Watch out for non-DOL websites

October 31, 2017
Example of a website that is NOT affiliated with the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Example of a website that is NOT affiliated with the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Be careful when considering any licensing or vehicle registration transaction on non-DOL websites.

While many websites offer online services, there is only one official website for the Washington State Department of Licensing:  dol.wa.gov.

Unofficial websites typically charge additional fees.  They may even charge for services that are free at dol.wa.gov.

Worse yet, unofficial websites might never deliver the service you paid to receive.

For a safe, secure transaction without additional fees, please visit dol.wa.gov.

VIDEO


Full implementation of Wheeled All-terrain Vehicles legislation begins May 18

June 1, 2015

Full implementation of Wheeled All-terrain Vehicles (WATVs) legislation (ESHB 1632) will begin May 18, 2015.

The department has been licensing WATVs through a manual process since October 2013 and began issuing metal tags through a modified manual process in June 2014.

A WATV is –

(a) any motorized nonhighway vehicle with handlebars that is fifty inches or less in width, has a seat height of at least twenty inches, weighs less than one thousand five hundred pounds, and has four tires having a diameter of thirty inches or less; or

(b) a utility-type vehicle designed for and capable of travel over designated roads that travels on four or more low-pressure tires of twenty psi or less, has a maximum width less than seventy-four inches, has a maximum weight less than two thousand pounds, has a wheelbase of one hundred ten inches or less, and satisfies at least one of the following: (i) Has a minimum width of fifty inches; (ii) has a minimum weight of at least nine hundred pounds; or (iii) has a wheelbase of over sixty-one inches.

Unlike off-road vehicles (ORVs), the WATV is identified by a metal tag and tabs. The metal tag will have tabs indicating whether the vehicle is licensed for off-road use or off-road and on-road use.

Metal tags will be mailed from the special license plate unit at the department’s headquarters office. Tabs will be available at any vehicle licensing office, for replacement or renewal.

watv-1

watv-2

Before being licensed for on-road use, the WATV must have a safety inspection and VIN verification by a licensed Washington ATV dealer/repair shop and must meet equipment requirements contained in RCW 46.09.457. The WATV owner must provide a signed declaration which also contains a release of liability.

Authorized use 

Licensing the vehicle for on-road use does not qualify the vehicle to travel on any roadway. Users are cautioned to verify where a WATV is authorized to be operated. This can be done by visiting the town, city, or county webpage in which a user wishes to operate the vehicle.

Licensing of the vehicle is not restricted to these areas.

Fees 

The $18 off-road licensing fee is deposited in the non-highway and off-road vehicle activities program account.

The $12 on-road licensing fee is deposited in the multiuse roadway safety account.


New license plates benefit 4-H, honor state flower

January 3, 2013

4h-and-stflwrNew specialty license plates featuring the 4-H clover and Washington state flower, the rhododendron, are now available.

Revenue generated from the sale of specialty plates not only goes to the state, but also goes to organizations associated with each plate.

For example, money collected from the sale of the 4-H plate goes toward activities to support the 90,000 Washington boys and girls that participate in 4-H.

And revenue from the state-flower plate generates revenue for garden associations statewide.

Specialty plates cost $40 more than standard plates; renewal costs $30.

Visit the DOL’s website at the links below to learn how to purchase each specialty plate.

4-H Plates

State Flower plates


DOL’s Hollywood connection

April 13, 2010

By Brad Benfield

From time to time, representatives from major Hollywood movie studios contact the Department of Licensing to get help making feature films that have stories that take place in Washington. The production of  a Twilight movie is a recent example.

These studios generally hire a “prop house” to provide all of the various items surrounding—and used by—the actors to make their movie seem realistic. If a movie takes place in Washington, they need to put Washington license plates on the vehicles to make them look authentic.

But here is the secret: these prop houses generally make their own Washington state license plates so they can control the numbers on them. To make realistic license plates, we are often asked two kinds of questions.

First, the prop houses want to know about our state’s license plate configurations, meaning the combinations of letters and numbers used on various types of vehicles. They want to make sure that each type of vehicle in the film has the right type of plate number. This seems to be particularly important to them if they are making action movies, because they want to make sure that any police or emergency vehicles used in a production have authentic-looking plate numbers.

We also get questions about what the movie folks call “clearances.” When they make their license plates, they want to make sure they aren’t using plates with numbers that are already being used on a vehicle currently registered in our state. They provide a list of plate numbers they would like to use and we let them know whether those numbers are in use.