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Obtain Temporary Tags (Dealers/Dealership)

Used Cars Sold to DC Residents – Temporary DC Registration

  • Customers with newly purchased used vehicles that do not have a valid inspection are required to title and register their vehicle with a DC passenger tag reflecting a 45-day registration
  • Documents required to obtain a temporary DC registration
  • The customer will pay all fees associated with the title transaction (i.e., excise tax, title fee and lien recordation fee (if applicable)) when obtaining the temporary DC registration; therefore, when selling a used vehicle, it is critical that you alert customers of this requirement
  • The temporary DC registration fee, including RPP (if applicable), will cost $13
  • The wording “Temporary Registration” will print on the registration window sticker
  • Law enforcement and parking officers will recognize the temporary DC registration as valid without the vehicle having a valid inspection sticker
  • After vehicle inspection, the customer will renew their temporary DC registration by mail or online without making an in-person visit to DMV

Used Cars Sold to Non-DC Residents – Temporary Tags

  • Temporary Tags are valid for 45 days
  • Temporary Tag Fee applies
  • Dealers may process up to three (3) temporary tags per visit.
  • Dealers must present a Certificate of Title/ Temporary Tag Application [PDF], title, proof of insurance, a copy of the customer’s driver license or non-driver identification card and vehicle power of attorney to obtain a temp tag.

New Cars - Temporary Tags (Only DC New Car Dealers Issue DC Temporary Tags)

  • Temporary tags are issued to allow time for new vehicles to be titled and permanently registered.
  • One (1) temporary tag is issued to be displayed on the rear of vehicle.
  • In order to obtain additional temporary tags, dealership must show proof of having used 50% of existing temporary tag inventory.
  • Reports of lost or stolen tags must be accompanied by police report, prior to the issuance of replacements.
  • Temporary tag series
    • N series for used cars (Orange)
    • NC series for new cars (Pink)
  • The vehicle information on temporary tags must be legible
  • Expiration date must be stamped using black ink
  • Special use certificates [PDF] must be issued to customers and a copy must be provided to DMV.
  • Special use certificates [PDF] are issued by the DMV in multiples of 50.
  • If a customer qualifies for residential parking, a copy of the special use certificate must be submitted to the Dealer Office, and a temporary parking permit will be issued.
  • Temporary tags will not be issued for rental vehicles.
  • Dealers may only issue temporary tags for vehicles, which the dealer has authorization to sell.
  • Tags can only be issued at cost; dealers are not allowed to make profit.


  • Only the DMV Director or Designee may approve a new car dealer to issue second temporary tag to a customer.
  • Temporary tags marked as “damaged” must be returned to DMV for accounting purposes.
  • Temporary tags must be issued to customers in numerical order.
  • Dealers must retain copies of all temporary tag paperwork on dealership site for minimum of two (2) years.


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