Due to the rapidly evolving developments caused by COVID-19, we are limiting the number of customers in our lobby. Customers will take a number outside the lobby and wait for their number to be called before entering into the lobby. You may also renew online and have your renewal mailed to you same day or use our drive through to pick up your renewal, same as before. We are taking every recommended precaution such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Thank you!

New to Washington State?

Welcome to Washington! First, you must obtain your Washington State Drivers License, then you can register your vehicle(s). You have 30 days to do this after you’ve moved here.

The Process Is Simple

  • Make sure you have your Washington State Drivers License (see above)
  • Understand what you need depending on your vehicle situation
  • Submit proper documentation and fees
  • Finally, receive your plates


1. Make Sure You Have Your WA State Drivers License

First, you must obtain your Washington State Drivers License, then you can register your vehicle(s). You have 30 DAYS to do this after you’ve moved here.

  • Our office only handles vehicle licensing. For anything related to Washington State Driver License’s please visit the Department of Licensing website. You will not be able to get your license and register your vehicle at the same location.
  • Please call or email us if you have questions (253) 588-7786 or info@lakewoodcartabs.com

2. Understand what you need

If you’re registering an out of state vehicle You will need:
If the vehicle is less than 10 years old… Include an Odometer Disclosure Statement with your application. You may pick one up at our office.
If it’s a 2009 or newer:
• Car
• Light-duty Truck
• Passenger Van
It must meet California emission standards to be registered, leased, rented, licensed, or sold for use in WA. See Clean Car emission requirements on the state DOL site.
In these counties, Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, or Spokane… You may need to pass an emissions test before you register your vehicle. See Emissions testing.
That’s been registered in another state AND owned for less than 90 days… Include Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale or Dealership purchase agreeement showing proof of any taxes paid.
Where the vehicle weight doesn’t show on the title… You may be required to show the vehicle weight slip. You could get the weight from our office or weight your vehicle at a scale house in WA.
Where any owners listed on the title are deceased or need to be removed… Contact our office for further instructions.
That’s an RV, motor home, or trailer… You may be required to present proof of sales tax. If you don’t have proof you’ll be required to pay use tax.

3. Submit Proper Documentation and Fees

Mail or bring the following to our office:

Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application
At our office: Sign the form with a Title Clerk present.
If you are mailing: Sign the form in front of a notary.

The current Certificate of Title of your vehicle

  • If you are still making payments on your vehicle have your lending institution fax a copy of your title to our office (253) 581-5366. Once it’s paid off, you can apply for a WA title.
  • If you don’t have the title, contact our office,
  • Payment for the fees — contact our office to find out what your fees will be.

4. Receive your license plates

If you come to our office, you’ll get them right away. If you mail in, it may take up to 3 weeks from the date your application is received.

For questions please contact our office and we’d be happy to help you. You may also visit the Washington State Department of Licensing’s website for additional information and forms.

Learn more about military discounts We now have a dedicated service window for active duty & retired military