All imported vehicles must meet federal motor vehicle safety standards before they can be registered in the District.
For DC DMV, the following items are needed to register imported vehicles to the US:
- You (or at least one person listed on the vehicle title as an owner) must legally reside in the District and have a DC DMV credential
- Customs documentation (port of entry papers)
- Form stating the vehicle is certified to the US Environmental Protection Agency federal emissions standards
- Form stating the vehicle is certified to the US safety standards
- Vehicle ownership/registration document*
- Bill of sale/lien documents (if applicable)
- Proof of DC vehicle insurance (must be printed)
*If the required documents are not in English, you must attach an English translation from your embassy or from a translation company. The embassy translation must be on official embassy letterhead. The date of the translation must be on or after the actual date of the non-English language document. Translations from companies must be certified with a translation stamp or notarized by preparing a notarized affidavit confirming the translation was prepared by a qualified translator and that it is both accurate and complete.
Registering Imported Motorcycles and Motorized Bicycles
All motorcycles and motorized bicycles must meet federal motor vehicle safety standards before they can be registered in the District. Detailed information about the requirements to register your motorcycle or motorized bicycle can be found on our Non-Traditional Motor Vehicle Chart webpage.
Although safety inspections are no longer required for motorcycles and motorized bicycles, you still must provide proof of compliance with the federal safety standards if your motorcycle or motorized bicycle was imported from outside the US.
How proof may be provided:
- Present in-person at a DC DMV service center a manufacturer's certification of compliance. This is in addition to the registration application and other documents required to title and register the vehicle.
- If you cannot locate the manufacturer's certification of compliance, then you must bring the imported motorcycle/motorized bicycle to the inspection station to be inspected before it can be titled. An inspector will verify whether the vehicle meets the federal safety standards.
Once an inspector determines the vehicle has complied with the federal safety standards, you may then visit a DC DMV service center to title and register it.