On July 1, 2016, state fuel tax and several licensing-related fee increases will go into effect in Washington. The increases were approved by the Legislature in 2015 as part of Connecting Washington, a transportation package to fund many important, impactful transportation projects around our state.
These projects include highway and local road construction and maintenance, bike path and walkway projects, rail and transit projects, ferry system improvements and fish barrier removal.
The state fuel tax for both gas and diesel will increase by 4.9 cents per gallon to 49.4 cents. State fuel taxes provide funding for state, county and city transportation projects and maintenance, ferry construction and operations and other transportation-related needs.
The Enhanced Driver License fee will increase to $9 per year. This means the cost to upgrade a standard, six-year driver license or ID card to an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card will increase from $18 to $54. Enhanced Driver Licenses and Enhanced ID Cards are available to U.S. citizens as federally approved identification that can be used in place of a U.S. Passport at U.S. land and sea border crossing stations.
Several commercial driver license (CDL) fees are increasing. The fee for obtaining a CDL instruction permit will increase from $10 to $40. CDL knowledge (written) tests will increase from $10 to $35, CDL skills (driving) tests will increase from $100 to $250 except for the school bus driver test, which will remain $100. The new CDL skills test fee will allow a driver to take one no-charge retest if the test isn’t passed on the first attempt.
The electric vehicle renewal fee increases $50, from $100 to $150. This fee is collected to mitigate the impact of electric vehicles, which pay little or no fuel taxes, on our state’s roads and highways.
Annual motor vehicle weight fees for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and other types of vehicles up to 14,000 pounds that pay the state’s $30 basic registration fee will increase. The amount of the increase will range from $15 to $35 depending on the weight of the vehicle. For example, the motor vehicle weight fee for a passenger vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds or less will increase by $15, from $10 to $25.
Gross weight license fees for trucks, commercial vehicles, and other types of vehicles up to 10,000 pounds that are not subject to the state’s $30 basic registration fee also will increase. The amount of this increase also will range from $15 to $35. A new freight project fee will be collected on vehicles subject to the gross weight license fee with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds. This fee will be 15 percent of the gross weight license fee due at the time of annual registration.