CHOKEPOINTS

Washington state licensing fees, some tolls to increase Friday

Jun 28, 2022, 6:35 AM
fees...
(Rene Mensen via Flickr)
(Rene Mensen via Flickr)

The start of July usually means the start of summer in Washington, but it also means the annual increase of fees approved by the Legislature and the increase of some tolls.

The Legislature used a lot of fee increases to help pay for the $17-billion transportation package last session. Some of those fees go up on July 1st.  Christine Anthony at the Department of Licensing said most of the fee increases center on new license plates.  “They are not fee increases to your vehicle registration,” she said.  “They’re attached to when you’re buying a car or if you need to get a replacement license plate.”

The fees going up Friday: new license plate $10 to $50, a replacement license plate $10 to $30, the temporary plate you get from the dealer $15 to $40, a car previously registered in another state $15 to $50.

The fee increases also hit the new and replacement plates for motorcycles. $4 to $20 for a new one. $4 to $12 for a replacement.

Anthony says now would be the time to get that Hawks or Sounders plate to save some money.  “If you were thinking of getting a special design license plate, you might want to do that in the next week,” she said.

If you drive the 99 tunnel through Seattle, the toll is going up on Friday too.

The toll is going up 3% across the board. That equals $0.05-to-$0.10 a trip, depending on the time of day you use the tunnel. The toll increase was approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission earlier this year to make up for a drop in toll revenue during the pandemic.

Since I had DOL on the horn, I decided to ask Anthony how the agency is doing overall. Its offices were closed during the pandemic, but Anthony said that actually helped the agency get better.

It created a new appointment system and increased the services you can handle online.  “If you don’t have to come to an office and you can do your transaction online, that’s just another service avenue for you,” Anthony said.  Anthony still recommends you make an appointment to make sure your wait times won’t be awful. The DOL still takes walk-ins.

And you might have heard this before, but you will need an enhanced driver’s license or passport to fly domestically next year. The new date for having the REAL ID is May 3, 2023. Anthony said you shouldn’t wait to get on that either. Of course, the Real ID deadline has been pushed back for more than a decade. President Bush signed the Real ID Act in 2005.

 

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Washington state licensing fees, some tolls to increase Friday