Learn what the requirements are and how to apply for a refund of your vehicle or vessel registration fee.
Before you get started
Our refund application processing time is currently 10-12 months. We apologize for any inconvenience.
How to apply for a refund
Use the Vehicle/Vessel Refund Application to apply for a refund of vehicle or boat (vessel) fees.
- Complete the form and print it on white paper.
- Gather your supporting documents, if necessary.
- Mail the form and any additional documents to:
Corrections and Refunds
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9037
Olympia, WA 98507-9037
Additional documentation for some situations
We require additional documentation for some refund situations. Before the registration starts, send us the documents listed under the situation that applies to you.
You renewed early and sold or traded your vehicle or vessel
If you renewed early and then sold or traded your vehicle or vessel, send us the unapplied tabs or decals and one of the following:
- A bill of sale or invoice from a dealer with the VIN or HIN
- A Vehicle Report of Sale or a Vessel Report of Sale
You renewed your vehicle/vessel registration in error
If you renewed your registration by mistake after you sold or traded your vehicle or vessel, we need both a bill of sale and a report of sale for your vehicle or vessel.
Totaled or destroyed vehicles and vessels
If your insurance company totaled the vehicle or vessel, or if it was destroyed before the new registration started, send us proof that shows the VIN/HIN, and date of loss. Proof can be any of the following items:
- Insurance report
- Wrecker bill of sale
- Original title with "Destroyed" and the date of destruction written across the page
Vehicles and vessels registered in another state
If you changed your vehicle or vessel registration from Washington to another state, send us a copy of the current out-of-state registration in your name.
You removed the vehicle from Washington before a new registration period began
If you removed the vehicle from Washington before a new registration period began, send us documentation proving it was permanently removed from Washington. Proof can be any of the following items:
- Copy of registration from another state
- Report of sale
- Bill of sale
- Dealer invoice showing trade-in, including VIN/HIN
You mistakenly registered twice during the same registration period
If you mistakenly registered your vehicle or vessel twice, send us:
- The duplicated registration
- The duplicate tabs or decals
- The extra plates (if we issued you new plates)
You are exempt from paying licensing fees if you are:
- A 100% Disabled American Veteran
- A Former Prisoner of War
- A Gold Star Widow/Widower
After our Special Plates Unit approves you, you can request a refund for your vehicle registration fees. If you have questions or need instructions on applying for licensing fee refunds for military personnel, call us at: 360-902-3780.
If you are a non-resident stationed in Washington, you are exempt from RTA/Sound Transit excise tax. Complete and submit the Non-Resident Military Affidavit for Exemption of Excise Tax form.
Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Exemptions
Verify if your primary address is outside the RTA/Sound Transit boundary on the Sound Transit website or learn more about RTA.
Enrolled tribal members
Enrolled tribal members are exempt from RTA/Sound Transit excise tax. Complete and submit the Tribal certified Vehicle/Vessel Excise Tax Exemption Affidavit for Enrolled Tribal Member form.
Taxes and fees we can't refund
There are some taxes and fees that we cannot refund, however, you may be able to get a refund from another agency.
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.
Filing or subagent fees
Contact the vehicle licensing office where you purchased your registration if you have questions.