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Moving Out of State in Washington

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Registration and License Plates

Washington does not require you to surrender your plates if you move out of state, with the exception of specialty plates. Regular license plates can be destroyed or recycled once you've registered in your new state. Specialty plates should be surrendered at your local vehicle licensing office.

Registration refunds for the unused portion of your paid Washington registration are available, subject to certain provisions. Complete a Vehicle/Vessel Registration Refund and mail it, along with a copy of your vehicle's new title or registration from a different state, to:

  • Department of Licensing
  • Refunds and Title Services
  • P.O. Box 9037
  • Olympia, WA 98507
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Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

Things to do When You Move to a New State

  • Apply for a new driver's license. After establishing residency most states require that this be done within a set amount of time. It is important to check what this time period is with your new home state.
  • Apply for a new registration. This too must be completed within a set amount of days after establishing residency.
  • Apply for new license plates. This generally coincides with the registration process.
  • Apply for a new vehicle title. Unlike the aforementioned, applying for a new title generally is not mandatory. If you plan on selling your vehicle, only then will you need an updated title to correspond with your new state.
  • If you're a prospective new driver you will need to check if your permit is honored in your new state.
  • If you completed a driver education course in your old state you will also need to investigate whether your new state will honor the completion certificate.
  • Notify your insurance company of your move and provide a new address.
  • Notify your leasing company if your vehicle is leased.
  • Learn if your new state requires vehicle inspections.
  • Notify your new area's Voter Registration Board.

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