New Washington Residents

Licensing Your Vehicles

So you bought a new car or what?

Welcome to the state of Washington. If you are a state resident, you must license all vehicles and vessels that will be used within the state of Washington. This includes cars, trucks, campers, trailers, boats and other watercraft. Check with a licensing agent if you have questions about whether your vehicle or vessel must be licensed.

You are required to license or title your vehicle within 30 days of becoming a Washington resident. You can do this by going to the County Auditor's Licensing Division, Courthouse Room 117, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., or you can license your vehicle at the nearest vehicle licensing sub-agency.

Items You Will Need

  • Certificate of Title. If there is an out-of state lien holder and that information does not show on your current registration, a fax copy from the lien holder will be required
  • 3 pieces of identification proving out-of-state residency
  • Weight certificate for all vehicles, unless scale or empty weight is shown on the title or in the vehicle manual
  • Notarized signatures of every registered name to be shown on the title
  • Federal odometer statement on vehicles less than 10 years old
  • Out of country vehicles will require customs documents
  • Emission test may be required
  • Picture ID
  • Cash, check or money order (credit cards and debit cards are not accepted)

Special or Personalized License Plates

You can get information about special or personalized license plates from the Washington State Department of Licensing, including the ability to find out whether a certain personalized plate may be available.