Registration requirements for vessels owned by nonresidents
Domestic nonresidents are exempt from vessel registration requirements for the first 60 days of use within 12 continuous months.RCW 88.02.570(5)
Individually owned vessels
Domestic nonresident individuals can extend their registration exempt stay if, before the 61st day of use in Washington, they purchase a nonresident vessel permit from the Department of Licensing (DOL).
To further extend the registration exempt period, a domestic nonresident individual may renew this permit for another 60 days, but the renewal must be done before the current permit expires. Exempt stays may not exceed 6 months during any continuous 12-month period.
Nonresident individuals are also exempt from registering their vessels (if 30 feet or longer) for a one-year period if they purchase a vessel use permit. The use permit must be purchased at the time of purchase of the vessel or within 14 days of first entering the state with the vessel. RCW 88.02.570(13) and RCW 88.02.620
Entity owned vessels
Beginning September 1, 2015, nonresident entities (corporations, LLCs, etc.) may purchase with pre-approval from the Department of Revenue up to two 60-day nonresident vessel permits from Licensing. The permits allow qualifying vessels to stay up to six months during a consecutive 12-month period. Only two permits are allowed during any 36-month period.
The requirements for this program are:
- The vessel length is between 30 and 164 feet
- No Washington resident is a principal of the nonresident entity
- The nonresident entity vessel owner provides sufficient documentation to verify eligibility for the permit
There is no charge for preapproval. The fee for the nonresident vessel permit depends on the vessel’s length:
- $25 per foot for vessels 30-99 feet
- $30 per foot for vessels 100-120 feet
- $37.50 per foot for vessels 121-164 feet
For more information see our Special Notice Nonresident Vessel Permits for Entity-owned Vessels under Exemptions to Sales and use tax.
Foreign nonresidents are exempt from registration requirements for the first 60 days of use within 12 continuous months. RCW 88.02.570(4)
Foreign nonresidents can extend their registration exempt stay if, before the 61st day of use here, they purchase a vessel visitor permit from the Department of Licensing. This permit is valid as long as the vessel remains currently registered or numbered under the laws of a country other than the United States or the United States customs service cruising license remains valid.RCW 88.02.570(4) and RCW 88.02.610
Foreign nonresident individuals are also exempt from registering their vessels (of 30 feet or longer) for a one-year period if they purchase a vessel use permit. The use permit must be purchased at the time of purchase of the vessel or within 14 days of first entering the state with the vessel. RCW 88.02.570(13) and RCW 88.02.620