Moving? Get WA plates

Things to know

  • First, you must get your Washington (WA) driver license, then register your vehicle(s). You have 30 days to do this after you’ve moved here.
  • We have different offices for driver licensing and vehicle licensing. You won’t be able to get your license and register your vehicle at the same place.
  • Everyone’s situation is different, call a vehicle licensing office to find out what your fees will be and exactly what you need to do.

Overview

  1. Get a WA driver license
  2. Find out what you need depending on your situation
  3. Submit your forms and payment
  4. Get your plates
  5. Set up a License eXpress account
  6. Open a Good-to-Go! account, if needed

1. Get a WA driver license

First get your WA driver license then register your vehicle(s). You have 30 days once you establish residency here to get your driver license, register your vehicle(s) and get new plates.

2. Find out what you need depending on your situation

Call a vehicle licensing office to find out what your fees will be and what you need to do next. You may also need to meet one or more of these requirements:

If you’re registering an out of state vehicle Then you must
That’s less than 10 years old. Include an Odometer Disclosure Statement with your application. It’s only available:
That’s 2009 or newer:
  • Car
  • Light-duty truck
  • SUV
  • Passenger van
It must meet California emission standards to be registered, leased, rented, licensed, or sold for use in WA. See Clean Car emission requirements.
In these counties: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, or Spokane. You may need to pass an emissions test before you register your vehicle. See Emissions testing.
That’s been registered in another state and owned for less than 90 days. Include Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale or Dealership purchase agreement showing proof of any taxes paid.
Where the vehicle weight doesn’t show on the title. You may be required to show the vehicle weight slip. You could get the weight from a vehicle licensing office or weigh your vehicle at a scale house in WA.
Where any owners listed on the title are deceased or need to be removed. Contact a vehicle licensing office for instructions.
That’s an RV, motor home, or trailer. You may be required to present proof of sales tax. If you don’t have proof you’ll be required to pay use tax.

You may also want to find out about:

3. Submit your forms and payment

Mail or bring the following to a vehicle licensing office:

  • Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application.
    • In an office: Sign the form in front of the agent.
    • If you're mailing: Sign the form in front of a notary.
  • A copy of your vehicle title.
    • Still making payments on your vehicle? We won’t title it here in Washington until it’s paid off. Once it’s paid off, you can apply for a WA title.
    • If you don’t have the title, contact an office.
  • Payment for the fees — call a vehicle licensing office to find out what your fees will be.

4. Get your plates

If you go to an office, you’ll get them right away. If you mail in, it may take up to 3 weeks from the date we get your application.

5. Set up a License eXpress account

Once you’ve registered your vehicle(s), you can add them to your License eXpress account. With License eXpress, you can manage all your vehicles:

  • See when your vehicle’s tabs are due.
  • Make sure your address is up-to-date.
  • Sign-up or update email renewal notices and more.

Learn more about License eXpress

6. Open a Good To Go! account

If you travel these routes you may also want to register for a Department of Transportation Good to Go! account:

Related information

Questions? Need help?

Contact us

Washington Healthcare Finder
Good To Go!
Access Washington – official state government website