Washington state license plates prices increase July 1

Washington License Plate Example

SEATTLE (AP) — Motorists will pay more for a Washington license plate starting July 1.

It’s likely to be the most noticeable change as parts of a $17 billion bill to pay for transportation projects in the state start taking effect, The Seattle Times reported.

On Friday, the price of a new plate will rise from $10 to $50, while replacing a lost plate will increase from $10 to $30. For motorcyclists, the cost of a license plate will go from $4 to $20 and a replacement will cost $12, also up from $4.

Money from license-plate fees has gone to a fund used for work on the state’s roads and highways. The additional money from the fees will go into an account earmarked for projects in the new transportation package.

The state issued around 1.5 million new plates in each of the last two years. The price bumps are projected to raise some $2 billion over the next 16 years.

A new carbon-trading system in Washington is also estimated to raise over $5 billion. Additionally, federal funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill is estimated to provide around $3.4 billion. The Legislature also approved a one-time, $2 billion transfer from the state’s general fund for transportation improvements.

The overall package was passed with almost no Republican votes — a change from previous measures that won bipartisan support.

While large portions of the $17 billion will go toward major highway projects — including a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River, the Puget Sound Gateway project connecting Highway 167 to I-5, building a new Highway 520 bridge over Portage Bay in Seattle and more — it also spends heavily on transit and “active transportation” projects for walkers and bikers.

Additionally, the process for planning how Washington will meet its goals of phasing out new gas-powered cars by 2030 officially kicks off Friday, as does the process for cities to apply for state grants to expand transit service or facilities.

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