If you buy a vehicle while serving in Washington, you can apply for a 45-day permit while you get out-of-state registration. Learn how to qualify and use a permit.
Apply for a temporary permit
You can get a temporary vehicle permit if you buy a vehicle while serving as a nonresident military personnel. Nonresident military personnel are active-duty members of the United States Coast Guard (includes personnel living in Washington who are on duty in Portland), Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force.
Nonresident military personnel are also members of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), commissioned officers of the public health service, and members of foreign military organizations assigned to Washington on official duty.
To get a permit you need to visit a vehicle licensing office and submit a completed Non-Resident Military Affidavit for Exemption of Excise Tax. You'll need to provide proof you've applied for registration outside of Washington with at least one of these documents:
- Out-of-state application
- Letter of request
- Notarized or certified statement of fact, stating you've applied for an out-of-state title or registration
Uses for a temporary permit
The permit allows you to use your vehicle in Washington while you apply for out-of-state registration. The permit is valid for 45 days and must be displayed on the vehicle so it's visible from the outside.
Nonresident military members who apply for this permit don't pay sales tax, use tax, or motor vehicle excise tax during or after the 45-day period of the permit unless one of the following applies:
- The vehicle is still in Washington after 3 months.
- The owner brings the vehicle back to Washington within one year after the 45-day permit expires.