washington car registration

How Many Days Do You Have For Washington Car Registration

Registration is the most important thing when you buy a car or a house. You will have to go through some legal procedures. This process ensures the government knows you own a legal asset. Just like many different states or countries, the Washington Car Registration is unique and important.

If you are the proud title owner of a new car or you are moving to Washington, it is imperative you know everything about car registration in Washington State.

Washington car registration

Why Should I do Vehicle registration in Washington State?

Cars are an important asset. There is barely any place on earth with no cars. The worldwide trade of cars is very important to the economics of countries. Hence, the government needs to have tabs on the position of each car in the country or the state. Of course, several questions come to mind like; why does the registration change in different states?

Let us look at some of the reasons why vehicle registration in Washington State matters to the vehicle and the title owner.


Imagine if none of us had a name or identity, there would have been a lot of troubles. Moreover, if most of us look alike, people would have all sorts of confusion. Multiple productions of the same model are sold worldwide. It is easy to get identification confusion. Some people do not even remember where they parked their car and head over to any other.

When you get your car registration in Washington state, you make an identity of your vehicle. The numbers, letters, colors, everything helps make the car differentiate from others.

Title Ownership

The title ownership of the car can save you from theft and many crimes on the road. You can identify license plates and claim your car formally with the law or informally in the parking lot.

Your vehicle registration gives the government information on your asset title ownership. It also gives you the power to make decisions about your car.


Another very important reason to get vehicle registration in Washington State is proof. Since vehicles are assets and part of major dealing, it is important to pay taxes on them. The car title also helps with the proof of ownership through the registration.

The vehicle registration allows you to prove that you pay your taxes. Moreover, it serves as proof of legal purchases of the vehicle, legal import of the vehicle, and more. At the time of registration, the documents are presented to ensure you get the approval. Without these papers, any law enforcement officer of Seattle can stop and penalize you. It is also permissible to confiscate your vehicle and add you to the suspect list.

The license plates are the main game-changer here. This is why they are in the front and the back of the car. Moreover, you cannot alter, hide, or do anything to the license plates on your own. If you sell your car or buy a used one, make sure to transfer the title.


Unfortunately, some thieves can easily steal your car. Vehicle Registration in Washington State give your car safety. If it is stolen, you can report it. The law enforcers seal exits from the state or even the city for the vehicle. The registration number is circulated among the departments. Whoever finds the car can take immediate action.

You can also apply for canceling registration. This way, if the vehicle is on the road, anyone who runs the number will find it unregistered and illegal. The vehicle also does not get far away, and you can stop it from selling further. The plates help with this process. If the thieves take out the plates, they have more suspicion about them.

How To Get Car Registration In Washington?

American car number plate set.

Getting your vehicle registration in Washington is not a very lengthy process. It is better that you do it yourself rather than getting someone else to do it for you. While there are companies and agency owners to help you with the process, translation, and other paperwork, but you must work for it yourself. You can go to the website and look up the details. However, here we tell you about the basics that fall under the requirements.

Get Your Driver License

Driver license illustration

If you want to get a vehicle in your name, you must have a drivers’ license. Being a license holder shows the government you are eligible for driving and owning a car. When you apply for a license, you ensure sanity and all forms of eligibility for driving. One of the documentations for vehicle registration is your license papers.

Your driving license is usually state-specific. However, if you move to Washington State, you need to go to a department of licensing services and ensure you get a valid driving license. The department of licensing will take a practical and theoretical exam to give you a valid license.

The licensing office is a government department. If any private person tells you that they can get it for you, they are lying. You have to go to the licensing office in person for identification purposes.

Safety Inspection

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If you bring a car to Washington State, you need an emissions test. These tests are for the first time only. This safety inspection is a requirement from the law. Generally, all states have this law, just like Washington State. Anyone can do the inspection. However, the only condition is; the technician should have some validation or recognition from the government.

Moreover, the technician will give you a safety sticker. Make sure you have the sticker handy. Without the sticker, any law enforcement officer can stop and inspect your vehicle. If you have the approval of the state, you have approval from major cities as well.

Registration in 30 days

Many states require you to ensure your car before registration. However, that is not the case with the state of Washington or the city of Seattle. You can simply go to the office and fill the registration form.

The department of vehicle licensing office requires you to be there in person for identity purposes and more. The form requires the submission of several papers. Against that, you get a license plate that has your car registration number.

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You will also get a registration card or certificate valid in Seattle and other cities. You must have your papers in the care wherever you take it to prove paid taxes. It also proves that you are a permanent resident in the State. The form requires the address of your current residence, so make sure you have that. Moreover, it is also proved that the car is legal and belongs to a rightful title owner living in the state of Washington. Washington Car Registration allows the Washington State Patrol to monitor your vehicle.

If you move to Washington State or Seattle City, you have to register the vehicle again. Even Different states have different laws, road requirements, and capacities. The law requires you to register your vehicle in only 30 days of bringing it to the state.

Ensure that in the other state, the title of the car is in your name. You may have to prove the title in the new state. The second you enter Seattle, you will need to get on this. If you do not register at that time, you may get into serious trouble, especially if you drive it.

For this registration, you need to provide your papers in Washington too. If for some reason, you go after 30 days, you have to explain to the judge. King County Seattle gives more attention to these laws.

The registration fee depends on the car make, model, and even the weight of the car. It also depends on places like Seattle. You will get this information when you visit the office. If you want this information pre-hand, consult a car technician. This process will help you get an estimate of the registration fees, in cities like Seattle, the fee maybe a little higher.

Why Do I Have to Renew Registration Every Year?

Washington State and Seattle City require you to renew the registration of your vehicle every year. Registration of the vehicle is of two types. The first is to get an identification. This type of registration is only once in the vehicle’s lifetime and does not require an update.

The second kind is the registration to keep it in the state with all paid taxes and formalities. There are several plans for this type. You can get an annual registration plan.

Alternatively, you can get it for two years or even more. Of course, if the plan is longer, it is more expensive. However, the lump-sum is cheaper, but you can be carefree for a longer period. It is a good idea to take a short plan if you move every occasionally or want to change cars soon. The sales tax needs renewal, so make sure you do it. In Seattle, you may even get bigger plans.

Places like Seattle may vary in a few rules here and there when it comes to the plan.

However, because of the recent global pandemic, if your car registration is due, you have some extra time. The government agreed to give about 90 days to the title owner for public safety. The website updates all of this.

You can go to the contact us page of WA state or call them at 360 902 3900 to get the authentic information.


Washington Car Registration is an important part of being on the road. No matter what vehicle you own, the state has the right to vehicle registration, or it is illegal. To ensure safety on roads and a balance in the system, the State law needs to have all information about your car.

The money of the registration filing goes to the State fund to make driving even more secure and safe for everyone. If you are selling or discarding your vehicle, mention that too. This allows space for newer vehicles and keeps the circle going smoothly. It is just the first time that the car needs to go through it. Even though the main center is in Seattle, there are centers all over. However, if you change the owner, the title needs a transfer.

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