Learn how to title and register tracked all-terrain vehicles including snowmobiles, snow bikes, and ATVs.
What are tracked all-terrain vehicles?
A tracked all-terrain vehicle (tracked ATV) is any wheeled all-terrain vehicle (WATV):
- As defined in RCW 46.09.310.
- Weighing less than 2,000 pounds in stock configuration.
- With tracks or a combination of tracks and skis installed in place of standard low-pressure tires.
The owner of a WATV, that has been properly converted to a tracked ATV, may apply for a snowmobile registration. A snowmobile is a self-propelled vehicle capable of traveling over snow and has the following features:
- Tracks - an endless belt with or without cleats used to drive in snow or ice.
- Skis or sled-type runners - for steering.
How to title and register a WATV
Go to a vehicle licensing office to title and register your WATV within 15 days of purchase. Otherwise, penalty fees will apply. You'll get a:
- Title – keep this in a safe place at home.
- Registration (license) document – keep this with the vehicle or have it on you when you use it.
- Metal tag (same size as a motorcycle license plate) – attach to the back of the WATV.
How to register a tracked ATV
We don't issue titles for snowmobiles but you do need to register them. If you bought a snowmobile that' already registered, you must transfer it into your name within 10 days of taking possession.
Visit a vehicle licensing office if you modified a WATV that was already registered. If you plan to use the WATV converted to a tracked ATV, you may need to fill out a Tracked All-Terrain Vehicle Declaration form. Submit it along with the items listed below.
What you need to submit
A Vehicle Title Application form that is available in the following languages:
Your application must include:
- Name and address of each registered owner
- Make, model, year
- Method of propulsion
- Purchase price and year of the purchase or declared value and year of declaration
- A copy of any of the following:
- Previously issued registration certificate
- Certificate of ownership from another state or country
- Manufacturer's certificate of origin
- A bill of sale or purchase agreement
- Other department-approved ownership documents
- Fees and taxes
When do you need to renew a snowmobile's or snow bike's decals and registration?
You must renew your decals and registration by October 1 for the following year.
If you skipped a renewal year and want to renew for the next year that's coming up make sure you renew on October 1. Otherwise, you'll be renewing for the year you skipped. The snowmobile registration period is from October 1 through September 30 of the following year. Registration fees aren't prorated.
Regular snowmobile and snow bike decals
Snowmobiles and snow bikes are issued two decals in place of license plates.
Affix the decals and tabs to the tracked ATV as follows:
- Metal tag: attached to display on the back of the tracked ATV
- Decals: directly below the windshield on both sides of the hood for maximum visibility
- Month tab: in front of the first digit of each decal
- Year tab: on the left side (driver's left when seated) within inches of the last digit of the decal
Snowmobiles manufactured 30 or more years ago are considered vintage. Owners:
- Must visit an office to have a Vintage Snowmobile use type assigned.
- Pay a $12 registration fee without any special operating restrictions.
- Don't have to register a vintage snowmobile if they don't operate it in WA. For example, they may transport it by trailer to a car show.
Vehicles exempt from annual registration
The following snowmobiles aren't subject to annual registration:
- Government-owned (or another state or political subdivision).
- Nonresident-owned when using the snowmobile for:
- 15 consecutive days or less, you must have a valid registration from a jurisdiction with a similar exemption for WA residents.
- 15 consecutive days or more, you must purchase a nonresident temporary snowmobile permit or register the snowmobile.
Nonresident temporary snowmobile permit
When a snowmobile comes from a jurisdiction that doesn't register snowmobiles, it qualifies for a nonresident temporary snowmobile permit from the first day of use in Washington. Out-of-state snowmobiles may get a permit for no more than 60 consecutive days. Snowmobiles located in Washington for more than 60 consecutive days must be fully registered in Washington.
To apply for the permit, visit a local vehicle licensing office and submit a Nonresident Temporary Snowmobile Permit Application and pay all applicable fees.
Adding a lien to a snowmobile
Washington doesn't issue titles for snowmobiles. If you want to put a lien on a snowmobile, contact our Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) section for specific instructions and application. Security interests are registered with our UCC section and won't be recorded on the snowmobile registration.