EHB 1784
C 130 L 22
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Establishing an exception to the requirement that vehicle license plates be visible at all times for vehicles using certain cargo carrying devices.
Sponsors: Representative Thai.
House Committee on Transportation
Senate Committee on Transportation

Vehicles required to be registered with the Department of Licensing (DOL) must display license plates or decals assigned by the DOL.


License plates must be:

  1. attached conspicuously at the front and rear of each vehicle if two license plates have been issued;
  2. kept clean and be able to be plainly seen and read at all times; and
  3. attached in a horizontal position at a distance of not more than 4 feet from the ground.


The Washington State Patrol may grant exceptions to the above license plate display requirements if the body construction of the vehicle makes compliance impossible.


The display of a single license plate properly attached to a vehicle that has two license plates properly attached may be temporarily obstructed by one or more of the following devices by the cargo the device is carrying:

  • a trailer hitch;
  • a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier;
  • a trailer being towed by the vehicle, provided the trailer meets any applicable trailer license plate requirements; or
  • a bicycle rack, ski rack, or luggage rack.


The display of a single license plate properly attached to a trailer may be obstructed by a device for transporting a forklift use for product delivery purposes.  For purposes of license plate visibility, the single trailer license plate obstructed by a device for carrying a forklift may be relocated on the trailer or the towing vehicle to a position that is more than four feet from the ground.


For the license plate visibility exception to apply, the device must be installed according to manufacturer specifications or generally accepted installation practices, and the device or cargo the device is carrying must not prevent the license plate from being read from one or more accessible viewing angles when the vehicle is parked, except if the device is a trailer that meets trailer license plate requirements.

Votes on Final Passage:
House 96 1
Senate 48 0

June 9, 2022