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Delayed Registration & Plates in WA State (Portland Metro)

Jimmeh

New Member
Jun 11, 2021
4
3
PNW
Hey all, first post. I just took delivery of my M3LR almost a month ago now (6/28) and my trip permit expired Monday of this week. I've called the Portland office a couple times and have been reassured to not worry, no one ever gets pulled over for an expired trip permit, they'll come eventually, etc. etc. but I'm sure "They told me it would be OK" won't really be a valid defense if I get pulled over.

Is anyone else in the area still waiting? Have you had any luck getting a status on where in the process it is, or know how to check in the app, online, with Tesla, the DMV/DOL or otherwise? Are you driving / did you drive around with the expired permit? I get that it's probably fine for the most part but I always worry I'm going to end up being the exception to the rule.

FWIW, loving the car so far, even if I've been afraid to drive it recently :)

Thanks in advance!
 

DSolie

Pew Pew
Jul 2, 2020
364
719
Olympia, WA
I assume this is OR? If so, they are crazy behind and from what I heard have a COVID exemption that if your temp expired AFTER 3/2020, you have an infinite grace period.
 

Jimmeh

New Member
Jun 11, 2021
4
3
PNW
I assume this is OR? If so, they are crazy behind and from what I heard have a COVID exemption that if your temp expired AFTER 3/2020, you have an infinite grace period.

I did buy it in OR, though I live in WA. I just did a search based on that info though and found this, so I guess I have at least six months (so long as it's honored in WA):

On May 6, 2021, Governor Kate Brown signed into law House Bill 2137, which creates a moratorium on citations for expired driver licenses, permits, vehicle registration and disabled parking placards. The new law only applies to expiration dates of less than six months from the date of the violation. Read a public notice about the grace period.

That helps me feel better about it at least, and good to know they're just backed up so it's hopefully not just me. Appreciate the info!
 

DRTII

Member
Jul 23, 2021
100
137
Oregon
In Oregon. Don't worry, you'll be fine. We're all in the same boat and the COVID-19 leniency law that was signed in 2020 has likely been extended, and at worst, is still unofficially recognized.

I was given a 3 month tag from Portland SA and even they didn't expect plates that quickly, but it's never going to matter. You can drive around with nothing and as long as you're not breaking other laws (speeding, .etc) you won't be pulled over for tags.

The State can't control the speed in which people are allowed to renew in-person, especially with newer vehicles. The platform just isn't in place for managing this online, so we aren't expected to face penalties for something we can't control.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,845
1,837
Richland, WA
I went through this when I bought my Model Y in October (OR pick up, WA resident). Ultimately it took about 45 days or so for me to get it, and that was me calling the Portland store, the state of Washington, a Washington store, and the title and license office the WA store uses. There’s no reason this takes so long. I had my reg and plates within about 3 days of the WA registration office getting the paperwork and payment from the Tesla WA store. The slow down is on Tesla. I forget which location they send the stuff to, but it gets sent to a WA Seattle store. They process it in batches and then take all the paperwork and cut a big check to a local registration office in Seattle once or twice a week and the office will process the paperwork (in my experience within a day or two) and then send all the plates to the WA Tesla store which then mails out the ones they need to.

I didn’t trust the covid exemption because I was told that was only for when license and registration offices and DMVs were closed. Many (not all at the time) had opened again. What I did was a purchased WA temporary travel tags. They are 3 day temp tags meant for purchasing a vehicle in WA and driving it out of state. You can buy 3 at a time (total of 9 days) and they’re $33/each. You can not use more than 3 of them on the same vehicle in a 30 day period… but they sell them to you without asking any details on the vehicle, just checking your driver’s license. I went to two different offices and bought six total (~$200) and then used two each week (put one on Mon and it’s good till end of day Wed, put next one on Thursday and good end of day Sat, I didn’t drive the car on Sunday, repeat).

That trick got me the 3 extra weeks I needed after my 28 day Oregon temp permit expired and thankfully my WA plates showed up by then.

OR will not issue another temp tag and they actually make you sign an understanding when you’re a WA resident and pick up the vehicle in OR.

WA will not issue you a temp permit unless YOU pay the taxes, they don’t trust that Tesla did even if you have proof Tesla collected them. I was advised not to pay again by the state of WA as refunds were taking 6 to 9 months.

I would recommend against picking up in OR unless you have a second car that can be primary for another two or three months OR you work from home and can limp along driving the car just two or three times a week. Then you probably can squeeze another three to six weeks out of it by the WA Travel Tag trick (kinda sorta illegal the way I did it, legal if you can make 3 tags stretch 30 days before needing more.)


Edit: University Licensing Agency was the location that processed Tesla registration as of Nov 2020. Licensing Agency - Seattle, WA - University License Agency

You could try calling them and seeing if they have you paperwork or see you in their system and just haven’t had payment submitted yet. This also probably means University Village Tesla is the one that handles OR sold cars since I remember thinking the locations were close by. They are extremely cagey in my experience with actual connecting you to the lady (at the time) that processed the paperwork. Most calls was just some clueless sales rep that would put me on hold and “text her” since she was working remote a lot and then get back on the phone to say there was no reply, or she had said everything was in order and nothing to worry about. No one could understand that I wanted it done quickly since my tags expired. ONE day I got lucky and someone was busy but said they could transfer me to her, I left a voicemail and she seemed confused when she called me back (like not used to customers actually reaching her) and said she found my paperwork and everything was there and not to worry… though she still took over 7 days before submitting it to the licensing office from my daily calls to them…
 
Last edited:

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,845
1,837
Richland, WA
Also also, I get the feeling that the WA Tesla people aren’t concerned because they know they have 60 days to get this all done without someone having to get an extension since that’s the duration of the WA temp permits. It’s the ~28 day OR one that is the issue. I actually have faith in Tesla getting it done before 60 days are up… so you could probably just wait out that period.

Also, Kate Brown has no authority in WA. That statement is not at all applicable to WA. Tesla in Washington State handles the registration, the OR stores just mail all the paperwork up as soon as you sign and get the car. The state can and likely WILL enforce the law in WA, even if you say OR told you it’s ok. My local license office was willing to try to start to process my registration same day and give me a temp 60 day permit if I was willing to fork over the tax again right then and there. I didn’t want to obviously (and I recommend you don’t, there are additional documents that Tesla needs to supply [have on record with the office] like the origin of manufacturing, for the registration to be complete and I have NO IDEA how to get that from Tesla.) But until Tesla submits your paperwork, your car doesn’t even show up in the system in Olympia as pending. I think WA would ticket you $529. There is also mention that an officer can impounded any vehicle with a registration that is 45 days or more delinquent, though I’m not sure if that applies to an out of state temp permit or not. I wouldn’t drive it based on what Tesla OR says, they don’t have to follow WA laws there and probably aren’t able to speak to WA specific policies.
 

Stewart

2021 MY, blue/black FSD & Tow
Dec 22, 2020
34
15
Mill Creek, WA
I picked up a MY in Portland on the 25 of June, still don’t have my plates. At this point I’m not really worried about it, until I get pulled over. The upside is all the tolling that goes on around here can’t detect the temp Oregon paper tag under my tinted rear window.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,845
1,837
Richland, WA
I picked up a MY in Portland on the 25 of June, still don’t have my plates. At this point I’m not really worried about it, until I get pulled over. The upside is all the tolling that goes on around here can’t detect the temp Oregon paper tag under my tinted rear window.
Be ready for a ~$500 ticket if you are pulled over…
 

DRTII

Member
Jul 23, 2021
100
137
Oregon
Yeah, it's entirely possible ticketing will pick up, who really knows? The reality of the order, though, is the STATE itself is having issues with servicing the number of people that need in-person help. Yes, that doesn't mean your plates, and this is where you're likely, right, however, in some cases (such as an out-of-state private-party motorcycle purchase I still need to get an appointment for) - it simply doesn't make sense.

It might be hearsay around here, and granted it's not Washington state, but everyone from dealers to local business owners talk about the exemption being in effect through '21.

Maybe that's inaccurate.

Maybe it will bite us in the ass.

All I know is it's completely out of my control and I would fight that if it came to it.
 

Jimmeh

New Member
Jun 11, 2021
4
3
PNW
Also, Kate Brown has no authority in WA. That statement is not at all applicable to WA.
This was my worry as well. While I'd like to think Washington officers would respect Oregon rules for Oregon temporary permits, none of us can really say if that would hold up for Washington residents (Tesla included).

The slow down is on Tesla. I forget which location they send the stuff to, but it gets sent to a WA Seattle store. They process it in batches and then take all the paperwork and cut a big check to a local registration office in Seattle once or twice a week and the office will process the paperwork (in my experience within a day or two) and then send all the plates to the WA Tesla store which then mails out the ones they need to.
That suddenly makes sense; when I called last week asking about my plates they said 'they picked it up yesterday' which I figured meant they picked my plates up but that must've just been the paperwork to send to Seattle.

I appreciate all the detailed info, luckily I'm working at home for the time being so I don't have to be on the road all the time but I may reach out to the DMV and/or that licensing office to see if I'm going to get a fine for driving as-is and/or check on the status.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback, I have a feeling it's something I probably won't get fined for but I'd hate to risk meeting an officer on a bad day without something concrete.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,845
1,837
Richland, WA
Yeah, it's entirely possible ticketing will pick up, who really knows? The reality of the order, though, is the STATE itself is having issues with servicing the number of people that need in-person help. Yes, that doesn't mean your plates, and this is where you're likely, right, however, in some cases (such as an out-of-state private-party motorcycle purchase I still need to get an appointment for) - it simply doesn't make sense.

It might be hearsay around here, and granted it's not Washington state, but everyone from dealers to local business owners talk about the exemption being in effect through '21.

Maybe that's inaccurate.

Maybe it will bite us in the ass.

All I know is it's completely out of my control and I would fight that if it came to it.
The thing is, I haven’t seen a single news article or press release from *Washington* talking about that. They allowed extensions on drivers licenses and commercial drivers permits, but I don’t think they ever did on registration or plates… in fact in September or November of last year they were warning to do it early because it might be delayed, but no mentions of grace periods or anything…
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,391
1,270
Seattle
I bought a used Tesla and only realized when I went to renew my tabs that Tesla had sent the wrong MSRP to DoL and I was being charged a much higher RTA tax. After many calls I discovered that they had included the price of all options and EAP(which it didn’t have) from the original monroney on the MSRP they sent over ($57.5k) for my 2018 LR RWD instead of the $45k it should’ve been.

I’ve tried to get Tesla to send over a corrected MSRP so I can have my RTA tax corrected but it’s been impossible and my Tabs have now expired. I have no idea how to get in touch with the right person at Tesla to correct this.
 

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