What definitions does the
department apply to this section?
For purposes of this rule, the
following words and terms have the following meanings:
"Indian country" means all lands,
notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, within the exterior boundaries set
aside by the United States for the use and occupancy of Indian tribes by
treaty, law or executive order and which are areas currently recognized as
"Indian country" by the United States Department of the Interior as referenced
in 18 U.S.C. 1151
and C.F.R. 25.
(b) "Indian tribe" means an Indian nation,
tribe, band, or community recognized as an "Indian tribe" by the United States
Department of the Interior.
"Indian" means a person on the tribal rolls of the Indian tribe occupying
What Indian country tribes in Washington are recognized by the United
States Department of the Interior?
The only Washington "Indian tribes"
are those currently recognized as such by the United States Department of the
Interior. As of the effective date of this rule, there are twenty-eight
federally recognized tribes in the state of Washington. You may contact the
governor's office of Indian affairs for an up-to-date list of federally
recognized Indian tribes in the state of Washington at its web site
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs 531 15th Ave. S.E.
P.O. Box 40909
Olympia, WA 98504-0909 360-753-2411
How does an Indian qualify for a
motor vehicle excise tax exemption?
To qualify for an RTA excise tax
exemption, an Indian shall:
(a) Be enrolled as
a tribal member of a recognized Washington tribe;
(b) Have their principal residence within the
boundaries of Indian country of the tribe of which they are a member;
(c) Be a registered owner of
the vehicle for which the exemption is requested.
Are vehicles owned or leased by a
governing body of an Indian tribe subject to RTA excise tax? No.
Vehicles owned or leased by a governing body of an Indian tribe are not subject
to the RTA excise tax as provided in RCW 46.16.020 and 46.16.022.
What documentation does the
department require from a tribal member to qualify for an RTA excise tax
exemption? The department requires a properly completed affidavit of
exemption on a form supplied or approved by the department. An affidavit for
each vehicle must be submitted at the time the exemption is established and at
the time of renewal if there is a change of address and the new address is
located inside the RTA boundary. The department may require such other proof of
qualification for exemption, as it deems necessary.
What information must be contained
within the affidavit of exemption described in subsection (5) of this
At the minimum, the affidavit of exemption must include the
(a) Description of the vehicle
including the year and make and either the license plate number or the vehicle
registered owner's name, tribe, their enrollment numbers and the address in
Indian country where the registered owner lives, as will be shown on the
vehicle registration certificate; and enrollment or Bureau of Indian Affairs
(c) Signature of the
certification of an authorized tribal authority representing the Indian tribe
of which the registered owner is a member. The position or title of the tribal
authority, their telephone number and their signature must appear on the
certification. The certification must include a statement that the registered
owner is an enrolled tribal member and that the address provided by the
registered owner is within the boundaries of their Indian country;
(e) The position or title of the tribal
authority, their telephone number and their signature.
Are there any types of vehicles for
which the Indian RTA excise tax exemption does not apply? No, the Indian
RTA excise tax exemption applies to all types of vehicles for which RTA excise
tax is due.