To register a vehicle in the District you—or at least one person listed on the vehicle title—must be a District resident. Only the District resident(s) will be listed on the vehicle registration. The residency requirements for vehicle registration and DC DMV driver licenses are the same.
The DC DMV Document Verification Guide can help you determine what documents you must collect and bring to the DC DMV service center, based on the transaction you need to do. Information on the DC DMV Document Verification Guide is available at the link below:
When you, as an individual, register your vehicle, you must have a valid, unexpired DC DMV driver license or learner permit or non-driver identification card. If you have a valid out-of-state driver license, you must convert it to a DC DMV driver license before you can register your vehicle.
If you want to register your vehicle(s) under your business, you must have a DC business license, and a DC Certificate of Occupancy. You will be required to bring the original documents to register the vehicle(s) at a DC DMV service center. DC DMV cannot accept photocopies or scanned documents.
NOTE: Any motor vehicle that displays un-removable commercial advertising or insignia is considered a commercial vehicle (and is not eligible for residential parking); these vehicles must be registered as commercial vehicles.
To register your vehicle, you will also need to bring the following original documents (DC DMV cannot accept photocopies or scanned documents) to the DC DMV service center:
- Title or Certificate of Origin of the vehicle
- Bill of Sale for a new car; transfer title with actual purchase amount written in the transfer block for a used car
- New car:
- Dealer’s odometer statement
NOTE: The inspection sticker will be provided automatically at registration for new cars.
- Used car, one of the following:
- Certification of odometer mileage on the back of the title, when it is signed over
- Certification of odometer mileage on the dealer reassignment form, if purchased from a dealer
- Lien contract, if applicable
- Lease contract, if applicable
NOTE: If you do not own the vehicle, and you are registering it for the owner(s), you must have:
- A Vehicle Power of Attorney document, available at the link below:
- Vehicle Power of Attorney Form
- A copy of the vehicle owner(s) DC DMV driver license(s), learner permit(s), or non-driver ID card(s)
- A valid DC DMV or other state or jurisdiction driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card of your own
If the vehicle has multiple owners:
All owners of a vehicle must be listed on the vehicle’s Certificate of Origin (for new vehicles), title, and any lien(s) information or paperwork that apply, and at least one owner must be a District resident to register the vehicle in the District.
If a secondary owner of the vehicle lives in a different state or jurisdiction, you must bring with you to the DC DMV service center a letter that states you are authorized to act on that secondary owner’s behalf, and a copy of that person’s driver license or non-driver ID card.
Any owner of the vehicle who wants to be listed on the vehicle registration must have a valid DC DMV driver license or non-driver ID card.
All documents you provide must match all the information you provide on the title application.