Northwest NEWS

July 2, 2001


New law requires inspections on out-of-state vehicles

Beginning July 1, vehicles brought into Washington state from another state or country will go through a stolen-vehicle screening process within the Department of Licensing before a Washington state title is issued.
   People who move into Washington have 30 days to obtain Washington license plates. Washington residents who purchase vehicles from outside the state are required to register these vehicles immediately.
   The process checks the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) against two "stolen vehicle" databases. A VIN is a unique 17-digit serial number assigned to a vehicle by the manufacturer. The databases used include the NCIC, a federal stolen-car database maintained by the FBI, and the WACIC, a similar state-level database maintained by the Washington State Patrol.
   A new law passed in April prohibits DOL from issuing a title on a vehicle previously titled outside the state until this database search has been completed, ensuring the vehicle is not listed as stolen. If a vehicle is identified as possibly stolen, the record will be referred to the State Patrol for follow up. (360) 902-3770.
   For questions about the new law, licensing and titling requirements in Washington state for new residents, or general licensing information, consumers can visit the DOL web site at or call (360) 902-3770.