Replacing a Lost Registration in Washington DC

Duplicate Registrations in Washington, D.C.

If you have lost your registration card or window sticker, or if it has been stolen or damaged, the Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue a replacement. Basically, you must provide valid identification and a $20 duplicate registration fee.

If you are pulled over for committing a traffic violation and you cannot present your current Washington, D.C. vehicle registration card, you may face addition fines and penalties on top of the ones you may face for the violation.

If you drive around without your license plate attached to your vehicle, you greatly increase your chances of getting pulled over and receiving a traffic citation.

On this page you'll find information about your options for applying for a replacement registration card and license plate in Washington, D.C.

Apply for a Replacement D.C. Registration

You may apply for a new registration certificate and window sticker in person or online.

NOTE: If you are changing your name or address on the registration card, you must apply for your replacement card in person to provide the necessary identification and name change/address change document.

Apply for Replacements Online

You can apply online for a replacement registration card if you meet the following conditions:

  • The expiration date on your registration is more than 10 days away. If it is within 10 days, you will have to renew your registration and pay the appropriate renewal fees.
  • The Washington, D.C. DMV has your current name and address on file, because they will be sending your replacement registration card through the mail.
  • You have a valid method of payment. To get a replacement registration card online, you will need a credit or debit card pay the $20 per year duplicate fee.

You'll need to have your registered vehicle information (license plate and vehicle identification number), insurance information, and payment before you can replace your vehicle registration online.

Apply for a Replacement in Person

To replace your Washington, D.C. vehicle registration certificate in person, visit your local DMV branch. You'll need to bring:

  • Proof of identification (name and birth date).
  • Your vehicle's information such as the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number.
  • Payment for your $20 duplicate registration fee.

Replacing Washington, D.C. License Plates

If you've lost your license plates (tags) or they have been stolen, or if you need a new set because of wear and tear, you can get replacements by going to a local DMV office and completing the following steps:

  • Show your vehicle registration card.
  • Show valid identification. You must be the owner of the vehicle to replace the plates.
  • Bring your current license plates if you have them. The District of Columbia requires you to surrender all plates if you are getting replacements. If you don't turn in your tags, you'll be responsible for any tickets associated with them.
    • If your license plates have been stolen, bring your required citizen complaint number. You can get this by filing a police report at any precinct or calling 311.
  • Pay the $10 license plate replacement fee (the fee is the same for regular, personalized, and organizational tags).

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