Purchase a transponder

Find out how to purchase a transponder for a commercial vehicle, which allows the vehicle to be electronically screened and enables the driver to bypass weigh stations.

Transponder benefits

Commercial vehicle drivers or carriers with a gross vehicle weight of 16,000 or more can purchase a transponder to be electronically screened as the commercial vehicle approaches a weigh station. The e-screening allows safe and legal carriers to bypass weight stations after checking the legal weight, safety rating and registration information.


Transponders must be registered to a VIN with the commercial vehicle information used for electronic screening coming from the registration/cab card.

  • The commercial vehicle registration/cab card must be current.
  • An active USDOT number must be provided (Carrier Responsible for Safety).
  • All required taxes and fees must be paid.

Purchasing a transponder

To obtain an application:


Mail in an application with a check:

  • Complete the application.
  • You can use one application to purchase multiple transponders mailed to the same address.
  • Send a check or money order to WSDOT for the total cost of the transponder(s) purchased.
  • (Optional) Register the transponder(s) by including a copy of the registration/cab card for each commercial vehicle.
  • We are unable to accept credit cards or any form of electronic payment.


Once your application is received, we mail out transponders within a couple of business days. Typically, you should receive the transponder(s) in the mail within 5-7 business days of the check clearing. Registered transponders will have a license plate sticker on the side. Applications without registration/cab cards will have transponders mailed unassigned.


We charge a one-time $35 fee per transponder.

  • When you receive the transponder, it belongs to you. You own the transponder.
  • There are no additional fees for using a transponder in Washington.

Battery life

  • Transponders have a 3 to 5-year average battery life (depending on use).
  • Transponders do not have replaceable batteries.
  • Once the transponder stops working, you will need to purchase a new transponder.
  • Do not return non-working transponders purchased from us to WSDOT.
  • Follow your regional guidelines for lithium ion batteries when disposing a transponder.

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.