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If you have purchased a vehicle with an out-of-state title or are moving to a different state with your vehicle, you need to transfer the certificate of title in person or by mail. General requirements for this procedure include filling out your new state’s title application form, submitting proof of your vehicle ownership (such as a completed bill of sale) and paying the applicable fees, such as titling fees, registration costs and state taxes. In addition, many state DMVs require out-of-state cars to undergo vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. Our digital how-to guide contains everything you need to know to transfer your title quickly and easily. You will get step-by-step instructions on the process, as well as information about how to complete other titling procedures, such as replacing your title.

2. By Mail

Some DMVs allow eligible residents to transfer an out-of-state title by mail. However, be mindful that this procedure is not typically offered to all vehicle owners in each state. Mail-in applications are typically reserved for drivers who are out-of-state or members of the military. If this method is available to you, you will be required to mail in a completed application form along with documents that prove you own your vehicle and that it has passed a VIN inspection. Moreover, you will need to include an acceptable payment method for the transfer fees, such as a check or money order. Note that mail-in requests can be delayed if an application features incorrect or incomplete information. Also, processing times may increase based on the amount of applications the DMV receives.

3. In Person at the DMV

Depending on your state, you may only be able to complete an out-of-state title transfer by visiting a DMV office in person. In general, this is required so that your car can undergo a vehicle identification number inspection. During your visit to the DMV, you must complete the proper application form and submit documents proving your vehicle ownership. Additionally, you will be asked to pay for the applicable fees to transfer your out-of-state title. Because you will be dealing with credentials issued by different state DMVs, it is important to be prepared for the transaction in order to prevent long wait times or potential mistakes. If you do not bring in the correct paperwork, you may have to visit the DMV office at a later date to reapply.


Requesting an out of state car title transfer in Washington DC is a mandatory procedure that vehicle owners must perform after they move from out-of-state to DC. In addition, car owners must also perform this transfer whenever they purchase a motor vehicle from another state. If you are unfamiliar with how to perform an out of state car title transfer, note that you will be required to register and title your out-of-state vehicles with the Washington DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Before you transfer an out of state car title, you may benefit from transferring your out-of-state driver’s licenses to D.C. Moreover, you should prepare the necessary documentation for you to complete a title transfer procedure. To learn more about how to transfer a car title from state to state, continue reading the following sections.

What is a cross-state car title transfer in Washington DC?

A cross state car title transfer is another term used when transferring out-of-state titles. Prior to performing an out of state car title transfer process in Washington DC, vehicle owners can benefit from learning the significance of the title transfer from one state to another after a move or a purchase. In that case, be mindful that a certificate of title is a legal document that serves as proof of ownership and must be transferred to the DMV upon a motorist’s move to DC. Thus, this is an important document to have in order to re-title a car on another state.

When is an out-of-state car title transfer necessary in Washington DC?

Certain motorists may wonder, “When is an out of state car title transfer necessary in Washington DC?” These individuals are encouraged to learn the instances when they need to transfer the ownership rights of their motor vehicles. For example, DC vehicle owners may perform an out of state car title transfer and register their cars with the DMV within 30 days of their move to the state. Furthermore, it is important for these vehicle owners to be mindful that the Washington DC DMV may make a distinction between new and used vehicles.

Information and Documents Needed for an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Washington DC

A significant amount of out of state car title transfer information is required by the Washington DC DMV when vehicle owners transfer the ownership of their cars from another state. Some of the mandatory documents needed for out of state title transfer and car registration that vehicle owners are required to submit to the DMV include the following:

  • Proof of DC residency
  • A DC driver’s license or an ID card
  • Proof of vehicle inspection, for used or commercial vehicles
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Car title
  • Payment for the applicable title and registration fees

Note that, in addition to the list of documents required alongside an out of state title transfer form, motorists may be also mandated to provide other pieces of information necessary for a complete title transfer procedure. For instance, a bill of sale may be useful for several procedures, as this is a document that contains detailed information not only about the vehicle, but also about its buyer and seller.

Moreover, the process of transferring an out of state car title may not require some of the documents mentioned above. For example, if the vehicle is new, motorists may not be required to conduct a vehicle inspection. Therefore, vehicle owners must find out the exact out of state title transfer paperwork that they must gather prior to beginning the procedure.

Steps for Completing an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Washington DC as a New Resident

Completing an out of state title transfer as a new state resident in Washington DC is a procedure that vehicle owners must perform in person at a nearby DMV location immediately after their move to D.C. Furthermore, the DMV has determined the following steps must be taken for an applicant to request an out of state title transfer in person:

  • Transfer an out-of-state driver’s license
  • Prepare the required documentation
  • Conduct a vehicle inspection, if required
  • Pay the applicable fees

Out-of-State Title Transfers in Washington DC After Buying or Selling a Vehicle

An out of state title transfer after buying a car generally requires Washington DC vehicle owners to undergo a similar procedure to the one for transferring a motor vehicle upon moving to a DC residence.

Motorists who want to initiate the process of transferring an out of state title after getting a new car must prepare a list of documents, such as the bill of sale, original title or any necessary forms. For this reason, prior to conducting an in person out of state title transfer after buying a vehicle, D.C. residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the steps needed to transfer a title by contacting their local DMV.

Cross-State Car Title Transfer Fees in Washington DC

The payment for the price of a cross state car title transfer in Washington DC is $26. Besides these transfer fees, there are also mandatory car registration fees and taxes that vehicle owners must pay. However, be mindful that these taxes may differ based on the type and weight of your vehicle, as well as the county you live in.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 20 2019.

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