To register a vehicle in the District:
- You must have a DC driver license or DC identification card. More information is available under the DC DMV REAL ID and DC DMV Limited Purpose Driver License/Non-Driver Identification Card pages.
Do not wait until your out-of-state license or vehicle registration is about to expire; start the process of converting to DC credentials before either your license or your vehicle registration is near expiring.
- You must have the vehicle title.
DC DMV must receive the vehicle title to register your vehicle in the District. If there is no lien on the vehicle, and you do not have a copy of the title, you will need to obtain a duplicate title from the DMV in the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is still titled.
If there is a lien on the vehicle, you must request that the lienholder send the title to DC DMV. You can print and mail the DMV Lienholder Out-of-State Title Request form to your lienholder.
Check online to see if we have received your out-of-state title from your lienholder.
If the vehicle is newly purchased, you must bring the lienholder information to the DMV so we can record the lien on the new DC title. There are additional title and lien recordation fees. Information on DC DMV fees is available at the link below:
If the title is not in your name already, then you will owe excise tax on the vehicle since it will be a change of ownership. Information on the excise tax is also available at the fee link above:
- The vehicle must be inspected.
All vehicles registered in the District must have a valid DC inspection sticker. Valid inspection stickers from other jurisdictions are not accepted. Inspection fees are not paid at the Inspection Station, but they are paid at the time of vehicle registration.
You can use your current out-of-state tags to take your vehicle through inspection. If your tags have expired, you will need to visit a DC DMV service center, with your title and proof of DC insurance, to obtain a temporary DC registration to take the vehicle through inspection.
- You must have proof that the vehicle is insured.
You must maintain continuous insurance on your vehicle for as long as it is registered in the District. District law requires proof of valid DC insurance for the vehicle prior to registration in the District.
The proof of insurance document must contain your name, valid coverage dates, the VIN of the vehicle and your District address. If you do not receive your proof of DC insurance prior to visiting the DC DMV office, you can call the insurance company to have the information faxed to us.
Failure to maintain vehicle insurance will result in insurance lapse fees. If you will not be driving your vehicle for a significant length of time, we encourage you to surrender your DC tags to avoid insurance fees or tickets.
Vehicle registration fees are based on the weight of your vehicle.