skip to left menu
skip to main content

 

Vehicles · Classifications & Required Equipment

The vehicle classification and required equipment for a vehicle depends on the type of vehicle and its intended use. Below is a list of the main vehicle classifications in Washington State along with a brief description and a link to additional requirements for each vehicle.

If you are unable to get your questions answered by the information on our Web site, please e-mail them to equipment@wsp.wa.gov.

Street Legal Vehicles

  • Passenger VehicleAdobe PDF File – any vehicle that has four or more wheels in contact with the ground. These vehicles must meet the state and federal requirements for a motor vehicle.

  • MotorcycleAdobe PDF File – any vehicle that has two or three wheels in contact with the ground. These vehicles must meet the state and federal requirements for a motorcycle.

  • Converted Off-Road Motorcycle – any vehicle designated by its manufacturer as off-road only that has two wheels and is designed to be straddled and steered with handlebars. In order to convert an off-road motorcycle, owners must file a declaration form with Department of Licensing which includes certification by a licensed dealership or repair shop that the equipment meets the state and federal standards for a motorcycle.

Street legal vehicles with speed restrictions

  • MopedAdobe PDF File – any vehicle that travels less than 30 mph AND has an engine size of less than 50cc AND has two or three wheels in contact with the ground. These vehicles must meet the state and federal requirements for a motor-driven cycle.

  • Low Speed Electric VehiclesAdobe PDF File – any electric vehicle that travels on four wheels at a speed less than 35 mph may be classified as a Medium Speed Vehicle (25-35mph) or a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (up to 25mph). These vehicles must meet the state and federal requirements for low speed electric vehicles.

Motorized Devices not classified as vehicles

The following devices must operate under certain restrictions:

  • Golf CartAdobe PDF File – any vehicle originally designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting purposes and has a speed attainable in one mile of not more than 25 mph. These may only be driven in a golf cart zone designated by city or county ordinance, and must be operated and have the required equipment as outlined in state law and local ordinances.

  • Electric Assisted BicycleAdobe PDF File – any bicycle with an electric motor that is not capable of propelling the device (with or without motive power) at speeds greater than 20 mph. These vehicles must be ridden in accordance with all state and local restrictions and must have the required equipment as outlined in state law.

  • Electric Personal Assisted Mobility DeviceAdobe PDF File (EPAMD) – a self-balancing device with two wheels not in tandem, designed to transport only one person by an electric propulsion system at speeds not greater than 20 mph. These vehicles must be ridden in accordance with all state and local restrictions and must have the required equipment as outlined in state law.

  • Motorized Foot ScooterAdobe PDF File – a device with no more than 2 ten-inch or smaller diameter wheels that has handlebars, is designed to be stood upon by the operator, and is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion at a speed no more than twenty miles per hour on level ground. These vehicles must be ridden in accordance with all state and local restrictions and must have the required equipment as outlined in state law.

  • Off-Road Vehicle/MotorcycleAdobe PDF File – any non-street licensed vehicle when used for recreational purposes on non-highway roads, trails, or a variety of other natural terrain. Such vehicles include, but are not limited to, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, four-wheel drive vehicles, and dune buggies. These vehicles must be ridden in accordance with all state and local restrictions. Except that two-wheel off-road motorcycles may be licensable after January 1, 2012, if they are converted to meet state and federal standards, see Converted Off-Road Motorcycle for more information.

Trailers

Trailers must have all of the proper safety equipment installed on them in order to be legally operated on the public highway. Refer to the Inspection and Trailer RequirementsAdobe PDF File document for additional information outlining these requirements.

Special Motor Vehicle Required Equipment


  • Fenders - Shall cover the entire tread width, at least 15 degrees to the front, and 75 degrees to the rear. Shall extend down to at least the center of the axle. RCW 46.37.500 & WAC 204-10-022
  • Hood - With both primary and secondary latches. RCW 46.37.517 & WAC 204-10-022
  • Doors - With door latches. RCW 46.37.517 & WAC 204-10-022
  • Floor Pans - Under the entire passenger compartment, capable of supporting the weight of the number of passengers that the vehicle is designed to hold. WAC 204-10-022
  • Defroster/Defogger - All vehicles, after 1938, must be equipped with a working defroster/defogger.WAC 204-10-022

    * Optional on street rods (not less than 40 years old) and kit vehicles, operated on improved roads, and in "good" weather. RCW 46.37.518 & WAC 204-10-022

Aftermarket equipment or alterations

No alterations may be made to a vehicle which prohibits the required equipment on the vehicle from performing as intended. More information regarding restrictions and requirements for aftermarket equipment on vehicles may be found by clicking on the following link.


 

Back to Top

Quick Links


Mopeds and Scooters