Volunteer License Plate

In January 2012, in her proclamation, Gov. Gregoire noted that the majority of firefighters in Washington are volunteers who, “. . .deserve to be recognized for their willingness to provide courageous service without monetary compensation.” She also notes that when not responding to emergencies, “. . .these public servants are involved in numerous community programs.”

Through the efforts of the Washington State Fire Fighters’ Association, as well as others, volunteer firefighter’s are now able to obtain special license plates recognizing their service.

Applicants for Volunteer Firefighter license plates must currently be a volunteer firefighter for one or more years, or must have been a volunteer firefighter for at least ten years and have documentation of service from the district or the appropriate fire service entity/jurisdiction. Volunteers are recognized in any one of multiple roles, including firefighter, tender operator, EMS responder, chaplain, photographer and fire investigator.

Application Process

Review

Review WA/DOL Volunteer Firefighter plates requirements

Download

Download and complete the WSFFA Document of Volunteer Service application

Download

Download and complete WA/DOL Volunteer Firefighter plates application. Please submit your proof and payment with the application.

Sit Back and Wait

Sit back and wait for your new plates to arrive.

FAQs:

Who qualifies for the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?
Applicants for initial Volunteer Firefighter License Plates must currently be a volunteer firefighter (see firefighter definition for more info) for one or more years, or must have been a volunteer firefighter for at least ten years and have documentation of service from the district or the appropriate fire service entity/jurisdiction.
What is the definition of volunteer firefighter?

Volunteer firefighter includes any firefighter, emergency worker or who is a member of any fire department of any municipality who responds to emergencies, has assigned tasks in the mitigation of emergency incidents, has tasks at emergency incidents contained within the incident command system, and participates in ongoing emergency services training. This also includes retired volunteers who have at least ten years of honorable service.

This may qualify EMS only responders, chaplains, photographer, fire scene investigators to name a few.

What’s the definition of Emergency worker?
Any emergency medical service personnel regulated by RCW chapters 18.71 and 18.73, who is a member of any emergency medical service district.
What is the definition of a Fire District and Municipal Corporation?
  1. Fire district – means any regularly organized fire district/department or emergency medical service district consisting wholly of volunteer firefighters, or any part-paid and part-volunteer fire department duly organized and maintained by any municipality.
  2. Municipal Corporation or Municipality includes any county, city, town or combination thereof, fire protection district, any emergency medical service district or other special district, or authority having jurisdiction, or any regional fire protection service authority formed under RCW chapter 52.26, authorized by law to protect life or property within its boundaries through a fire department.
What is the definition of Authority Having Jurisdiction?

Authority Having Jurisdiction means an organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure.

When can I purchase a Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?

In accordance with the legislation, the plate became available after January 1, 2012.

Where do I get my volunteer firefighter license plate?
  1. The WSFFA website will provide you the fire service documentation form to submit with your DOL application form.
  2. The DOL website for the application form.
  3. Any vehicle licensing office.

The plates will be mailed to you.

I am a fire commissioner, do I qualify for the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?

No, according the legislation the qualified registered motor vehicle owner must be volunteer firefighter, or meet the definition of volunteer firefighter.

I am a career firefighter but not a member of the WSCFF.

You do not qualify. The legislation states you must be a volunteer firefighter, or meet the definition of volunteer firefighter.
Career firefighters should visit the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters for additional information: wscff.org

I am a part time firefighter but not a member of the WSCFF: can I get the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?

No, the legislation states you must be a volunteer firefighter, or meet the definition of volunteer firefighter.

How much will the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate cost?

The current costs for Volunteer Firefighter License plans can be found at WA/DOL Volunteer Firefighter plates site: here

So what would I be expected to pay for the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate in January 2015, what is the cost break down is?

Effective January 1, 2015

  • Passenger/truck….$72.75
  • Motorcycle…………$54.75

plus other fees if applicable

What do my fees go for?
  1. To repay the Department of Licensing the $30,299 cost of creating and producing the Volunteer Firefighter License Plate.
  2. Revenue ($28 per plate) shall be directed to the WSFFA who shall disseminate funds on behalf of volunteer firefighters, their families, and others deemed in need.
How will the funds disseminated?

Through the WSFFA Benevolent Fund.

What is the WSFFA Benevolent Fund?

The WSFFA Benevolent Fund program consists of the following:

  • Line of Duty Death benefit
  • Catastrophic member benefit
  • National Fire Academy scholarships
  • Annual WSFFA fire school scholarships
  • External (to the Fire District) training and scholarships
  • Annual State Firefighters Memorial Event fund

The fund is looking to expand to include the following new elements:

  • Tier Two Line of Duty Death Benefit
  • State Firefighter Memorial fund
  • Health & Safety program
  • Charitable Donations
What must I do to get volunteer firefighter license plates for my vehicle?

You will need to present an approved WSFFA documentation form with the DOL Special License Plate Application form and applicable payment to a vehicle licensing agent.

What’s an approved WSFFA documentation form? (UPDATE)

You will be able to get a length of service documentation form online to complete. Your Fire Chief will be the approving fire district/department authority.

The Board of Volunteer Fire Fighters & Reserve Officers shall be recognized as an official provider of service documentation of volunteer’s service time.

Can I get a plate for both of my registered vehicles?

Yes. A qualifying volunteer may have a maximum of two sets per applicant, for their personal vehicles.

Are Volunteer Firefighter License Plates available for motorcycles?

Yes, with the WSFFA service documentation form and DOL Special License Plate Application Form.

Will I be able to personalize my Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?

NO. You cannot personalize the volunteer firefighter license plate series.

Yes. You may be able to personalize a vanity or personalize plate that has the volunteer firefighter plate background. You will need to fill out additional Department of Licensing forms. Personalized plate fees would apply.

Can I reserve a specific volunteer firefighter plate series number?

No, the Department of Licensing issuance process does not have that capability.

One can apply for a vanity or personalize plate with specific numbers/letters.

If I leave the volunteer fire service can I keep the license plates?

If the volunteer leaves the fire service before ten years of service have been completed, the volunteer shall surrender the license plates to the Department of Licensing on the registration renewal date.

What if I leave the volunteer fire service after serving more than ten years?

If the volunteer stays in service for at least ten years and then leaves, the license plate may be retained by the former volunteer and as long as the license plate is retained for use the person will continue to pay the future registration renewals.

Can a retired volunteer get a Volunteer Firefighter License Plate?

If the volunteer stays in service for at least ten years and then leaves, the license plate may be retained by the former volunteer and as long as the license plate is retained for use the person will continue to pay the future registration renewals.

I’ve been retired for some time now; can I still get a plate?

Yes, providing you secure the necessary service documentation of 10 years of honorable volunteer service. If the volunteer stays in service for at least ten years and then leaves, the license plate may be retained by the former volunteer as long as the license plate is retained for personal use and the person will continues to pay the future registration renewals.