SHB 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.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

Transportation, March 20, 2019

Title: An act relating to clarifying the authority of unregistered vehicles shipped as marine cargo through public ports to operate on public roadways.

Brief Description: Clarifying the authority of unregistered vehicles shipped as marine cargo through public ports to operate on public roadways.

Sponsors: House Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Representatives Fey, Barkis, Wylie and Tharinger).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/06/19, 97-0.

Committee Activity: Transportation: 3/20/19, 3/20/19 [DP].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Exempts vehicles shipped as marine cargo that are travelling within a single port area from vehicle registration requirements.


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Hobbs, Chair; Saldaña, Vice Chair; King, Ranking Member; Cleveland, Das, Fortunato, Lovelett, Nguyen, O'Ban, Padden, Takko, Wilson, C. and Zeiger.

Staff: Bryon Moore (786-7726)

Background: 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 on public highways in Washington without a current vehicle registration and without displaying license plates on the vehicle. Vehicle registrations are issued by the Department of Licensing (DOL), county auditors or other agents, or subagents appointed by DOL, and are typically valid for one year from the date of purchase. Registrations are indicated with dated license tabs placed in a designated area on the license plate.

Current law provides registration exemptions for certain types of vehicles.

Summary of Bill: The list of vehicles exempt from DOL registration requirements is expanded to include vehicles shipped as marine cargo travelling within the port area. The exemption only applies to vehicles shipped as marine cargo to and from storage areas or terminals, and are crossing public streets of a single port.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

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

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill is designed to avoid any technical violations of vehicle registration requirements.  It is a cleanup bill and clarifies existing practice. This also recognizes the importance of vehicle cargo shipments in the state’s ports.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Jake Fey, Prime Sponsor; Michael Transue, Tacoma Pierce County Chamber and Association of Global Automakers; Commissioner John McCarthy, The Northwest Seaport Alliance.

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