Registration Renewal in Washington
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Renew WA Registration
To avoid legal problems, you must renew your vehicle annually with the Department of Licensing (DOL). In addition, you must never allow your car insurance to lapse.
Scrolling down to "Check Your Renewal Notice" to find more information.
Register a Vehicle in WA for the First Time
If you just purchased a new vehicle or recently moved to Washington, you can find all you need to know about first-time registering at our car registration page.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
Non-operational vehicles do not require registration during dormancy. When you're ready to return your car to the road, you must:
- Have the vehicle's license plates.
- Find the old registration certificate, if available.
- Locate the title if it has been off the road for five years or longer.
- Have proper ID.
- Be prepared to pay all required fees.
- Visit any vehicle licensing office.
Your renewal notice should arrive in the mail several weeks prior to your registration's expiration date. If you don't receive one, call (360) 902-3770.
Your renewal notice will include important information regarding your renewal requirements, including whether it's time for your vehicle to undergo another emissions inspection.
Your renewal notice will include your fee; however, if you want to renew early (up to six months prior), you can determine your cost at the state's registration fee calculator. Registration fees, like insurance premiums, are higher for newer vehicles.
Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
There are no imposed late fees.
Before renewing, regardless of method, you must:
- Pay any unpaid parking tickets and subsequent penalty fees.
- Pay a Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax if your vehicle has a declared gross weight over 55,000 pounds.
- Pass an emissions test, if your county requires it.
- Update, if applicable, any change of address. You can do this online.
- Have your renewal notice on hand. Call (360) 902-3770 if you don't receive a notice.
- Have an American Express, Visa, or MasterCard ready to pay your fee.
- Go to the state's online renewal page and follow the instructions.
You can immediately pick up your tabs if you want to visit your vehicle licensing office, or you can wait for them to arrive in the mail within seven days. If they don't arrive, contact your vehicle licensing office.
- Have proof of residence.
- Have your driver's license.
- Have an emission certificate, if applicable.
- Have cash, a check, or a money order to cover the fee.
- Visit any vehicle licensing office.
- Submit a check for the fee indicated on your renewal notice. If you don't receive a notice, call (360) 902-3770.
- Provide proof of an emissions inspection, if applicable.
- Mail everything to the address indicated on renewal notice.
Attach your registration decals to the rear plate. Accompanying instructions will instruct where to exactly affix them.
Residents of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties can claim the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) excise tax as a tax deduction. For assistance, contact your accountant or a tax attorney.
Once your vehicle's papers are in order, shift focus to keeping your car in top condition. A few easy maintenance steps―changing the oil, rotating and replacing the tires, annual tune-ups―will keep your vehicle running and help avoid costly repair bills.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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