Licensing Used Vehicles from Out-of-State
All vehicles and vessels that will be used within Washington State must be licensed. If you purchased your car, truck, boat, camper or other vehicle or vessel from an out-of-state dealer, it is likely that the dealer did not license your vehicle with the state of Washington. Check with your dealer to be sure.
Pre-owned vehicles that have out-of-state plates and documentation must be registered immediately after purchase. You can register your vehicle by going to the County Auditor's Licensing Division, Courthouse Room 117, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or you can license your vehicle at the nearest vehicle licensing sub-agencies.
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
Documentation of sale price - bill of sale or invoice from out of state dealer
Weight certificate for all vehicles, unless scale or empty weight is shown on the title, or in vehicle manual
Federal odometer statement on vehicles less than 10 years old
Out of country vehicles will require customs documentation
Emission test may be required
To legally operate your vehicle while waiting for any of the above documents, a 3-day permit or a 60-day temporary permit is available. A purchase order, picture identification, and all tax and license fees are required for the 60-day temporary permit.
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.