FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a "service fee?"


Bel-Red Auto License is a subagent for the Department of Licensing (DOL). We are not supported by state funds, nor are we state employees. We are a privately owned company providing vehicle/vessel licensing and titling services for the DOL. Our office is supported only by the service fee, which is $8.00 for a non-title transaction, and $15.00 for a title transaction. The service fee is collected at any vehicle licensing office in the state of Washington. If your transaction isn't processed by a subagent office, the service fee will be used to fund Washington State's ferry replacement program.




Why should I bring my transaction to a subagent office?


Your license plates, tabs, and registration certificate will be provided immediately, over our counter. This way you won't need to worry about important items being lost in the mail, or tabs not arriving before your expiration date.
Also, by doing business with a local office, you are initiating a relationship with people in your community. You can call and talk to a real person, ask questions, and get advice. Our office is small enough to care, and remember you when you have a problem or tough question. We will help you personally and be there when you need us.




How do I get to Bel-Red Auto License?


We are located in the Crossroads Shopping Center on the back side of the main mall building (Building K) behind QFC. We are across the parking lot from Crunch Fitness and Stone Gardens and one door down from the King County Library Extension. Also, see the "Find Us" page for more detailed directions.




What are your office hours?


Until further notice, Bel-Red Auto License is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are closed on the holidays listed below: New Year's Day 2020 - Wednesday, January 1 Martin Luther King Day - Monday, January 20 President's Day - Monday, February 17 Memorial Day - Monday, May 25 Independence Day, observed- Friday, July 3 Labor Day - Monday, September 7 Veterans Day - Wednesday, November 11 Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Holiday - Friday, November 27 Christmas Eve - Closing at 2:00 PM - Thursday, December 24 Christmas Day - Friday, December 25 New Year's Day 2021 - Friday, January 1




What forms of payment do you accept?


The Department of Licensing allows us to accept checks, (from the vehicle owner), cash, credit and debit cards for payment.
There is a $2.00 fee for paying by debit card a 3-5% fee for paying by credit card. These fees are charged by the card processing company used by the Department of Licensing. We also have an ATM in our lobby for your convenience.




Can someone else come in to renew my vehicle or vessel registration for me?


Vehicle and vessel registered owners are responsible for renewing vehicles and vessels registered in their name. You can renew the vehicle and/or vessel in person, or designate someone to renew in person for you.
If you designate a relative to renew for you, they will be asked to provide one of the following:
- Proof of their relationship to you, or
- Proof that they have the same last name as you, or
- Present a check that contains, their preprinted name, and yours, or
- Present a copy of a marriage or birth certificate showing the relationship
If the designee is not a relative, you will need to supply them with:
- Written authorization from you, and
- The renewal notice, and either
- A signed check from you, or
- Cash payment




Where do I get my drivers license?


Bel-Red Auto License does not renew driver licenses. We renew licensing for all vehicles and vessels. However, we are close to the Redmond driver licensing office which is located at:
Redmond Town Center 7225 170th Ave NE Suite 110 Redmond, WA 98052 Their hours are: Tues-Fri 8:30-5:00
Thurs 9:30-5:00
Sat 8:30-2:30 Their phone nuber is:
(425) 649-4282




Do I need an emission test?


As of January 1st, 2020, the emission testing program has been discontinued in Washington State. You will not need an emission test for any transaction. For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Ecology website.




Is it true I am required to have an unexpired Washington State driver license to register my vehicle?


It is true that you must first get your Washington State driver license BEFORE registering your vehicle(s) in Washington State for the first time. This requirement applies new and current residents, whether purchasing a vehicle inside or outside of Washington State. If you have just moved to Washington State, you have 30 days once you establish residency to get your driver license, register your vehicle(s) and get new plates.




What is the Clean Car Law?


The Clean Car Law (RCW 46.16A.060) requires vehicles across Washington State to be certified to California emission standards. Starting with 2009 model years, vehicles must meet these strict clean air standards to be registered, leased, rented, licensed, or sold for use anywhere in Washington.




What are Quick Titles? Can I get them at Bel-Red Auto License?


Quick Titles are certificates of ownership for vehicles or boats that you can get quicker than a standard title. The cost is $50 in addition to any other fees or taxes normally due for your transaction. Bel-Red Auto License has been certified to offer this higher level of service. Not all vehicle licensing offices can issue Quick Titles.
Quick Titles aren’t available for vehicles with a "WA Rebuilt" brand on the title, snowmobiles, vehicles or boats reported as stolen, or insurance and wrecker destroyed vehicles and boats. Other restrictions may apply.




Can I keep the plates if I buy a used vehicle already registered in Washington State?


Starting January 1, 2015, legislation (SB 5785) requires a vehicle's license plates be replaced, and a new year of licensing purchased, upon transfer of ownership. If you owe RTA Excise Tax, there will be credit given for any paid by the previous owner. This applies to vehicles purchased from private parties or at a dealership.




What is the Good to Go tolling program? Where can I get more information?


The Washington State Department of Transportation administers the Good to Go program, which is Washington State's electronic tolling system. Certain corridors are currently tolled, such as the SR-520 Bridge, the I-405 Express Toll Lanes, the SR-167 Hot Lanes, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. You can get more information at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo/default.htm




I understand the Department of Licensing requires me to report my "primary residence address." What does that mean?


The Primary Residence Address rule requires all Washington state vehicle owners to provide their primary Washington state residence address to the Department of Licensing for use on their vehicle's record. If the vehicle is registered to a business, it requires the street address of the primary place of business. This was started January 25, 2005.
When you register your vehicle for the first time or renew your registration, you will be asked to declare that the address DOL has for you is your primary residence address. If it is not, you can continue to use it as your mailing address, but you will need to provide your primary residence address.




What if I use a post office box or a different mailing address?


Even though you are required to provide your primary residence address, you can also use a separate mailing address, which will be used when renewal notices and other vehicle related correspondence are sent to you.




Are there any exceptions to the primary residence address requirement?


Yes, they are for:
-Those with overseas military addresses, and
-Those who do not have postal service mail delivery available to them at their primary residence address.




Why did the Department of Licensing change the address requirements for vehicle records?


The rule will help assure that people who live in taxing districts that rely on vehicle-based taxes are paying their fair share.
In addition to fair tax assessment, the Washington State Patrol has also testified that using a residence address on vehicle records will enhance their ability to provide for public safety and notify accident victims' relatives.




What if I provide an address that is not my primary residence address to DOL?


Intentionally providing false or misleading information to DOL could be prosecuted as perjury.




My vehicle is currently registered in my name in another state. How do I register it in Washington?


You will need the following:
- The current out-of-state title. If a lien holder holds the title, you will need to supply a fax or photocopy of the title being held by them, or a printout from the lien holder's FDI, Vintek, ASI, DDI or PDP database. If your title has been lost, you must apply for a duplicate certificate from the state of issuance. This is a requirement of federal law. Call Bel-Red Auto License for help with where to apply. (We can also give you options about what can be done while you are waiting for your duplicate title.)
- A registered owner present with personal identification.
- An odometer reading on your vehicle, if it is less than ten years old.
- If the weight of your vehicle is not on the title, you MAY be required to present a vehicle weight slip. Your local vehicle licensing office may be able to get the vehicle weight information for you. If necessary, you may weigh your vehicle at any scale house in Washington.
- If your vehicle is a motor home, RV, or trailer, you MAY be required to present proof of sales tax. If you do not have proof you paid sales tax when you purchased your vehicle, you will be required to pay use tax.
- An unexpired Washington State driver license for individuals listed as owners. If this is not possible, please call Bel-Red Auto License about what will be most suitable in your situation.




I just purchased a vehicle from a private party with a Washington title (certificate of ownership). How do I register it in my name?


You will need the following:
- A certificate of ownership (title) that has been signed by all parties listed on the front, or
- An Affidavit in Lieu of Title/ Release of Interest form with notarized or certified signatures from all parties listed as owners
- Either a bill of sale stating the sale price, or the sale price written on the front of the title. If the sale price was more than $2000 below the fair market value for the vehicle, you may need additional documentation. Call us for ideas about what will be most suitable in your situation.
- An odometer statement is required for vehicles less than ten years old. Both one buyer and one seller must sign this form. It can be completed on the back of the title or on a separate, federally approved odometer form available at our office.
- An unexpired Washington State driver license for all individuals wishing to be shown on the new title. All people who are going on to the new title need to be present. If this is not possible, please call Bel-Red Auto License about what will be most suitable in your situation.
- If a lender needs to be indicated on the new title, we will need their name and address.
Please note: There is a penalty for not transferring your title within 15 calendar days of purchase. The penalty is $50 on the sixteenth day; it increases by $2 per day, to a maximum of $125.




I just purchased a vehicle from a private party with an out-of-state title (certificate of ownership). How do I register it in my name?


You will need the following:
- The out-of-state certificate of ownership (title) that has been signed by all parties listed on it. If the title has been lost, a duplicate will have to be applied for to the licensing department of that state. Contact Bel-Red Auto License for help with this situation.
- Either a bill of sale stating the sale price, or the sale price written on the title. If the sale price was more than $2000 below the fair market value for the vehicle, you may need additional documentation. Call us for ideas about what will be most suitable in your situation.
- An odometer statement is required for vehicles less than ten years old. One buyer and one seller must sign the odometer statement. It can be completed on the back of the title or on a separate, federally approved odometer form available at our office.
- An unexpired Washington State driver license for all individuals wishing to be shown on the new title. All people who are going on to the new title need to be present. If this is not possible, please call us about what will be most suitable in your situation.




I just sold my Washington registered vehicle. What do I do now?


The registered owner of a vehicle should file a Report of Sale any time they sell or transfer their interest in a vehicle. A Report of Sale is a document that protects the seller from certain civil and criminal liabilities if it is completed within five days of the date of sale or transfer of the vehicle. It can be filed with Bel-Red Auto License or online. If filed at our office, you will receive a receipt to keep for your records that is signed by a licensing clerk. If filed online, you can save or print a copy at the end of the filing process.




What is the RTA Tax?


RTA stands for Regional Transit Authority. The RTA tax is a 1.1% motor vehicle excise tax and a 0.4% sales tax approved by voters in our area. It is meant to fund regional transit improvements such as bus service, light rail and commuter rail. The Department of Licensing collects this motor vehicle excise tax on vehicles being registered within the RTA boundaries.




What is 'fair market value' and why was I told the price of the vehicle I recently purchased has to be within a certain amount of it?


According to the Department of Licensing, Washington law RCW 82.12.010 requires use tax to be collected on the average fair market value of a vehicle or vessel. Fair market value reflects the value of a vehicle according to the retail selling price, of 'similar vehicles and vessels of like quality or character.'
Actual selling price may or may not represent the average fair market value in the case of an individual selling a used vehicle or vessel. For example, a 2015 model year Cadillac that sold for $50 does not mean that most 2015 model year Cadillacs are only worth $50.




What is the process for getting personalized plates?


Personalized license plates may be purchased and used on most vehicle types currently licensed in Washington State. Personalized license plates may be issued with one to seven characters (letters, numbers, hyphens or spaces). Motorcycle and small trailer plates may be issued with up to six characters.
The initial plate fee for passenger vehicles $84.75. The initial plate fee for trucks is $84.00. The initial plate fee for trailers and campers is $72.75. The initial plate fee for motorcycles is $66.75. These fees are in addition to all other titling and renewal fees that are due in the normal course of titling and licensing a vehicle. Once a personalized plate is issued, a $42 renewal fee will be charged in addition to all other licensing fees each time you renew your vehicle.
First-time personalized plates can only be issued by going to the King County Auditor's Office or by mail with the Department of Licensing in Olympia.




What can I put on my personalized plate?


There are certain combinations of letters and numbers the Department of Licensing will not allow. These include combinations that interfere with current or future formats for regular issue license plates, or combinations that the Department of Licensing considers offensive. For complete details, see the instructions included with the Personalized Plate Application Form on our Forms page.




Can I move my personalized plate to another vehicle?


A personalized license plate is assigned to the registered owner of the vehicle. It may be transferred to another vehicle registered to the same person(s). The transfer may be processed through your local license agent for a fee plus the abated amount of the annual fee and other applicable fees, if any. If you sell the vehicle on which the personalized plate is displayed, you MUST transfer it to another vehicle, owned by you, within 30 days. If you do not, the plate can be cancelled and issued to someone else.




Can I let someone else have my personalized plate?


If you allow it, a personalized plate can be moved to a vehicle that is not in your name. To do this, you will need to sign a Release of Interest Form. You will need to indicate the personalized plate number, sign the form and have it notarized by a notary public or certified by a license clerk in a vehicle license office such as Bel-Red Auto License.




Where does the money go that I pay for personalized plates?


Sales of personalized plates fund the management of the Wildlife Diversity Program. This program is administered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.




My personalized plates were stolen. What happens now?


If you have reported to law enforcement that your personalized license plate was stolen, a comment will be placed on their stolen property list. It will remain until the plate is recovered or for a period of 5 years. This list is available to all law enforcement agencies. You may repurchase the plate, but it is highly recommended that you select an alternate personalized plate to avoid the possibility of being detained and/or questioned by law enforcement.




If my vehicle doesn't have current licensing, I understand I can get a permit. What are the different types available, and when can they be used?


There are three types of permits available:
Trip Permit
This is good for three consecutive days of your choosing. It costs $30.00 and is good 24 hours a day on the dates you select. We will also need your ID.
The Trip Permit has many uses, such as:
- Taking out a rarely-used car, motorcycle or trailer
- Allowing people to test drive a vehicle you are trying to sell that has expired tabs
- Taking a vehicle with expired tabs in for repairs and subsequent test driving
- Using a motor home for a weekend getaway
These are just some examples of how a Trip Permit can be used. The Trip Permit also has some limitations, such as:
- More than three Trip Permits may not be used on the same vehicle in a 30 day period
- RVs may not use more than two Trip Permits per year
Make sure to check with Bel-Red Auto License if you have any questions about when a Trip Permit is appropriate for you.
Transit Permit
This is good for two days of your choice. The days do not have to be consecutive, but must be selected at the time the permit is issued. It costs $8.00, cash only, and we will need your ID and the vehicle's year, make, model and VIN/serial number.
The Transit Permit is valid only in certain, limited situations, such as:
- Taking a vehicle to a Washington State Patrol inspection station
- Returning from an inspection to a licensing office
The Transit Permit is not for general driving, such as going to work or the grocery store. It is only valid for the purpose listed on it at the time it is issued. A Transit Permit will not be considered valid on any day in which the location for which it is designated is closed. Make sure to check with Bel-Red Auto License to see if a Transit Permit is appropriate for your situation.
60-Day Temporary Permit
This permit is used when documents needed to register a vehicle are missing. As the name implies, it is good for 60 days, but its cost varies depending on the vehicle for which it is used. Times when a 60-Day Temporary Permit might be used include:
- Attempting to register an out-of-state vehicle for which you do not have all the necessary paperwork, such as the title.
To get a 60-Day Temporary Permit, you must pay a full year of licensing fees because the assumption is that you intend to complete the registration process and use the vehicle in the State of Washington. You will be given a cardboard permit to display in place of regular license plates while you are getting the documents you are missing. At this time, you will be given a list of what documents will be needed to complete your registration. You will be given a temporary registration form. You will need an unexpired Washington State driver license for all individuals wishing to be shown on the new title. All people who are going on to the new title need to be present. If this is not possible, please call us about what will be most suitable in your situation.
Once you have gotten the rest of your paperwork, you can come back to Bel-Red Auto License to complete your application for registration and get your license plates and a regular registration form. It will cost $55.00 in most cases.
The 60-Day Temporary Permit has some limitations to consider:
- You must wait from two to four weeks after getting a 60 Day Temporary Permit before you can come back to complete your application for registration. If you are missing something that won't take long to get, it might be easier to just get a Transit or Trip Permit, depending on you situation.
- It cannot be extended if you do not have all the documents you need by the end of 60 days. The vehicle must be parked until you have what you need.
Make sure to check with Bel-Red Auto License to see if a 60-Day Temporary Permit is appropriate for your situation.





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