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Things to Do After Buying a Vehicle

Congratulations on your vehicle purchase. You must now have the vehicle inspected, titled and registered in the District.

  • You must immediately purchase insurance, in your name and at your DC address for the vehicle. District law requires continuous insurance for all vehicles registered in the District. See DC's insurance requirements.

  • If the vehicle was purchased from a dealership, you may have been issued temporary tags to take the vehicle through District inspection (unless the vehicle already has a valid DC inspection or if the vehicle is new, i.e., never previously titled in any jurisdiction). Even if the dealership is taking care of your titling and registration paperwork, you may still need to visit a DC DMV service center to obtain a parking permit.
  • If the vehicle was purchased from a private seller or dealership who doesn't issue temporary tags, you need to visit a DC DMV service center to obtain a temporary DC registration to provide you time to get the vehicle inspected and registered.

  • Once the vehicle passes DC inspection, it must be registered in the District.