Fee refunds: Vehicles and boats

Use the Vehicle/Vessel Refund Application to apply for a refund of vehicle or boat (vessel) fees.

Additional documentation is required in the following situations:

The vehicle or vessel was sold or traded before the new registration period started, or the license was purchased in error after the owner sold or traded the vehicle or vessel

The following must be received before the new registration period starts:

  • Unused, license tab or decal that was not placed on the vehicle or vessel, or tab and license plate, if new plate was issued and tab was affixed when you received it.
  • The current "original" registration
  • Proof of sale documentation with VIN/HIN, such as:
    • Vehicle/vessel report of sale, and
    • Bill of sale, or
    • Invoice showing trade-in to dealer.

The vehicle or vessel was destroyed/totaled before the new registration period started

Proof of destruction or total loss (including VIN/HIN, and date of loss), such as:

  • Insurance report,
  • Wrecker bill of sale,
  • The "current original" Certificate of Ownership (title) — write “destroyed” across the page and include the date of destruction, or
  • Notarized Certificate of Fact to include the month, day and year when last operated.

The vehicle or vessel is registered in Washington and is now registered in another state by you

  • Copy of the current out-of-state registration in your name

The vehicle or vessel has been removed from Washington State before the start of the new registration period

Documentation proving the vehicle or vessel was permanently removed from Washington State. Proof may include any of the following items:

  • Copy of registration from another state,
  • Report of sale,
  • Bill of sale, or
  • Dealer invoice showing trade-in, including VIN/HIN.

The vehicle or vessel was registered in Washington twice for the same registration period

  • The "current original" registration and unused license tab or decal.
  • If new plates were issued, submit the plates.

100% Disabled American Veterans and Former Prisoners of War exempt from licensing fees

  • If you are a Disabled American Veteran and requesting a refund for your vehicle registration fees you must first be approved by our Disabled Veterans Desk. For information please call 360.902.3780. Once approved and you have received your new DAV license plates, submit any registration, tab or license plate with your application for a refund.

Non-Resident Military Exempt from RTA/Sound Transit excise tax

Enrolled tribal member Exempt from RTA/Sound Transit excise tax

To verify if your primary address is outside the RTA/Sound Transit boundary visit the Sound Transit website.

Taxes and fees we can't refund

Sales or use tax

  • To apply for a refund of sales or use tax collected by the Department of Licensing, you must complete and submit the Department of Revenue Application for Refund of Use Tax form.
  • For any other questions or for more information contact the Department of Revenue at 800.647.7706 or visit their website: http://dor.wa.gov/.

Filing or subagent fees

Contact the vehicle licensing office where you purchased your registration if you have questions.


  1. Complete the form and print it on white paper.
  2. Mail the completed form with any required supporting documents to:
    Refunds and Title Services
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9037
    Olympia WA 98507-9037

Questions? Need help?

Call 360.902.3770 option 5

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