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Q:  I recently moved to Washington, do I owe tax when I register my car?


If you purchased a "private motor vehicle" in another state more than 90 days before moving here, you do not owe Washington's use tax.



  • A "private motor vehicle" is a privately owned motor vehicle with a load capacity of 1500 pounds or less. 
  • Pickup trucks with a load capacity greater than 1500 pounds, recreational vehicles, watercraft and trailers do not qualify for this exemption.

If you purchased a "private motor vehicle" in another state within 90 days of moving here, you owe use tax when you register and license it.  If you paid sales tax and used the vehicle in another state, you may apply that tax against the Washington use tax you owe.

More information
WAC 458-20-178
RCW 82.12
Use Tax Facts for Vehicle Transactions (pdf)
More information about use tax
Related questions & answers
What is use tax and who owes it?
When do I owe use tax?
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