Licensing wheeled all-terrain vehicles

Metal tags for wheeled all-terrain vehicles

All wheeled all-terrain vehicles meeting the definition below, are required to display a metal tag. To ride your wheeled all-terrain vehicle (WATV) on approved public roads, streets and highways in permitted counties you’ll need a metal tag with an on-road tab.

Definition of WATVs that need a metal tag

  • A motorized, non-highway vehicle with handle bars:
    • That is 50 inches or less in width.
    • Have a seat height of at least 20 inches.
    • Weighs less than 1,500 pounds.
    • Has 4 tires with diameters of 30 inches or less.
  • or
  • A utility-type vehicle designed for, and capable of, travel over designated roads that:
    • Has 4 or more low-pressure tires of 20 psi or less.
    • Is less than 74 inches wide.
    • Weighs less than 2,000 pounds.
    • Has a wheelbase of 110 inches or less.
    • Meets 1 or more of the following:
      • Is at least 50 inches wide.
      • Weighs at least 900 pounds.
      • Has a wheelbase of over 61 inches.

How to get a WATV metal tag

  • Visit a vehicle licensing office location
  • If you’ve completed all the steps to modify your WATV for on-road use, we’ll add “modified for on-road use” to the vehicle registration.

As a WATV owner you’re required to:

  • Attach the metal tag on the back of the WATV.
  • Sign the registration and carry it when driving the WATV.
  • Meet the off-road requirements, get an off-road tab to put on metal tag. Fee is $18*.
  • Meet the on-road requirements, get both an on-road and an off-road tab and put on metal tag. Fee is $12*.
  • Replace your metal tag every 7 years. Fee is $2*.

* Fee doesn’t include filing and service fees.

Find out where you can ride

Contact the city or county where you want to use your WATV. You can’t ride everywhere, even if your WATV is licensed for road use. Some places where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour (mph) or less allow you to ride your WATV but it depends on the rules for that location. See RCW 46.09.455 for requirements and restrictions.

City and county contact information:

Steps to modify your WATV for on-road use

  1. Make sure the vehicle has the following equipment installed. See RCW 46.09.457**:
  2. Have a WA licensed WATV dealer or repair shop inspect the vehicle. They’ll complete Part 1 and sign the Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle (WATV) Road Use Declaration form.
    • Your safety inspection cost can’t be more than $50.
  3. Take the following to a vehicle licensing office:
    • The Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle Road Use Declaration form.
    • A copy of the receipt showing you paid for the inspection – attached to form.
    • The vehicle’s title – If your bank has the title, contact them to get it and the road use declaration submitted.

** Note: All equipment must meet the requirements within Chapter 46.09 RCW.

What if I remove equipment from my WATV and it no longer qualifies for on-road use?

  1. Submit the title to a vehicle licensing office and remove the on-road tab from the metal tag.
  2. We’ll issue a new title for the vehicle with the comment “not eligible for road use.”

Do I need a driver license to operate a WATV on a public roadway?

Yes. It must be valid and you must comply with all:

  • Applicable Rules of the road, except that wheeled all-terrain vehicles may not be operated side-by-side in a single lane of traffic.
  • and
  • Laws for motorcycle drivers under RCW 46.37.530.

Do I need a motorcycle endorsement?


What if I'm under 16?

You must be supervised by someone who’s over 18 years old and licensed to drive:

  • On highways,
  • On non-highway roads designated for off-road vehicles, and
  • To cross a highway – it must have crossing signs, ‘Wheeled all-terrain vehicles or off-road vehicles may be crossing

Related laws

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