Learn the requirements and how to apply for your motor vehicle salvage processor license endorsement.
You must follow all applicable laws and rules, even if they're not covered below.
Who needs a license?
You must be licensed to maintain a hydraulic baler and shears or shredder to recycle salvage from wrecked titled or registered vehicles. Each business location you own 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
Before applying for your license, you must get zoning approval for your business and an inspection of your business site.
Fill out the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form
Download or print the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Addendum.
Complete section A of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form (on page 3 of the document).
Get zoning approval
Have your local zoning authority complete and sign section B of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form.
Schedule an inspection
Before you apply for a license, a law enforcement officer must inspect your business site.
- If you're in a city with more than 5,000 people, contact your local police chief to schedule an inspection
- If you're in a city with less than 5,000 people, schedule an inspection with the Washington State Patrol
The inspector must complete and sign section C of the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form.
How to apply
After you get zoning approval and your inspection is complete, follow the steps below to apply for a motor vehicle salvage processor license.
Note: We issue this license, but the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS) processes it. BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses we issue as endorsements to the business license.
1. Complete the required documents
Complete these forms to apply for your business license:
- Business License Application (mail applications only)
- Vehicle Transport/Disposal Addendum (if you're applying online, you only need to complete the Vehicle Transport/Disposal Certification and Approval form and have it signed by the appropriate authorities)
- Personal/Criminal History Statement
2. Review the checklist
Use our Salvage Processor/Motor Vehicle Wrecker Checklist and Salvage Processor/Motor Vehicle Wrecker Flow Chart to make sure you have everything ready for your application.
3. Submit your application
You must pay the motor vehicle salvage processor license and plate fees to the Department of Revenue when you apply. If you are a registered tow truck operator, you may choose a salvage processor indicator tab instead of a separate salvage processor plate.
Choose the method that works best for you.
Apply for your license online
You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.
Apply online at the Department of Revenue's website.
Apply for your license by mail
Mail your forms and a check or money order for the license and plate fees (payable to the Department of Revenue) to:
Department of Revenue
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
After you get your license
Once you have your license, you must:
- Sign up to search for vehicle registration information
- Report the vehicles you acquired in the previous month on the 10th of each month
- Scrap metal recyclers (non-vehicle scrap metal)