DC DMV offers a 45-day, temporary vehicle registration and hard vehicle tag for District residents who must have their vehicles inspected before the vehicles can be fully registered—either because they are converting an out-of-state vehicle to a District vehicle, or because they have purchased a used vehicle that must pass inspection before it can be registered.
If you purchase a used vehicle that still has an existing, unexpired DC DMV inspection, then you will not need a temporary DC DMV registration to have the vehicle inspected, and you will be able to title and register your vehicle for the full 1- or 2-year period.
If you purchase a used vehicle that does not have a valid inspection sticker, you will need to title and register your vehicle with a temporary DC DMV hard tag valid for 45 days. The hard plate is issued with the temporary registration in order for the customer to take the vehicle through inspection in 45 days.
To obtain a temporary DC DMV registration and hard temporary tag, you will need to bring the following documents to a DC DMV service center:
- Certificate of Title/ Temporary Tag Application
- A properly endorsed title
- Proof of valid DC insurance
- DC DMV driver license, learner permit, or identification card
Note: If you have recently move to the District and have a lien on your vehicle, you may provide your out-of-state registration reflecting you were the last registered owner on the vehicle and DC DMV will issue you a 45 day temporary tag so that you can go through vehicle inspection until the title is received by the bank.
You will have to pay all fees associated with the title transaction, including the temporary registration fee, excise tax, title fee, and lien recordation fee (if applicable) when obtaining the temporary DC DMV registration. Information on DC DMV fees is available at the link below:
“Temporary Registration” will be printed on the registration window sticker, and law enforcement and parking officers will recognize the temporary DC registration as valid even if the vehicle does not have a valid inspection sticker.
Once the vehicle has this temporary registration, you can take it to get inspected. More information on DC DMV inspections is available at the link below:
When the vehicle, with its temporary registration has passed inspection, you can renew your temporary registration as a regular DC DMV registration with either a 1-year or a 2-year period of validity, either online or by mail. The online system for registration renewals is available at the link below:
Information on mail-in registration renewals is available at the link below:
Note: You will not be able to renew your vehicle registration in person.
Remember: You cannot get a second temporary registration or an extension on a temporary registration, so it is important that you immediately take your vehicle through inspection so that any necessary repairs can be completed prior to the 45-day expiration period of your temporary tag.
DC DMV issues 5-day temporary paper tags to out-of-state residents who recently purchased a used vehicle in DC from an individual (owner). DC DMV issues 45-day temporary tags to new District residents with expired out-of-state tags that have not been through DC inspection, and to new District residents with expired out-of-state tags who are waiting for their out-of-state title from the lienholder.
Law enforcement and parking officers will recognize the temporary DC DMV tag as valid even if the vehicle does not have a valid inspection sticker.