1. Get Started With Car Registration Renewal Assistance Online

In order to renew your Washington DC car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your Washington DC car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.

2. By Mail

Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some Washington DC residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.

3. Via a DMV Office

Certain transactions must be completed in person at a Washington DC DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.


Vehicle registration renewal in Washington DC is managed by the District of Columbia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV). All vehicles renewing car registration must have a valid DC DMV inspection sticker. Depending on the type of vehicle, inspections can include a combination of tests, including an emission test, a gas cap test and a visual catalyst inspection. DC vehicle registration renewal cannot take place unless all outstanding debt to the District of Columbia has been paid. This includes outstanding tickets, dishonored checks and child support payments. Before renewing car registrations in Washington DC, all motorists must show proof of maintaining adequate auto insurance. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about getting your car registration renewed in the District.

When to Renew Car Registrations in Washington DC

DC DMV sends car registration renewal notices 60 calendar days before your current vehicle registration expires. If you signed up to receive notifications by email, it will arrive electronically. Otherwise, look for the notification in the mail. If you need to renew expired car registration documents, you may visit a DC DMV service center and apply for a 5-day temporary registration while you get your vehicle inspected.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Washington DC Online

Renewing car registration in Washington DC online is the easiest and quickest way to take care of this necessary task. DC vehicle registration renewal can be combined with residential parking renewal into one online transaction. You may renew car registration online if your registration has not been expired for more than 90 days. If you waited too long and are at risk of driving with an expired car registration, you may print a temporary vehicle registration renewal that is valid for 45 days.

Apply for online vehicle registration renewal through the DC DMV’s website and follow these steps:

  1. Enter your tag number, the last 4 characters of your vehicle identification number (VIN) and your email address.
  2. Choose the length of your renewal term.
  3. Review the vehicle registration renewal information the DC DMV has on file and update auto insurance information if needed.
  4. Check the box for “RPP” if you are in need of, and eligible for, a residential parking permit.
  5. Make payment using a MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card.
  6. Review all information and if necessary, print your 45-day temporary registration certificate.

Your auto registration renewal card and window sticker should arrive within 10 business days. If you ordered a residential parking permit, it will arrive at the same time.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Washington DC in Person

All Washington DC vehicle registration renewals must be obtained online or by mail. The DC DMV no longer allows motorists to renew car registration in person even though there are four DC DMV service centers located throughout the District. These service centers only offer first-time car registrations and other DMV services. Auto registration renewal customers can still feel free to call them with any renewal questions or concerns.

How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in Washington DC by Mail

Your DC DMV vehicle registration renewal notice contains all the information necessary to renew your registration by mail, including a return envelope. Because renewing car registration through the mail takes longer than doing so online, allow extra processing time. While online renewals can be delivered within 10 business days, mail-in renewals can take longer. If you have an address change, you cannot renew car registrations by mail until you have visited a DC DMV service center to provide proof of the new address. Send the auto registration renewal notice, proof of your vehicle inspection and a check or money order made out to “DC Treasurer” to the following address:

DC DMV
Vehicle Services Administration
P.O. Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090

If you did not receive a DMV registration renewal notice, you can still renew by mail. Write a brief note stating that the purpose of your payment is vehicle registration renewal and include your DC vehicle tag number, your DC driver license number, your current address and phone number and payment by check or money order.

How to Renew a Washington DC Car Registration as a Military Member

Vehicle registration renewal in DC for military personnel follows the same guidelines as for civilian motorists. Members of the military who call DC home can renew car registration by mail or online, if they qualify. Some military license plates have a “no fee” annual registration. Military veterans declared 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs must have a letter from the VA verifying their status before claiming this free registration.

How to Renew a Washington DC Vehicle Registration on Someone Else’s Behalf

DC DMV does not specify how to renew car registration on someone else’s behalf. Generally, car registration renewal should be taken care of by the vehicle’s owners. Drivers who wish to have someone else renew car registration on their behalf should issue that person a power of attorney so that he or she may legally represent the registrant.

Washington DC Car Registration Renewal Fees

Washington DC car registration renewal fees are set by the DC DMV and are subject to change. DC DMV registration renewal fees are based on the vehicle’s weight and passenger class.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 27 2018.

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