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Vehicle Registration Renewal in Washington, D.C.
Before your vehicle registration expires, you must renew it with the Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
On this page, you’ll find information about renewing your vehicle registration online and by mail. You cannot renew your registration in person.
About 60 days before your vehicle registration expires, the D.C. DMV will mail you a renewal notice.
It will include your registration fees and an envelope to return your documents to the DCDMV.
You’ll need to have your vehicle inspected before you can renew your registration. Please see “D.C. Vehicle Emissions and Safety Inspections” below.
NOTE: You can submit your e-mail address to the Washington, D.C. DMV to receive registration renewal notices by e-mail.
You can renew your Washington, D.C. vehicle registration online or by mail. You cannot renew in person.
Before you renew, you must have your vehicle emissions and safety features inspected. See “D.C. Vehicle Emissions & Safety Inspections” below.
NOTE: If your name or address has changed, you’ll need to update your information with the D.C. DMV before you can renew. For more information, please see our Washington, D.C. Changing Your Address and Changing Your Name pages.
You can renew your vehicle registration online if:
- Your vehicle registration will expire within 60 days or has been expired for up to 90 days.
- Your vehicle has passed an emissions and safety inspection.
- You have a valid D.C. driver’s license/ID card.
- Your current information is on file with the DCDMV.
- Your vehicle is insured.
- Your vehicle does not have commercial or D.C. government license plates.
To renew your registration online, visit the WA, D.C. DMV website. You’ll need to:
- Enter your vehicle registration information, including your:
- License plate number.
- The last 4 digits of your VIN.
- Provide your insurance information.
- Mark the residential parking permit box, if applicable.
- Pay the fee. (See “Fees for D.C. Registration Renewal” below.)
When you finish your renewal, you can print a 45 day temporary registration card.
You should receive your new registration documents and license plate sticker in the mail within 10 business days.
To renew your D.C. vehicle registration by mail, you’ll need:
- Your registration renewal notice, if you received one.
- Payment. (See “Fees for D.C. Registration Renewal” below.)
- Include your license plate number on your check or money order.
Send the above to:
D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Services Administration
P.O. Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090
You should receive your new vehicle registration certificate and license plate stickers in the mail within 10 business days.
If you are a Washington, D.C. resident and temporarily out of the district, including for military obligations, you may still renew your registration by mail or online (see “Renew Your D.C. Vehicle Registration” above).
If you are more than 75 miles outside of D.C. and cannot make it back to have your vehicle inspected, you’ll need to:
- Visit a certified repair center or dealer.
- Get an emissions test.
- Get an on-board diagnostics test, if the state you’re in doesn’t offer emissions testing.
- Once your vehicle passes the test, request a work order printed on the service station’s letterhead that includes your vehicle’s:
- Current mileage.
- Make and model.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Tag number.
- Provide your out-of-state mailing address where you want your inspection stickers to be mailed to.
- Fax your documents to the D.C. DMV at (202) 729-7186 or mail them to:
Attention: Station Manager
D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
1001 Half Street, SW
DMV Inspection Station
Washington, DC 20024
If the test results meet the D.C. DMV emissions requirements, your vehicle inspection requirements will be updated for 2 years.
NOTE: You will still need to pay the D.C. DMV emissions and safety inspection fee the next time you renew your registration in D.C. See “D.C. Vehicle Emissions & Safety Inspections” below.
Before you can renew your vehicle registration, your vehicle must pass an emissions and safety inspection. You must renew your inspection every:
- 2 years, if you have a passenger vehicle.
- 1 year, if you have a commercial vehicle.
- 6 months, if you have a for-hire vehicle.
About 60 days before you need to get your vehicle inspected, the DCDMV will mail you an inspection renewal notice.
To get your vehicle tested:
- Visit the Washington, D.C. DMV inspections station located at 1001 Half Street, SW.
- You can schedule an appointment online at the D.C. DMV website.
- Bring your inspection notice or provide your registration information.
Vehicle Inspection Fees
It will cost you the following fees to have your vehicle inspected in Washington, D.C.
- Passenger vehicle: $35, valid for 2 years.
- Taxis/for-hire vehicles: $35, valid for 6 months.
- Commercial vehicles: $35, valid for 1 year.
NOTE: Every 30 days your vehicle inspection is late you will be charged a $20 late fee, up to a maximum of $480.
Registration fees in Washington, D.C. are calculated based on your vehicle’s weight and class.
NOTE: You will pay your vehicle inspection fees when you renew your vehicle registration. See “D.C. Vehicle Emissions & Safety Inspections” above for inspection fees.
It will cost you the following fees per year to renew your registration:
- 3,499 lbs. and under: $72.
- 3,500-4,999 lbs.: $115.
- 5,000 lbs. and over: $155.
- Historic vehicles: $25.
- Motorcycles: $52.
- Motor-driven cycles: $30.
Accepted Payment Methods
Other Topics in This Section
- Online renewals: VISA, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards.
- By-mail renewals: Checks and money orders only.
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- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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