Auto Loan Guide Vehicle How to Register a Car in Washington From Out Of-State

How to Register a Car in Washington From Out Of-State


How to Register a Car in Washington From Out Of-State

Moving to a new state can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to registering your car. If you are relocating to Washington from another state, it is important to understand the process of registering your vehicle to ensure a smooth transition. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to register a car in Washington from out-of-state, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Obtain the Necessary Documents
Before heading to the Department of Licensing (DOL) office in Washington, make sure you have all the required documents. These documents typically include:

1. Title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) – This document proves ownership of the vehicle.
2. Current registration certificate – If your vehicle is leased or financed, you will need a letter from your lienholder authorizing the registration transfer.
3. Valid identification – Driver’s license or state identification card.
4. Emissions testing report – Washington requires emissions testing for most vehicles.
5. Proof of insurance – Washington state law mandates minimum liability insurance coverage.

Step 2: Complete the Application for Title and Registration
Visit your local DOL office or complete the application online through the Washington DOL website. Fill out the necessary information, including your personal details, vehicle identification number (VIN), and vehicle description.

Step 3: Pay the Fees
Washington charges various fees for vehicle registration, titling, and taxes. The fees depend on factors such as the vehicle’s weight, age, and use. It is recommended to check the Washington DOL website or contact your local office to determine the exact fees applicable to your situation.

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Step 4: Provide Proof of Emissions Testing
Washington requires most vehicles to undergo emissions testing before they can be registered. If your vehicle is exempted or has already passed an emissions test, provide the necessary documentation.

Step 5: Submit the Required Documents
Take all the required documents, including the completed application, to the DOL office. Present your identification, proof of insurance, emissions testing report, and any other necessary documents. The DOL representative will verify the information and process your registration.

Step 6: Obtain Washington License Plates and Tabs
Once your registration is approved, you will receive Washington license plates and tabs. Affix the plates to your vehicle as instructed and place the tabs on the license plates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I register my out-of-state vehicle online?
A: No, Washington does not currently offer online registration for out-of-state vehicles. You must visit a DOL office in person.

Q: How long do I have to register my vehicle after moving to Washington?
A: Washington law requires you to register your vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency.

Q: Do I need to notify my previous state about the registration change?
A: Yes, it is recommended to inform your previous state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the registration change. They may require you to surrender your previous license plates.

Q: Can I drive my out-of-state vehicle with expired registration to the DOL office?
A: Washington allows you to drive your out-of-state vehicle with expired registration for up to 30 days after establishing residency. However, it is advised to visit the DOL office as soon as possible to avoid any complications.

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Q: Do I need to get a Washington driver’s license before registering my vehicle?
A: No, you can register your vehicle before obtaining a Washington driver’s license. However, it is important to ensure you have a valid driver’s license from your previous state.

Moving to a new state brings about many responsibilities, and registering your car is one of them. By following the steps mentioned above and being prepared with the necessary documents, you can successfully register your out-of-state vehicle in Washington. Remember to consult the Washington DOL website or contact your local office for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding vehicle registration requirements and fees.

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