Transportation Benefit District

This page provides all information regarding the Transportation Benefit District in the City of Lakewood.

About the TBD
Vehicle License Fee
Reports and Documents

About the TBD

What is a Transportation Benefit District (TBD)?

  • As authorized by the Washington State Legislature, a Transportation Benefit District is a quasi-municipal corporation and independent taxing district created for the sole purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, providing, and funding transportation improvements within the district. A TBD is an independent taxing district that can impose specific taxes or fees, either through a vote of the people or through district board action. TBDs are flexible – they allow cities and counties to work independently or cooperatively to address both local and regional transportation challenges.

What are the boundaries of the Lakewood TBD?

  • The boundary of the Lakewood TBD is Lakewood city limits.

Who governs the TBD?

  • The members of the legislative authority (county or city) proposing to establish a TBD serve as the governing body of the TBD. The legislative authority is acting ex officio and independently as the TBD governing body. If a TBD includes additional jurisdictions through interlocal agreements, then the governing body must have at least five members, including at least one elected official from each of the participating jurisdictions.

What transportation improvements can be funded by a TBD?

  • This can include maintenance and improvements to city streets, county roads, state highways, public transportation, transportation demand management, and other transportation projects identified in a local, regional or state plan.

What revenue options do TBDs have?

  • TBDs have several revenue options subject to voter approval:
    • Property taxes – a 1-year excess levy or an excess levy for capital purposes
    • Up to 0.2 percent sales and use tax
    • Up to $100 annual vehicle fee per vehicle registered in the district
    • Vehicle tolls
  • TBDs have two revenue options that do not require voter approval but are subject to additional conditions. To impose either fee, the TBD’s boundaries must be countywide or citywide, or if applicable, in the unincorporated county. Foregoing a vote is an option. A county or city still has the option of placing either fee to the vote of the people as an advisory vote or an actual requirement of imposition. The two options are:
    1. Annual vehicle fee up to $20. This fee is collected at the time of vehicle renewal and cannot be used to fund passenger-only ferry service improvements. (HB 1485 increases this option up to $40.)
    2. Transportation impact fees on commercial and industrial buildings. Residential buildings are excluded. In addition, a county or city must provide a credit for a commercial or industrial transportation impact if the respective county or city has already imposed a transportation impact fee.

Are TBD revenues required to be spent as they are collected?

  • The governing body must develop a plan that specifies the transportation improvements to be provided or funded by the TBD. As part of this plan, the TBD’s governing board can indicate if the funds will be used immediately, or if they will be collected for a specified period. Typically funds that are collected for a specified period before being expended are used to fully fund large projects, when bonding, or serve as a match for state or federal funds that may only become available in a specified time frame.

Why am I being charged the $20 Transportation Benefit District fee if I have moved outside of the Lakewood City limits?

  • If you have moved outside of the Lakewood City limits and are being charged the $20 Transportation Benefit District Fee, chances are that your vehicle is still registered with a Lakewood address. If you complete a change of address form, available online at the Department of Licensing (DOL) or in person with a DOL agent, you will be given a new location code. Your fee for tab renewal will then be assessed based on your new location code.

What happens if a city imposes the $20 vehicle fee and then the county imposes a countywide fee without voter approval?

  • The law requires TBDs to provide a credit for vehicle fees previously imposed by a TBD. For example, if Lakewood was first to create a TBD to impose a $20 vehicle fee and subsequently the county creates a countywide TBD imposing a $20 vehicle fee, the county TBD must provide a $20 credit against its fee for vehicles registered in Lakewood. As a result, no fee would be collected by the county TBD from vehicles registered in Lakewood.

Who can I contact about other fees on my Vehicle License Tab Renewal Notice?

  • For fees related to the Department of Licensing (DOL) (examples: weight based fee, license plate replacement fee, reflective coating fee, etc.), please contact DOL’s Vehicle Customer Service Center at (360) 902-3900. For the $5 voluntary donation related to Washington State Parks, please contact the Washington State Park Headquarters at (360) 902-8844.

Vehicle License Fee

On September 15, 2014, the Lakewood City Council, acting as the Transportation Benefit District Board, voted to enact a $20 vehicle license fee that will help pay for millions of dollars in much-needed improvements to street and transportation improvements throughout the community

The City Council authorized the annual fee on a 6-1 vote. The vehicle licensing fee is expected to generate $4.88 million between 2019 and 2024.

Vehicles subject to TBD fee:

The annual vehicle fee is due for each vehicle subject to license tab fees and for each vehicle subject to gross weight fees with an unladen (scale) weight of 6,000 pounds or less as described in the table below.

Vehicles with non-expiring registration, such as Disabled American Veteran and Collector Vehicles, are exempt from the tax. The annual vehicle licensing fee applies only when renewing vehicle registration, and is effective upon the registration renewal date as provided by the Department of Licensing.

The following vehicles are subject to the vehicle licensing fee under RCW 82.80.140:

Use Type



CABTaxicabRCW 46.17.350
CMBCombinationRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

CMB (non-powered)TrailersRCW 46.16A.450(b)
COMCommercial vehicleRCW 46.17.350

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

COM non poweredCommercialRCW 46.16A.450
CYCMotorcycleRCW 46.17.350
FIXFixed Load vehicleRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

FRH, 6 seats or lessFor HireRCW 46.17.350
FRH, 7 seats or moreFor HireRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

HDLHouse Moving DollyRCW 46.17.350
LOG (powered)Used Exclusively for hauling logsRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

LOG (non-powered)Used exclusively for hauling logsRCW 46.17.355
MHMMotor homeRCW 46.17.350
MOBMobile HomeRCW 46.17.350 (if actually licensed)
PASPassenger vehicleRCW 46.17.350
STA, 6 seats or lessStageRCW 46.17.350
STA, 7 seats or moreStageRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

TLRPrivate –use trailer

(if over 2000 pounds scale weight)

RCW 46.17.350
TOWTow truckRCW 46.17.350
TRKTruckRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

TVLTravel trailerRCW 46.17.350
NEPNeighborhood electric passenger vehicleRCW 46.17.350
NETNeighborhood electric truckRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

MEPMedium-speed electric passenger vehicleRCW 46.17.350
METMedium-speed electric truckRCW 46.17.355

if scale weight is 6000 pounds or less

Vehicles not subject to TBD fee

The following vehicles are specifically exempted from the vehicle licensing fee:

  1. Campers, as defined in RCW 46.04.085;
  2. Farm tractors or farm vehicles as defined in RCW 46.04.180 and 46.04.181;
  3. Mopeds, as defined in RCW 46.04.304;
  4. Off-road and non-highway vehicles as defined in RCW 46.04.365;
  5. Private use single-axle trailer, as defined in RCW 46.04.422;
  6. Snowmobiles as defined in RCW 46.04.546; and
  7. Vehicles registered under chapter 46.87 RCW and the international registration plan.

The following vehicles are not subject to the vehicle fee under RCW 82.80.140:

Use Type



ATQAntique Vehicle (any vehicle 30 years old)Not subject to license fees
ATVMotorized Non highway vehicleNot subject to RCW 82.80.140
CGRConverter GearNot subject to license fees
CMPCampersExempt under RCW 82.80.140
GOVState, County, City, TribalNot subject to license fees
FARFarmExempt under RCW 82.80.140
FCBFarm CombinationExempt under RCW 82.80.140
FEDFederally OwnedNot subject to license fees
FEXFarm ExemptNot subject to license fees
FMCFederal Motorcycle TrailerNot subject to license fees
ORVOff Road VehiclesExempt under RCW 82.80.140
PEDMopedExempt under RCW 82.80.140
ATQRestored and Collector VehiclesNot subject to license fees
SCHPrivate SchoolNot subject to license fees
SNO, SNVSnowmobilesExempt under RCW 82.80.140
SNVVintage snowmobilesExempt under RCW 82.80.140
SNXState, County, City owned snowmobilesExempt under RCW 82.80.140
TLRPersonal use trailers, single axle

(less than 2,000 pounds scale weight)

Exempt under RCW 82.80.140

Reports and Documents

Annual Reports

Past Transportation Benefit District Board agenda packets