Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Transportation Committee

HB 1254

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.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Exempts vehicles that are shipped as marine cargo through public ports from vehicle registration requirements to be operated on public roadways.

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:

Summary of Bill:

The following vehicles are also exempt from registration:

Appropriation: None.

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.