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.

As Passed Senate, March 1, 2017

Title: An act relating to two-year registration periods for certain vehicles and vessels while maintaining existing annual registration fee amounts.

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 History:

Committee Activity: Transportation: 2/06/17, 2/13/17 [DPS].

Floor Activity:

Passed Senate: 3/01/17, 49-0.

Brief Summary of First Substitute Bill

  • Creates a two-year registration period that allows vehicle owners the option to pay the annual taxes and fees related to their vehicle registration biennially.


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5508 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.

Signed by Senators King, Chair; Sheldon, Vice Chair; Hobbs, Ranking Minority Member; Liias, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Cleveland, Hawkins, O'Ban, Takko, Van De Wege, Walsh and Wilson.

Staff: Kellee Keegan (786-7429)

Background: 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 what kind of vehicle it is, 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 First Substitute Bill: A two-year registration period is created. All taxes and fees due annually at vehicle or vessel registration renewal may be paid biennially. A vehicle or vessel owner may still opt to renew their registration annually.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on January 1, 2019.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Proposed Substitute: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: This simply creates a two-year registration option. It’s important to maintain important revenue streams to counties. This brings in enough for one county sheriff deputy. Counties and sub-agents are supportive. This bill is consistent with the taxes and fees that are paid. It’s great that this bill provides an option and is phased in.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Brad Hawkins, Prime Sponsor; Thad Duvall, Washington State Association of County Auditors; Corry Cavin, Washington Association of Vehicle Sub Agents (WAV).

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.