Registering autonomous vehicles

Learn about how we define autonomous vehicles, who needs to self-certify that they are eligible to test autonomous vehicles on Washington state public roads, and how to self-certify.

The DOL does not have its own definition for an autonomous vehicle. We use definitions set by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You can read more about automated vehicle features on the NHTSA website.

Who must self-certify

Companies conducting, testing, and operating autonomous vehicles on the roads of Washington state must self-certify.

How to self-certify

In accordance with Executive Order 17-02, before beginning a pilot program, submit an Autonomous Vehicle Self-Certification form confirming that you are compliant with the following:

Testing with human operators present

Only a trained employee, contractor, or other person authorized by the company developing the autonomous technology can operate or monitor the vehicles.

  • Vehicles must be monitored
  • An operator must have the ability to direct the vehicle’s movement if assistance is required
  • Anyone operating an autonomous vehicle needs a valid U.S. driver license
  • The operator must carry proof of valid insurance

Testing without human operators present

We require proof of insurance even when human operators are not present.

  • Vehicles must be equipped with an automated driving system that performs all driving tasks on a part or full-time basis within their operational design limits
  • Vehicles must be able to make it to a safe condition in the event of a system failure
  • Vehicles must comply with Washington state motor vehicle laws relevant to the vehicle’s operational design limits

Insurance requirements

  • Companies must have an umbrella liability policy of not less than $5,000,000 per occurrence
  • Companies must submit the Certificate of Insurance that shows they meet this rule

Collision and Moving Violation Reporting Requirements

If you are self-certified, you must submit an Autonomous Vehicles Collision Report by February 1st every year.

Self-certified companies

  • NVIDIA Corporation
  • Waymo LLC
  • Zoox, Inc

Related laws and other resources

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

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