Buying and Selling FAQs in Washington DC
How do I buy a vehicle from out of state or sell a vehicle out of state?
If you're buying a vehicle from another state, you will have to register your new vehicle with the Washington, D.C., Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, before you do so, you must get the vehicle inspected. The District of Columbia inspection station is located at 1001 Half Street, SW. If you need help getting there, see the DMV's directions to the inspection station. After you have had your vehicle inspected, you can follow regular procedures for titling and registering the vehicle.
If you're selling the car to a person in another state, simply sign the title over to the buyer. If you're not transferring the license plates to another vehicle you own, you must surrender them to the DMV when you sell the vehicle.
How do I buy a vehicle from another country?
You want to follow the same steps as buying from another state, but you will also have to confirm that the vehicle passes U.S. air quality inspections. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides helpful FAQs for the importation and certification of vehicles.
How do I get temporary tags for a vehicle if I'm buying it from another state or country?
You can purchase 45-day temporary tags at your local DMV station. Bring your District of Columbia driver's license, the vehicle's title, and proof of insurance, as well as a $13 temporary-tag fee. Note: The DMV doesn't accept cash for temporary tags.
What's the deal behind D.C.'s lemon law?
If you've purchased a new vehicle and it seems like mechanical problems keep coming up despite numerous attempts at repair, the vehicle might fall under the category of a "lemon." The District of Columbia considers a vehicle a lemon if it satisfies either of the following requirements:
- The vehicle must have had four unsuccessful repairs or had 30 days out of service.
- The vehicle must have had one unsuccessful repair of a safety-related defect within two years or 18,000 miles of its original purchase.
I'm thinking about buying a hybrid car. What are the benefits?
Obviously, the greatest advantage to owning a hybrid car is better gas mileage. Some hybrids achieve a whopping 60 mpg compared with the conventional 21 mpg most vehicles get. Beyond that, you're looking at reduced emissions and lower depreciation costs.
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