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AGO 1954 No. 191 - January 11, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

MOTOR VEHICLE ‑- FEES ‑- SPECIAL FEE ON MOTOR VEHICLES NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAILERS UNDER FOUR THOUSAND POUNDS --LICENSES

The ten cent fee imposed for each motor vehicle not otherwise taxed herein by section 9, chapter 254, Laws of 1953, does not apply to trailers under four thousand pounds.

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                                                                 January 11, 1954

Honorable Della Urquhart
Director of Licenses
Transportation Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 191

Dear Mrs. Urquhart:

            We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 7, 1954, requesting our opinion "relative to section 9, chapter 254, Laws of 1953, on trailers under four thousand pounds being subject to the special fee of ten cents as set forth in that section."

            Our conclusion is that the ten cent fee does not apply to trailers under four thousand pounds.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 9, chapter 254, Laws of 1953, invokes additional fees upon the registration of motor vehicles and upon trailers over four thousand pounds.  Each truck and each trailer is subjected to a specific fee set forth therein.  There is no fee prescribed for trailers under four thousand pounds.  The final provision of that section provides:

            "For each motor vehicle not otherwise taxed herein!tr.10"

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            The question is whether or not trailers of less than four thousand pounds are subject to this fee.

            This section is an amendment to chapter 269, Laws of 1951, which in turn was enacted to amend and become a part of the Motor Vehicle Code, Title 46 RCW of the Revised Code of Washington.  Chapter 46.04 RCW defines all of the terms used in that title, which definitions apply to the 1953 act, and specifically to that portion of the act quoted above.  "Motor vehicle" is defined therein as follows: (RCW 46.04.320)

            "'Motor vehicle' includes every vehicle which is in itself a self-propelled unit."

            Since the fee in section 9 applies only to motor vehicles, it is applicable only to those vehicles which fall within the definition quoted above.  A trailer is not a self-propelled unit.  Consequently the ten cent fee applicable to all other "motor vehicles" does not apply to trailers under four thousand pounds.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General


RALPH M. DAVIS
Assistant Attorney General

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