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How Does The Auction Work?

Every first Saturday of the month we hold a public Auction at our 2036 Iron Street location in Bellingham, WA. Parking is on - street only. Registration is at the back of the lot to the left of the title clerk window and is required for a bidders card. You MUST have a bidders card to bid on any item in the auction.

Bidders cards and entry are FREE!


The Auction gates open at 8am, which allows for ample time to inspect any of our vehicles. We will gladly start any vehicle you like, just ask!


The Auction begins at 9am inside our "miscellaneous items" building and runs until about 11am, depending on our inventory. Vehicle auctioning begins at 11am and runs until there are no more cars left to bid on.

If you win the bid on a vehicle you are required to put down an immediate $500 CASH ONLY deposit with our title clerks.

PLEASE PREPARE to add to the selling price of the vehicle a:

10% Buyers Fee

8.9% for Taxes

a $50 Document Fee

and D.O.L. estimated titling fees. *

* We will refund any overcharges.

After you have won a bid on a misc item, your information will be recorded and brought to the title clerks. You are required to pay for your items same day and can do so at the title stand next to registration.

After you have won a bid on a vehicle, and paid the $500 cash only deposit, you can either return the following Monday to pay the balance and pick up, or pay the remaining balance same day and take it with you at the end.

When your new vehicle is paid in full, our title clerks will work with you to fill out the required documents necessary to transfer ownership and will require from you a valid drivers license, current address and your signature.


You will be given a 45 day temporary tag and can drive your new vehicle home. Your plates and title will be mailed directly to you.

Out-Of-State & Out-Of-Country Requirements:

Start July 1, 2019, a change in state law requires businesses to collect retail sales tax on purchases by qualified nonresidents who have previously been exempt from paying the tax.  This change does not affect merchandise that is delivered to or installed for customers outside Washington, or sales to foreign diplomats or the United States government.

If you are a qualified nonresident, you may be able to request a refund directly from the Department of Revenue of the state retail sales tax you paid, starting January 1, 2020.

Claiming Tax Exemption?

In order to claim tax exemption you must have proof of valid current tribal identification. Be sure to let us know before we process your payment!

Possible Additional Titling Fees:

If you are registering a vehicle out of Whatcom County, you may need to pay additional title fees depending on your address. Please be sure to inform us if you reside outside of Bellingham!

Please note: by law, we cannot overcharge or undercharge for licensing fees.  Therefore, we will:

  • refund any overcharges

  • notify you if undercharged

Credit & Debit Card Fee:

Deposits are CASH ONLY, but you may purchase a vehicle outright with a credit card or debit card, or use both cash and a card. ANY AMOUNT put on a credit card OR a debit card incurs a 3% convenience fee.


* Cash incurs ZERO additional fees.

Have more questions? 

email us at


Common FAQs


Q: Where do the vehicles come from?

A: Our cars and trucks come from numerous places. bank repossessions, City surplus, municipalities, dealer trade-ins, estate sales, and private consignors.


Q: I saw a vehicle I like. Can I buy it before the auction?

A: No. All of our items, vehicles and misc, are auctioned off.


Q: How can I consign a vehicle?


Q: Is there a minimum or a reserve on your vehicles?

A: No. Our vehicles are all sold to the highest bidder. No minimums or reserves.

Q: What does it cost to register?

A: No cost.


Q: I bought a vehicle at the auction. Now what?

A: A $500 CASH deposit is due immediately.


Q: How do I register my vehicle in a different state?

A: SEE "Out Of State and Out Of Country Requirements".


Q: Do I have to have a valid driver's license to buy a vehicle at the auction?

A: Yes. You must be licensed driver to purchase a vehicle at the auction.


Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

A: Cash, Cashier's Check, Credit & Debit Cards.


Q: I bought a vehicle at the auction.  When do I get my registration and plates?

A: Being a licensed auto dealer, we do all the paperwork for you. It may take up to 45 days for the title and registration to be completed. We will mail your license plates direct from BPAA before your temporary tag expires. Your title will be mailed soon after directly from the State of Washington.


Q: Are there warranties on your vehicles?

A: No. All vehicles are sold as is where is with no warranty implied or promised. 


Q: When can I view the vehicles for the auction?

A: We list our inventory on our website, Throughout the month. You can also view the vehicles starting at 8am on the day of the auction.


Q: Can I start the vehicles?

A: No.  Employees of Bellingham Public Auto Auction LLC will start the cars for you. Just ask. We're happy to help.

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