State license plates are in short supply

Some residents purchasing cars will be getting 60-day paper registrations

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PORT ORCHARD — If you’re awaiting a new Washington state license plate, you may have to wait a bit longer.

New aluminum license plates are temporarily in short supply in the state, according to Kitsap County Auditor Paul Andrews, so some residents purchasing cars will be getting 60-day paper registrations for the back window until supplies can meet demand.

In Kitsap County, this will affect customers at Kitsap County’s licensing desk in the auditor’s office and in the county’s five privately owned licensing offices. The paper licenses will be displayed the same way paper licenses are placed when a customer buys a car from a dealership.

Truck, trailer and motorcycle transactions are not affected, according to the auditor’s office. The state has asked local licensing agencies to prioritize transactions from dealerships for whatever permanent supply of permanent plates remains on hand.

“We are hopeful that this shortage is brief, but the state is indicating the disruption could last into November,” Andrews said.

The state’s Department of Corrections slowed plate production as a safety protocol in response to COVID-19. In late July, DOC hired more staff and outsourced some production to another state, but an aluminum shortage is delaying the delivery of new plates.

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