View Full Version : Licensing in Washington State

06-28-2014, 05:01 PM
I contacted the Washington State Highway Patrol about getting a VIN for a Factory Five Mark IV or 818. They sent me the checklist they use to certify the car and the firs thing it requires is airbags. It also requires bumpers. I contacted them to ask if this is correct and they told me that any homebuilt car registered in Washington must have airbags and bumpers. I know that in practice airbags and bumpers are not required but the HP is sticking to their story.

Now I know that there are plenty of homebuilt cars registered in Washington state. I've driven a Ariel Atom licensed in Washington and for sure it has no airbags or bumpers. I checked two days ago and there are three Cobra replicas for sale in the Seattle area.

Can anyone help me out here? I feel like I need to educate the Highway Patrol about their own rules and regulations but I want to get this sorted out before I buy a car.



06-29-2014, 12:10 PM
Contact your state legislator, representative or senator. They should be able to send you the laws that pertain to kit cars. That is what I did before I ordered my Kit and was pleasantly surprised that in Hawaii we have a special street rod law that lists what is required. Hopefully the HP just need to be pointed int he right direction.

06-29-2014, 02:22 PM
The problem is that your asking them the question in terms of licensing a homebuilt car. You need to refer them to senate bill 5585. SB5585 refers to street rods and custom vehicles resembling a vehicle 30+ yrs old and allows you to bypass all the normal requirements of a newer built car like airbags, etc.. This applies perfectly to a FFR Roadster. Maybe not so much an 818. Do a search on it and you can read the specific requirements including your vehicle not being used as a daily driver, etc..

06-29-2014, 02:35 PM
I'm curious how people have gotten their Arial Atoms licensed in Washington State. If this bill is the only exemption, then it appears that the Factory Five 818 could not be licensed in Washington State.

I just read 5585 and it exempts a street rod and custom vehicle from emissions testing and provides that a hood and bumpers are optional. It also lists as cars that need to be inspected a "kit car" but does not us this term anywhere else in the document. It also does not provide an exemption from an airbag. Interestingly enough the citation in the HP checklist for an airbag is to federal law which I understand does not apply to a kit car. I would love to find this exemption in the federal law for kit cars.

06-29-2014, 04:31 PM
This may be what you are looking for:


06-29-2014, 10:59 PM
Thanks. This seems to agree with what I have read, that if the vehicle did not originally come with a bumper, it does not need to have one. I still need to overcome their instance that it has an airbag, which is just plain silly considering the amount of engineering it takes to make an airbag operate properly.


06-30-2014, 01:20 AM
If you are replicating a 65 cobra there is no airbag requirement period. I would recommend you go to the Northwest section of the other forum and talk to all the other guys that have registered their cars. There are several of them in our club (Cascade Cobras).

06-30-2014, 12:50 PM
I know that the Federal airbag law does not apply, it's just that the folks at the HP that I am talking to don't seem to know this.

I will check with the Cobra forum. Thanks.

11-17-2015, 06:42 PM
There is a thread on cascadecobras.com ( without registering go to page two in NW discussions) on WA WSP inpections. The thread states if your car is an FFR no inspection is needed in WA. Take MSO along with kit, engine, trans and RE receipts to any WA licensing office and request COLLECTORS plates. Check it out plus info on car weight. Made me RELAX!