Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Transportation Committee

SSB 5508

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Authorizing two-year registration periods for certain vehicles and vessels while maintaining existing annual registration fee amounts.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Senators Hawkins, Liias, Fortunato, O'Ban, Saldaña, King, Sheldon and Hobbs).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Creates a two-year motor vehicle registration period.

  • Allows vehicle and vessel owners the option to choose a one-year or two-year registration period and pay all taxes and fees accordingly.

Hearing Date: 3/15/17

Staff: Patricia Hasan (786-7292).


A person who owns a vehicle in the State of Washington must register their vehicle with the Department of Licensing (DOL), a DOL agent or subagent, or county auditor within 30 days of moving to the state or within 15 days after acquiring the vehicle by purchase, exchange, gift, lease inheritance, or legal action. After original registration, the vehicle owner must renew their vehicle registration annually. At renewal, the vehicle receives a new vehicle tab that indicates the month it expires the following year. The taxes and fees paid at original registration and at renewal can vary depending on the vehicle type, if the vehicle is registered in an area that is within a Transportation Benefit District or Regional Transit Authority area, or whether the driver chose to have a special or personalized license plate.

Fees that are paid annually at registration may include a:

Summary of Bill:

A two-year registration period is created. A vehicle or vessel owner may designate either a one-year or two-year registration period when registering the vehicle or vessel. If a two-year registration is selected, all applicable taxes and fees must be collected for a 24-month period instead of a 12-month period. Taxes and fees collected for a 12-month registration period are doubled appropriately for a 24-month registration period.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on January 1, 2019, except for section 25, relating to vessel registration fees, which takes effect on July 1, 2019.