308-96A-099 - Use class descriptions

308-96A-099. Use class descriptions

(1) Why does the department assign use classes to vehicles?

The department assigns use classes to:

(a) Charge the proper license fees and taxes for vehicles;

(b) Assign special brands on subsequent owner's certificate of ownership;

(c) Apply certain restrictions on the use of the vehicles, which prints on the vehicle registrations;

(d) Assign the proper license plates, tabs or decals.

(2) Under what authority does the department assign use classes to vehicles?

The department assigns use classes under the authority of RCW 46.16.040.

(3) What use classes does the department assign and when do they apply?

The use classes the department assigns are described below:

ABBREVIATION

TRANSLATION

DESCRIPTION

CAB

TAXI CAB

Motor vehicle used for carrying passengers between two points for compensation for an on-demand trip rather than a scheduled route. A vehicle with this use class may not carry any luggage or commodities that do not belong to a passenger being carried at the same time. In other words, the vehicle cannot just carry cargo between two points.

C/G

CONVERTER GEAR

Vehicle is an axle that is used to convert a semi-trailer to a full trailer. Converter gear is titled but not licensed.

CMB

COMBINATION

Vehicle is either (1) a power unit with a declared gross weight of 42,000 pounds or more and tows a trailer; or (2) a trailing unit with permanent plates. The trailer may be towed only by a power unit with a CMB, or FCB use class.

CMP

CAMPER

Is a slide-in pickup camper (not a canopy) as defined in RCW 46.04.085. Even if the owner has chosen to permanently attach the camper to the pickup, the units need to be titled and licensed separately.

COM

COMMERCIAL

Motor vehicle either (1) a power unit that does not pull a trailer or that pulls a trailer but the declared gross weight for the truck and trailer does not exceed 40,000 pounds; or (2) a trailing unit that is titled in a business name (including the name of a farm). A commercial trailer may be towed by a vehicle with PAS, TRK, COM, CMB, FAR or FCB use classes. If the trailer is being towed by a vehicle with FAR or FCB use class, the use of the trailer (items carried, etc.,) must meet the farm use class requirements.

CYC

MOTORCYCLE

Is a motorcycle, motor driven cycle or scooter. A moped does not qualify to be licensed as a motorcycle as defined in RCW 46.04.330 and 46.04.332.

EX

EXEMPT

Can be any type of vehicle, which is owned by a city, county or state government agency or federally recognized Indian tribe located in the state of Washington. This includes school buses, which are owned or leased by school districts. If the school district contracts a company to provide total bus service, such as the bus, the driver and the maintenance, and the vehicle is registered in the name of the school district as registered owner, the vehicle qualifies for exempt license plates.

FAR

FARM

Motor vehicle is a truck (or tractor) used to transport the farmer's own farm, orchard or dairy products as defined in RCW 46.16.090, or aquatic products as defined in RCW 15.85.020, from point of production to market or warehouse. The vehicle may also be used to transport the farmer's own farm supplies.

FCB

FARM

COMBINATION

Motor vehicle is (1) a power unit (not a trailer) with a declared gross weight of 42,000 pounds or more and towing a trailer; and (2) meets the criteria of FAR use class above.

FED

FEDERAL

Vehicle is owned by the federal government of the United States. Like exempt vehicles, this could be any type of vehicle. This does not include vehicles displaying license plates issued by the federal government.

FEX

FARM EXEMPT

Any motor vehicle used exclusively in agricultural pursuits on farms as defined in RCW 46.16.010(3) and 46.04.181.

FIX

FIXED LOAD

Motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.16.070(1). These vehicles have a unique use class because they are exempt from the law requiring vehicles with a scale weight of more than six thousand pounds to have a declared gross weight of at least 150 percent of the scale weight. The basic license fee is based on the declared gross weight for these vehicles and should be equal to the scale weight, or the next higher gross weight increment. If the scale weight exceeds the maximum legal limit for that vehicle, the declared gross weight needs to be equal to or just lower than the legal limit. Fixed load vehicles' maximum legal limit may actually be less than their scale weight. An oversize permit is required in addition to the registration in these cases.

F/H

FOR HIRE

Motor vehicle is used to transport people and/or commodities for compensation as defined in RCW 46.72.010. A for hire permit from business and professions division (BPD) is required.

H/C

HORSELESS

CARRIAGE

Motor vehicle 40 years old or older licensed with restricted use as defined in RCW 46.16.307.

H/D

HOUSE DOLLY

Vehicle constructed and used exclusively to move buildings or homes.

LOG

LOGGING

Vehicle is a truck or trailer used exclusively for hauling logs.

MEP

MEDIUM SPEED ELECTRIC PASSENGER VEHICLE

Medium speed electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.295.

MET

MEDIUM SPEED ELECTRIC TRUCK-TYPE VEHICLE

Medium speed electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.295 and 46.04 653. These vehicles are equipped with a truck-type bed.

MH

MOTOR HOME

Motorized vehicle designed for human habitation and defined in RCW 46.04.305

MOB

MOBILE HOME

A mobile or manufactured home as defined in RCW 46.04.302 is titled but generally not registered. This use class does not include park model trailers.

NEP

NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRIC PASSENGER VEHICLE

Neighborhood electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.357.

NET

NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRIC TRUCK-TYPE VEHICLE

Neighborhood electric vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.357 and 46.04.653. These vehicles are equipped with a truck-type bed.

ORV

OFF-ROAD

VEHICLE

Vehicle is used off-road as defined in RCW 46.09.020. A vehicle licensed only as an ORV may not be operated on public roadways, including ocean beaches, unless authorized under RCW 46.09.180.

PAS

PASSENGER

Motor vehicle used to transport passengers as defined in RCW 46.04.382. Typically passenger cars, utility or multipurpose vehicles, passenger vans, and private buses are licensed as passenger vehicles.

PED

MOPED

Motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.304 and subject to the restrictions in RCW 46.61.710.

RES

RESTORED

Motor vehicles over 30 years old licensed with restricted use as defined in RCW 46.16.307. Vehicles with this use class may display license plates described in WAC 308-96A-074.

SCH

SCHOOL

Motor vehicle owned and operated by a private school meeting the accreditation requirements of RCW 28A.195.010. The vehicle is used to transport children to and from school or in connection with school activities.

SNO

SNOWMOBILE

Vehicle is a snowmobile as defined in RCW 46.10.010(2).

SNX

EXEMPT

SNOWMOBILE

Vehicle is a snowmobile as defined in RCW 46.10.010(2) and owned by a city, county or state agency.

STA

STAGE

Motor vehicle used as an auto stage as defined in RCW 46.04.050.

TLR

TRAILER

Vehicle is a personal use trailer as defined in RCW 46.04.620. Trailers used by businesses or others for commercial purposes do not qualify for this use class.

TOW

TOW

Motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.16.079 and 46.55.010(8). If the vehicle carries other vehicles, it does not qualify for the TOW use class and must be licensed as COM.

TRK

TRUCK

Motor vehicle is a personal use truck, with a declared gross weight of twelve thousand pounds or less. Trucks used for business or commercial purposes do not qualify for the TRK use class.

TVL

TRAVEL

TRAILER

Vehicle is a travel trailer as defined in RCW 46.04.623, which includes park models and camp/tent trailers.

(4) Do all powered three-wheeled vehicles need to be licensed as motorcycles?

Yes, a three-wheeled vehicle needs to be licensed as a motorcycle for street use as defined in RCW 46.04.330 or 46.04.332.

(5) What license plates and use class will be assigned to my for hire vehicle?

The license plates and use class assigned to your for hire vehicle depends upon how you use your vehicle. All for hire vehicles transport passengers and commodities for compensation. For hire vehicles include cabulances, limousines, taxi cabs, and buses hauling passengers for compensation in addition to transporting school children. There are two use classes and license plate combinations assigned to for hire vehicles:

(a) CAB use class vehicles are assigned passenger license plates. These vehicles are used exclusively for transporting passengers and their possessions; and

(b) F/H use class vehicles are assigned truck license plates. These vehicles not only transport passengers for compensation, but also transport commodities, without passengers, for compensation.

(6) When may truck license plates be assigned to my passenger vehicle?

Truck license plates may be assigned to your passenger vehicle whenever the vehicle is used to transport commodities, produce, freight or animals for commercial purposes. The use class would be COM instead of PAS. This would require a title application, a scale weight slip and a certified/notarized statement of use describing how the vehicle will be used commercially.

(7) What use classes and license plates will be assigned to school buses?

(a) EX use class and county exempt license plates will be assigned to a school bus owned or leased by an exempt agency (school district);

(b) SCH use class and passenger license plates will be assigned to a school bus owned or leased by an accredited private school;

(c) F/H use class and truck license plates will be assigned to school buses used for transporting passengers for compensation and not used exclusively for transporting school children to and from school or school related activities;

(d) (PAS) passenger; or

(e) (COM) commercial.

(8) May I license my motorcycle or any other motor vehicle for both road and off road use?

Yes, you may license your motorcycle or any other motor vehicle for both uses as long as the vehicle qualifies for road use. You will receive two registration certificates showing the vehicle is licensed for both uses. However, the certificate of ownership will show the use class associated with the road use.

(9) May I license my truck, truck tractor or tractor as a motor home?

Yes, you may license your truck, truck tractor or tractor as a motor home if:

(a) The vehicle has been permanently altered to meet the definition of a motor home in RCW 46.04.305; and

(b) You certify the vehicle qualifies as M/H and will be used exclusively as a motor home for personal use and not for commercial use.

(10) Is my truck, truck tractor or tractor which I use exclusively for towing my travel trailer licensed differently than any other like truck?

No. Your truck, truck tractor or tractor used exclusively for towing your travel trailer must be licensed in accordance with RCW 46.16.070. Depending on scale weight the use class will be TRK or COM.

Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110. 10-19-062, § 308-96A-099, filed 9/14/10, effective 10/15/10; 07-22-091, § 308-96A-099, filed 11/6/07, effective 12/7/07; 01-12-099, § 308-96A-099, filed 6/6/01, effective 7/7/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.16.276, 43.17.060, 46.16.600 and 46.01.110. 99-06-029, § 308-96A-099, filed 2/24/99, effective 3/27/99.

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