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How to get your license: Motor vehicle salvage processor

The applicant/licensee must comply with all applicable laws and rules, even if not covered below.

Who needs a license?

Any business that maintains a hydraulic baler and shears or shredder to recycle salvage from wrecked titled or registered vehicles. Each business location must be registered separately.

If you buy and sell nonferrous metal, commercial metal, or private metal property, you'll also need a scrap metal recycler license.

Before you apply

  1. Complete a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist.
  2. Complete section A of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval (page 2 of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Addendum).
  3. Take the SEPA Checklist document and the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form to your local zoning authority and have them complete and sign section B of the form.
  4. Contact the Washington State Patrol (or the local Chief of Police if you are located in a city with more than 5,000 people) for an inspection of your business site before submitting your application. The inspecting official must sign section C of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form.

You can find guidance regarding zoning requirements in these publications from the Department of Ecology:

How to apply

Apply online with the Department of Revenue

Note: We issue this license, but it's processed by the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses issued by us as endorsements to the business license.

What you'll need

  • Supporting documents shown below, ready for upload. See How to upload documents
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card (transaction fee charged) or bank account information for E-check to pay:
    • Applicable BLS fees
    • Motor vehicle salvage processor license and plate fees

Want to apply by mail?

  1. Complete or obtain the following:
  2. Mail the completed forms and supporting documents with a check/money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and the motor vehicle salvage processor license and plate fees to:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034

Supporting documents for your application

Use our Salvage Processor/Motor Vehicle Wrecker Checklist and Salvage Processor/Motor Vehicle Wrecker Flow Chart to make sure you have everything for your application.

After you receive your license

  • You’ll need a contract with us to search vehicle registration information.
  • On the 10th of each month, you must report to us all the vehicles acquired in the previous month.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

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