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Department of Motor Vehicles

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-Effective Tuesday, September 5, the Inspection Station transitioned to fall/winter hours. For more information, please visit the Inspection Station webpage.


-DC DMV will no longer prevent DC residents from applying for a new or renewed driver’s license because of failing to meet the requirements of the Clean Hands Law.

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Tag Surrender

You must cancel your vehicle tag registration, or 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
  • If you change to disability, personalized, or organizational tags
  • 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 a fee for insurance lapse. Additionally, after cancelling your tag, please remember to also remove the vehicle registration sticker from the vehicle. Failure to do so could still result in tickets being issued against the cancelled tag based on the information on the registration sticker.

Note: If you are purchasing a new vehicle, you should consider transferring your current, valid tags to the new vehicle. See the link below for information on transferring tags:

Skip the Trip LogoThe quickest way to cancel tag registration is online at the link below:

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 the vehicle is co-owned, then the primary owner is the person listed first on the vehicle registration card. If you do not meet these requirements, you must surrender your vehicle tags by mail or in person at a DC DMV service center.

The online system for canceling vehicle tag registration is available at the link below:

You may surrender your tags by mail by sending them to:

Vehicle Registration
PO Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090

by certified mail to:

Processing Center
95 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

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.

Information on DC DMV service centers is available at the link below:

You may be eligible for a refund for the unused portion of your vehicle tag registration if you cancel before the registration expires. The online system will calculate how much time is remaining on your registration and determine if you are eligible for a refund, based on a 6-month increment not to exceed 18 months.

For example, if you have 6 months remaining on a 1-year or 2-year registration, you will get a refund; and, if you have 12 or 18 months remaining on a 2-year vehicle registration, you will get a refund. Note: If you have purchased a new vehicle, you should transfer your current, valid vehicle registration to your new vehicle to use the full amount of your remaining (i.e., unused portion) vehicle registration. Information on transferring tags is available on the link below:

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.

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.

The following options are available for tag disposal:

  • You may take the tags to the DC Department of Public Works Fort Totten Transfer Station on the first Saturday of each month for recycling. Information on Fort Totten Transfer Station is available at the link below:
  • Fort Totten Transfer Station
  • You may mail your old tags to DC DMV to be shredded and disposed at:

   Vehicle Registration
   PO Box 90120
   Washington, DC 20090

  • OR, if sending by certified mail, mail the tags to:

   Processing Center
   95 M Street, SW
   Washington, DC 20024

Regardless of the method you use to cancel your tags, you should always retain the tag cancellation receipt for your records in case there is a need to adjudicate a ticket erroneously issued to your cancelled tag.

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.

Contact TTY: