Statewide license plate shortage prompts temporary permits for Thurston County drivers


In response to a statewide license plate shortage, the Thurston County Auditor’s Office, alongside eight licensing subagents, will be issuing temporary permits to passenger vehicle licensing customers.

These permits will be valid for 60 days, offering a solution to drivers amidst the scarcity of metal plates.

Customers will also receive tabs that they can affix to their metal plates once they become available.

Washington State enhanced its temporary license permits last year, substituting regular paper with more durable, weather-proof materials.

The shortage only affects passenger vehicle licensing customers; those seeking licenses for trucks, trailers, and motorcycles remain unaffected.

Licensing subagents, which are private businesses supervised by the County Auditor’s Office, offer vehicle and vessel licensing services throughout Thurston County.

"While we haven’t heard for certain from the state Department of Licensing when metal plates will be available, we hope our customers are patient while we work through this," Mary Hall, Thurston County Auditor stated in a press release.

For more information regarding licensing services in Thurston County and to locate a list of subagents, individuals can visit the Thurston County licensing webpage.


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  • AugieH

    So what is it? A shortage of metal to make the plates or a shortage of incarcerated individuals to craft them? That would and should be an obvious inclusion in the story.

    Thursday, May 9 Report this

  • ChuckCross

    Born and raised in Wa. State. In more than 70 years have never heard of there being a shortage of license plates. Neither has there been a shortage of incarcerated to make the plates, therefore, it must be a shortage of metal!!??? Regarding newly customized temporary plates -- sure hope the new substance for the Temps is less costly than the ordinary paper used for the last 70+ years. But then I doubt it, or there would have been a press release touting the savings from using a new material for our plates. Golly it is such enlightening experience to read about the antics of our leaders.

    Thursday, May 9 Report this

  • Tractor1

    The shortage is with the TAB material not the metal license plates.

    Thursday, May 9 Report this