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Vanpool Terms and Conditions

Important Notice:
The information presented on this site constitutes your rideshare contract with the Washington State Ferries. Please print a copy for future reference.

Here's How the Program Works:
When you organize a Vanpool, you help yourself by receiving preferential loading on the ferry. Participants sign up for a particular sailing. The permit allows participants to travel on the reserved sailing or the next available sailing to their destination. This program operates 24/7 except holidays due to holiday sailing schedules. Permits are good for a specified route and time only. Participants are not guaranteed loading first or offloading first. Nor are they guaranteed a particular space on the vessel.  Vanpools will be given preference over Carpools at the time of registration.This adds up to more efficient commuting, a savings on travel expenses and a cleaner environment. A little planning pays off for you, your ferry system and our environment.

Vanpool Requirements:

  1. You must commute with at least five people, including the driver. (maximum 15)
  2. You must use your Vanpool at least three days a week for a minimum of nine months.
  3. Private Vanpools must get a Rideshare license plate from Washington State Department of Licensing prior to registering with Washington State Ferries.  To obtain a Rideshare license plate application, call Department of Licensing. Mail the license plate application to the Department of Licensing. Once you get your license plate number from DOL you may register with WSF.
  4. Register your Vanpool with Washington State Ferries.


  • You can register with WSF online by credit card, or you may obtain a paper application form and pay the $20 registration fee by check or money order made payable to Washington State Ferries. Your WSF Rideshare registration/permit needs to be updated once a year.
  • Vanpool participants may only be registered in one vanpool or carpool vehicle with WSF unless otherwise authorized.
  • You can form your own Vanpool. Call 1-888-814-1300 or use an Internet search at to find potential partners.
  • If you have questions, need another application or want to give us your Rideshare license plate number call 1-888-808-7977. You may pick up more registration forms at the Colman Dock Customer Information Desk at Pier 52 in Seattle. To mail in your registration, send it to:

                    Washington State Ferries
                    Revenue Accounting / F819999
                    PO Box 3985
                    Seattle, WA 98124-3985

WSF recommends Vanpool vehicles are in the HOV holding area 10 minutes before their scheduled sailing.  Due to accessibility and dock configurations, staging and loading time varies by terminal.  For more information contact WSF at 511. 

When you go through the ticket booth and load onto the ferry, you must have at least four passengers in the vehicle. A minimum of four passenger tickets must be submitted at the tollbooth to receive preferential loading and waiver of the vehicle/driver fare. If you have more than four passengers, you must submit a passenger ticket/fare payment for each passenger.

Public transit vans are available:
For those interested in obtaining a Public Transit Van (rather than licensing and using your own vehicle), you can call 1-888-814-1300 to find the public transit agency with a vanpool program closest to you. Registration and use of public transit vehicles is coordinated through public transit agencies. Once you have a public transit van, you still have to register for the WSF Vanpool permit program to travel with a scheduled sailing space.

License plates for Private Vanpools:
Private vanpools must have Rideshare License Plates issued by the Department of Licensing. Only the licensed vehicle can be used as the Vanpool vehicle. Appropriate fees and exemptions will be authorized by the Department of Licensing. All Vanpools must have Rideshare plates. Private Vanpools cannot substitute for another non-rideshare vehicle.

Permit Replacement Process:
Report Lost/Stolen Permits to Washington State Ferries. Replacements cost $5 and one per permit cycle is allowed at this price.  A second replacement within a year will cost $20.  Send affidavit of lost/stolen permit (doc 38 kb) and payment for replacement to:

Washington State Ferries
Revenue Accounting / F819999
PO Box 3985
Seattle, WA 98124-3985

Enforcement details:
1. Misuse of Vanpool permits may result in revocation of your permit.
2. When a permit is revoked, each Vanpool member becomes ineligible for a six-month period.
3. Repeat offenders will be denied the privilege of preferential loading on Washington State Ferries. 

Questions? Please Write or Call:
Rideshare Registration Program
Washington State Ferries
Customer Service Department
2901 3rd Avenue, Suite #500
Seattle, WA 98121-3014

Additional Vanpool Information:

  • Safe driving and courteous interaction with the terminal staff is required of all participants.
  • Permits are non-transferable and may only be used for the registered vanpool vehicle.
  • Your WSF Rideshare permit may not be transferred or lent to another Rideshare group.
  • If you are unsure about queuing or loading at a particular terminal, please call 1-888-808-7977.
  • Monthly ferry only passenger passes are available online.
  • For customer service regarding the rideshare program call 1-888-808-7977.

By clicking here, I certify that all members of my Vanpool understand and accept the above Terms and Conditions.