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 authority of unregistered vehicles shipped as marine cargo through public ports to operate on public roadways.
Sponsors: Representatives Fey, Barkis, Wylie and Tharinger.
Hearing Date: 1/28/19
Staff: Patricia Hasan (786-7292).
Vehicles, unless specifically exempt, must be registered with the state to be operated on public roadways. It is unlawful for a person to operate any vehicle, unless specifically exempt, on public highways in Washington without a current and proper vehicle registration and without displaying license plates on the vehicle. Vehicle registrations are issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), county auditors or other agent, or subagents as appointed by the DOL, and are typically valid for one year from the date of purchase. Registrations are indicated with dated license tabs that are placed in a designated area on the license plate.
Some vehicles are not required to be registered in order to be operated on public roadways. The following vehicles are not required to be registered:
converter gears used to convert a semitrailer into a trailer, or a two-axle truck or tractor into a three or more axle truck or tractor, or used in any other manner to increase the number of axles of a vehicle;
farm vehicles operated within a radius of 25 miles of the farm where they are principally used or garaged for the purposes of traveling between farms or other locations to engage in activities that support farming operations;
farm tractors and farm implements including trailers designed as cook or bunk houses used exclusively for animal herding temporarily operating or drawn upon the public highways;
trailers used exclusively to transport farm implements from one farm to another during daylight hours or at night when the trailer is equipped with lights that comply with applicable law;
forklifts operated during daylight hours on public highways adjacent to and within 500 feet of the warehouses they serve;
golf carts operating within a designated golf cart zone;
motor vehicles operated solely within a national recreation area that is not accessible by a state highway, including motorcycles, motor homes, passenger cars, and sport utility vehicles (this exemption applies only after initial registration);
motorized foot scooters;
nurse rigs or equipment auxiliary for the use of and designed or modified for the fueling, repairing, or loading of spray and fertilizer applicator rigs and not used, designed, or modified primarily for the purpose of transportation;
off-road vehicles operated on a street, road or highway, as regulated by any local political subdivision, or nonhighway roads;
special highway construction equipment;
dump trucks and tractor-dump trailer combinations that are:
designed and used primarily for construction work on highways;
not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property on a public highway; and
only incidentally operated or moved over the highways;
spray or fertilizer applicator rigs designed and used exclusively for spraying or fertilization in the conduct of agricultural operations and not primarily for the purpose of transportation;
trams used for transporting persons to and from facilities related to the horse racing industry, with restrictions; and
vehicles used by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission exclusively for park maintenance and operations upon public highways within state parks.
Summary of Bill:
The following vehicles are also exempt from registration:
vehicles shipped as marine cargo operated:
from wharves to and from storage areas or terminals owned by a public port;
between storage areas or terminals owned by a public port; and
on public streets connecting facilities of a single public port.
Fiscal Note: Available. New fiscal note requested on 1/23/2019.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.