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Do I need to pay sales tax on a used bike slated for track use?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by VMan, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Just like the title says, I'm looking to buy a used bike for track use and am wondering how title transfer and sales tax work in WA. Can I avoid paying sales tax?

    I know if I register it and get plates for the road I have to pay a "use" tax, which is basically the same as sales tax. Can I transfer the title to me but not register it for plates and avoid the use tax?

    Now, what if I sell it in a couple years to someone who wants to put a plate on it and I never did any title transfer or registration? Will I get stuck paying at that time?

    Anyone with first hand experience I'd love some insight.
  2. I've done it both ways. I have a track bike that will never see the street again, so even though I have the physical title for it, I never officially transferred ownership or paid any taxes.

    I have another bike that will only see the track for a while, but I may put it back to street in a few years. I asked the DOL for a title transfer only with no plate or registration. It was significantly cheaper than if I'd gotten a plate, but I still had to pay excise (sales) tax. No way around it, the government wants their cut.

    If you don't personally plan on ever riding the bike on the street, I wouldn't bother with a title transfer. If/when you sell and someone else wants to register it, the max fine they'd have to pay for your not having officially transferring the title is $125. That's a lot cheaper than the tax or transfer fees you'd pay now doing it by the book.

  3. That's super helpful. Thanks!