License plates that feature a steelhead, bald eagle, killer whale, deer, elk or black bear are a great way to show support for Washington wildlife.
Purchasing these plates not only expresses an appreciation for native wildlife, but also helps to fund wildlife viewing, game management and the recovery of protected species.
The initial cost of wildlife background license is $72.75, with a renewal fee of $30 in addition to annual tab fees, which vary by location and type of vehicle. These plates can be purchased through the Washington Department of Licensing.
A portion of the fees collected, $28 per plate, supports specific wildlife activities depending on which background is selected.
For example, sales of the endangered wildlife plate, which features a killer whale, are used specifically for the recovery of Washington's threatened and endangered species. A variety of recovery efforts – including sage grouse reintroductions and sea otter population surveys – are funded by plate sales. Revenue from the steelhead license plate is used to help support activities critical to conserving populations of native steelhead.
Wildlife viewing activities, such as the development of wildlife watching trails and webcams, benefit each time a Washington resident buys a wildlife watching plate, which sports a bald eagle as the background.
WDFW uses fees collected through sales of game management plates – displaying a deer, elk or black bear – to manage game animals in Washington. Management activities include improvement of public access opportunities as well as wildlife population monitoring.
Wildlife background license plates can be personalized for an additional fee. Learn more about how these plates support Washington's wildlife on WDFW's personalized license plates webpage.