You must cancel your vehicle tag registration and surrender your vehicle tags to DC DMV:
- If you move out of the District
- When you sell your car or donate it to charity and do not transfer your vehicle tags to another vehicle
- If one of your tags has been stolen and you have obtained replacement tags
- If you cancel your registration
- When you replace worn out tags with a new tag number
Note: Do not cancel your insurance before surrendering your tags to DC DMV. If you cancel your vehicle insurance first, then you will have to pay an insurance lapse fee. After cancelling your tag, please remember to remove the vehicle registration sticker from the vehicle. Failure to do so could result in tickets being issued.
How to Cancel Online
You may cancel your tag registration online and obtain a receipt to keep for your records and to send to your insurance company to cancel your vehicle insurance.
Online tag cancellation is only available for vehicles registered to individuals and not for vehicles registered to businesses. Also, only the primary owner of the vehicle can cancel the tag registration online. If you do not meet these requirements, you must surrender your vehicle tags by mail or in person at a DC DMV service center.
After cancelling your tag registration online, you are responsible for properly and permanently disposing of your vehicle tags. Please completely mark through the tag number with a permanent marker prior to disposal or recycling.
How to Dispose Your Surrendered Vehicle Tags
PO Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090
95 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
To physically dispose your tags, you may take them to the DC Department of Public Works Fort Totten Transfer Station on the first Saturday of each month for recycling.
If you surrender tags via mail, it will be processed within 7–10 business days from receipt. Please allow up to 15 business days to receive your tag surrender receipt before contacting DC DMV. You should wait until you receive your surrendered tag receipt to cancel your insurance to ensure you do not incur insurance lapse fines.
You may be eligible for a refund for the unused portion of your vehicle tag registration, based on a 6-month increment not to exceed 18 months.
If you are eligible for a refund, allow 6–8 weeks for the processing of your refund. Also, if you are eligible for a refund, the online transaction will allow you to provide DC DMV with a temporary address to mail your refund check.
Note: You are responsible for any ticket infractions incurred on the tags if you do not surrender them to DMV OR properly dispose of them if you cancel your tags online.