

    You will need to bring the following to your local WA DOL office:

    For more information about getting an on-road tab, including related fees, contact the Washington DOL.

    Snowmobile Registration in Washington

    All snowmobiles, regardless if only restricted to private property, must be registered with the Washington DOL. It's an easy process that requires visiting a vehicle licensing office.

    Bring proof of ownership, such as the signed-over title, the bill of sale, or the manufacturer's certificate of origin, as well as payment for all applicable fees. There are no downloadable application forms. All of the paperwork will be issued by a vehicle licensing agent.

    Registration fees are determined by the age of your snowmobile. If it is under 30 years old, you'll be charged $33.75. If it's 30 years old or more, you'll pay $15.75.

    A snowmobile's registration is valid for 1 year at a time.

    WA Trailer Registration

    Registering a trailer is similar to registering any other vehicle. Visit any WA vehicle licensing office with proof of ownership and the ability to pay the fees. There are no downloadable application forms. All of the paperwork will be issued by a vehicle licensing agent.

    Registration fees vary by weight and are as follows:

    • Single axle boat trailer weighing up to 2,000 lbs.: $21.75.
    • Single axle boat trailer weighing more than 2,000 lbs.: $36.75.
    • Single axle horse or utility trailer weighing up to 2,000 lbs.: $18.75.
    • Single axle horse or utility trailer weighing more than 2,000 lbs.: $33.75.

    Recreational Vehicles and Motorhomes

    Recreational vehicles (RVs) and motorhomes need to be titled and registered much the same way as you would register your regular car in Washington. You'll need to visit your  local WA DOL office in person and submit various documents and payment for the applicable fees. Depending on if you bought the RV from a dealer or from a private seller, the documents required may vary.

    Your base fee for registering your RV is $111.75, and you may also be asked to pay any or all of the following:

    • $5 subagent fee.
    • Inspection fees.
    • Regional Transportation Authority tax (only for the counties of Pierce, King, and Snohomish).

    Note that some cities also require a local benefit district fee.

    For more information on the registration process, see our Registering a Car in Washington page.

    Custom-Built Cars

    If you have a custom-built vehicle in Washington, you will need to first apply for a vehicle identification number (VIN) before you can register it. Schedule an appointment with the Washington State Patrol. You will need to bring some documents with you to the inspection:

    • Bills of sale for all major components of the vehicle.
    • A letter from the WA DOL explaining why you need an inspection.

    There may be additional documents required depending on your situation. Visit the WA State Patrol website for more information.

    Once you have a VIN assigned to your custom vehicle, follow the steps on our Washington Car Registration page to register your car. You'll need to bring your VIN inspection certificate with you to the WA DOL.

    Mopeds and Scooters in WA

    Mopeds must be registered in Washington, just like you'd register a car.

    WA state defines a moped as a vehicle with:

    • 2 to 3 wheels.
    • A motor under 50 cc and up to 2 horsepower.
    • A top speed of 30 MPH.

    To be registered and operated on public roads, a moped must meet all safety and operational regulations.

    Electric bicycles and foot scooters with motors DO NOT have to registered in Washington.

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