How to Renew Car Registration in Washington
Car registration renewal in Washington is an annual requirement that you must complete before your current license plates expire. Simply look at your license plate to see your renewal expiration month and year, or sign up online to receive renewal reminders by mail or email. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) offers several ways to obtain a DMV registration renewal, including in person, online and by mail.
Many drivers find it easiest to renew registration online through one of two methods offered by the DOL. Depending on where you live, your car may need to undergo an emissions test before you are eligible to renew your tabs. Review the information below to discover how to submit your vehicle tab renewal on time in Washington.
How to Renew Registration Online in Washington
You can renew a registration online in Washington through your License eXpress (LX) account or directly through the DOL’s website. These are the DOL’s quickest and most efficient renewal methods provided that you have a current home address on file.
In order to request an online tag renewal, most drivers need the following:
- A registration that has not yet expired or has been expired less than 12 months
- No outstanding tickets or tolling fees
- A valid credit card for fee payment
- An email address
- A printer (if you need to print a copy of your receipt)
If you have an LX account, simply log in and view your list of vehicles to see which ones need renewal. If you get a license plate renewal through the DOL’s website, you must fill in all of your personal information and license plate number before continuing through the renewal steps. Once you have completed your registration, you can print your receipt or have a copy emailed to you.
Your new registration tabs and card will be mailed to the address you have on file at the DOL. If you have not received them within 15 days, you can check vehicle registration status online or call the DOL. Depending on the results of the car reg check, you may be able to pick up new tabs at a DOL office that same day.
Other Methods for Washington Tag Renewal
If you cannot get a DMV car registration renewal online, you can renew your registration in person or by mail. Begin by taking your car for emissions testing if it is required in your area. You do not need to bring your DOL registration renewal notice to the emissions testing center.
Although the DOL will be automatically notified of your results, you should submit your printed test results with your other renewal documentation.
Download our free step-by-step guide to learn more about emissions testing requirements and Washington car registration renewals.
You can complete most car registration transactions in person, including car registration replacement and renewals. To renew, simply bring your car registration renewal notice and emissions inspection results to your nearest DOL office. To save time, you may call ahead for an appointment.
If you have any outstanding tickets or tolling fees, you must pay these before your renewal will be processed. Your tab renewal fees will vary based on location, vehicle weight, license plate type and other factors. DOL offices accept cash, credit/debit card and personal check payments.
You must have your DOL registration renewal letter to submit a renewal by mail. Be sure to include your emissions test results, if required. Enclose a check, money order or credit card information for fee payment. You should receive your new tabs and registration within five business days. If they have not arrived after 15 days, log into your LX account for a car registration check or call the DOL to report the delay.
Download our free car registration guide for detailed information on how to renew your vehicle registration in Washington.