House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
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: Clarifying the collection process for existing vehicle service transactions.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Senators King, Palumbo and Hobbs).
Hearing Date: 2/26/18
Staff: Patricia Hasan (786-7292).
The Department of Licensing (DOL), county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the Director of the DOL (Director) collects a service fee of:
$12 for changes in a certificate of vehicle title, with or without simultaneous registration renewal, or for verification of record and preparation of an affidavit of lost title (title transactions); and
$5 for a registration renewal, issuing a transit permit, accepting a vessel registration, accepting a report of sale, and accepting a transitional ownership record (non-title transactions). A large portion of non-title transactions are vehicle registration renewals.
The service fees collected by the DOL, county auditor, or other agent must be deposited into the Capital Vessel Replacement Account, authorized under RCW 47.60.322 and created in 2011. The service fees collected by subagents are self-retained. When the ownership of a vehicle changes, a new registration is required by the new vehicle owner. Exceptions to this include:
when adding or removing a lienholder from the certificate of title;
when transferring the vehicle from one spouse or domestic partner to another;
when removing a deceased spouse or domestic partner from the certificate of title;
when transferring the vehicle as a gift to a member of the registered owner's immediate family;
when a leaseholder buys out the leased vehicle; or
when a person changes his or her name.
Along with most title transactions required for a change of vehicle ownership, a new registration is required as well. Both of these transactions can be completed for a service fee of $12.
Summary of Bill:
The DOL, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the Director can collect a total service fee of $17 when a title transaction and a non-title transaction are conducted simultaneously—$12 for the title transaction plus $5 for the non-title transaction. Language is provided to clarify that service fees are collected in addition to any other taxes and fees due at the time of application for a title transaction or a non-title transaction.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect on April 1, 2019.