Joint Transportation Committee

​Vehicle Registration (Car Tabs) Payment Options Workgroup

The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) to convene a Vehicle Registration Payment Options Workgroup (Workgroup). The Workgroup will recommend payment options for vehicle fees or taxes, currently due annually for vehicle registration. The Workgroup will include a representative for each of the following entities and groups: Department of Licensing, County Auditors, Vehicle Licensing Subagents, regional transit authority, a city offering or considering a rebate program, vehicle owners subject to a motor vehicle excise tax, vehicle owners subject to an electric car or transportation electrification fee, ​and an advocate for multimodal transportation options.

The final report is due to the transportation committees of the legislature by September 30, 2022. The JTC has contracted with BERK Consulting to conduct this project.

The specific elements of the project include:

  • Researching best and promising practices for paying taxes and fees in installments. 
  • Analyzing various details associated with vehicle registration including: evaluating possible fee structures and revenue allocation for payment plans; exploring rebates for those that pay taxes and fees in full at the time of application; identifying systems and processes necessary to allow licensing agents and subagents to determine if a vehicle owner has paid all taxes and fees prior to renewal of a vehicle registration; itemizing options for reducing revenue loss; and reducing impacts for communities of color, low income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities.​
     
  • The Workgroup will conduct stakeholder outreach with those interested in new payment options, including persons from communities of color, low-income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities. Input will be requested on the possible payment options identified by the Workgroup, to develop a prioritized list of recommendations for consideration by the transportation committees of the legislature. 

Presented at JTC Meeting 11/17/21:
​Car Tabs Payment Options Workgroup​​     
  




What fees or taxes are included in vehicle registration?

​Vehicle registration fees are currently paid annually by vehicle owners and include both state and local fees.  State fees include the base registration fee of $30, electric and hybrid vehicle renewal fees, vehicle weight fees, and administrative fees.  Local fees include vehicle license fees authorized by Transportation Benefit Districts and motor vehicle excise taxes (MVET) levied in the Sound Transit service area.

​Questions?

​If you have questions about this study, please contact:

Alyson Cummings, JTC Staff, Alyson.Cummings@leg.wa.gov 

Paul Neal, JTC Staff, Paul.Neal@leg.wa.gov 

​Allegra Calder, BERK Consulting, allegra@berkconsulting.com