(1) Do I have an option of purchasing a permanent registration for my trailer to offset the higher fees on my power unit?
Yes, if the power unit towing the trailer is properly licensed to tow a trailer with a permanent registration.
(2) How does the power unit need to be licensed to tow a trailer with a permanent registration?
The power unit must have a combination (CMB) or farm combination (FCB) use class.
(3) How does the power unit qualify for the CMB or FCB use class?
The declared gross weight of the power unit must exceed forty thousand pounds. The CMB and FCB use classes require a higher gross weight fees to offset the annual revenue loss of the permanently licensed trailer(s) the power unit is towing.
(4) If I am not required to renew the permanent trailer registration each year, how is my registration kept updated?
Your registration will show an expiration date of "PERM." Your vehicle record will show a current expiration date, which is updated annually. And your trailer plate will have a permanent trailer validation tab assigned to it.
(5) Are there any restrictions on the use of the trailer with permanent plates?
Yes, there is a restriction printed on the registration stating that the vehicle must be towed by a power unit with a CMB or FCB use class and gross weight in excess of forty thousand pounds.
(6) How long is the permanent registration valid?
The permanent registration is valid until ownership in the trailer changes. For purposes of this section, the following are not considered changes of ownership:
(a) Addition or deletion of spouse or co-owner; or
(b) Change of lessee with the same lessor.
(7) What do I do if I want to cancel the permanent registration and register the trailer as commercial?
You may change from CMB to COM use class at any time. You will need to pay all fees and taxes from the date of application to the expiration date shown on the vehicle record. A partial month requires a full month's fees. The license plates must be replaced when ownership changes on a trailer with CMB use class.
(8) What type of plates do I display on a trailer with a permanent registration?
A regular trailer plate, including a permanent trailer tab and combination decal, must be displayed on the trailer. The trailer may not display personalized or other special plates in this case.
(9) How is the expiration date established for a permanent trailer registration?
If the vehicle is unlicensed at the time of application, an expiration date is established based on the date of application as defined in WAC 308-96A-260
. The permanent trailer plate fee is charged. If the vehicle is currently registered, either as COM or CMB, the permanent trailer plate fee is charged and the expiration date remains the same.
(10) Do I need to get a new plate when I get a permanent trailer registration?
If the vehicle is new, is currently registered to another owner with CMB use class, or the plate was issued prior to January 1, 1987, a new plate must be issued. If the vehicle is currently registered with a COM use class, and the plate has been issued since January 1, 1987, the permanent trailer tab and combination decal may be attached to the existing plate.
(11) If the trailer has a permanent registration and I no longer wish to use the trailer, or I sell the trailer and the new owner does not wish to license the trailer, may a title purpose only title be issued?
Yes, however, a title purpose only title will not eliminate the requirement for license fees to be paid. As soon as the vehicle is no longer used as a CMB trailer, license fees are due. The owner has the choice of:
(a) Paying to change the use class to COM, in which case the registration would not need to be renewed the following year if it is not being used; or
(b) Paying the permanent trailer registration fee one time and having the vehicle be licensed.
(12) If I need to purchase new plates because of changing the use class or because the plates were issued prior to January 1, 1987, do I need to pay replacement plate fees?
No. You would only pay the reflectorization fee in RCW 46.16.237
and the plate fee in RCW 46.16.650
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110. 01-12-099, § 308-96A-203, filed 6/6/01, effective 7/7/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110, 46.16.070 and 46.16.135. 99-01-133, § 308-96A-203, filed 12/21/98, effective 1/21/99.]