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Washington D.C. Vehicle Registration

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Registering a car in Washington, D.C. is a straightforward process that requires you to complete a few forms, pay the required fees, and provide the necessary documentation. This guide will walk you through the entire process, including the requirements, fees, types of registrations, and how to renew your registration.


To register a car in Washington, D.C. you must:

  • Be a resident of the District of Columbia.
  • Have a valid driver’s license or a non-driver identification card.
  • Obtain a valid DC vehicle inspection.
  • Provide proof of insurance that meets the minimum requirements for the District of Columbia.


The fees for registering a car in Washington, D.C. vary depending on the type of vehicle and its weight. Here’s a breakdown of the fees:

  • Passenger vehicles (under 3,499 lbs): $72
  • Passenger vehicles (3,500 – 4,999 lbs): $115
  • Passenger vehicles (5,000 lbs or more): $155
  • Motorcycles: $52
  • Trailers: $20 – $40 (depending on weight)

Please note that these fees are subject to change, so it’s best to check the DC DMV website for the most up-to-date information.

Types of Registrations

There are two types of registrations in Washington, D.C.:

  • New Vehicle Registration: If you’ve purchased a new vehicle or have recently moved to the District of Columbia, you’ll need to register your vehicle with the DC DMV.
  • Renewal of Vehicle Registration: If you already have a vehicle registered in the District of Columbia, you’ll need to renew your registration every one or two years, depending on your preference.

Forms to Complete

To register your vehicle in Washington, D.C. you’ll need to complete the following forms:

  • Application for Title and Registration (Form DMV-CTA-001): This form provides information about the vehicle and its owner(s).
  • Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form DMV-POA-001): This form is required if someone other than the owner is registering the vehicle on the owner’s behalf.
  • Vehicle Inspection Report: This report is issued by the DC DMV after your vehicle passes the required inspection.

Processing Time

The processing time for vehicle registration in Washington, D.C. varies depending on the method you choose:

  • In-person: Processing can be completed the same day if all documentation and fees are presented at the DC DMV service center.
  • By mail: Processing can take up to 10 business days after the DC DMV receives your completed application and payment.

Where to Process Your Vehicle Registration

You can process your vehicle registration in Washington, D.C. in one of the following ways:

  • In-person: Visit a DC DMV service center with your completed forms, required documentation, and payment.
  • By mail: Mail your completed forms, required documentation, and payment to the following address:
Vehicle Services Administration
P.O. Box 90120
Washington, D.C. 20090

How to Renew a Registration

To renew your vehicle registration in Washington, D.C., follow these steps:

  • Receive a renewal notice from the DC DMV, which is sent 60 days before your registration expires.
  • Complete the renewal form provided in the notice or download the form from the DC DMV website.
  • Provide proof of valid DC vehicle inspection, if required.
  • Pay the renewal fee, which is the same as the initial registration fee.

You can renew your registration online, by mail, or in person at a DC DMV service center.

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to register your car in Washington, D.C. Remember to always check the DC DMV website for the most up-to-date information, as requirements and fees may change.

Last Verified:
Nov 23, 2023