Washington DC Frequently Asked Questions about Car Titles

What are some reasons that may require me to transfer my car title?
You must complete a car title transfer in DC if you recently moved to the district. Otherwise, you are unable to register your vehicle with the local DMV. You are also required to transfer this document if you are buying or selling a used car within the district. This effectively transfers ownership of the vehicle. In order to complete this process, you must present the current title or a Certificate of Origin for the vehicle at the DMV.

For more information: How to Perform a Title Transfer in Washington DC

How do I transfer my car title between states?
To complete an out-of-state car title transfer you must have all of your car documentation. This includes your current title or Certificate of Origin signed by both you and the previous owner, lien contract if applicable, a DC driver’s license, a bill of sale and the vehicle’s odometer reading. You must submit those documents along with a Certificate of Title or Temporary Tag Application and a method of payment.

For more information: How to Perform an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Washington DC

What is the process to get a title for a scooter or motorcycle?
The process for titling a scooter or motorcycle is the same as the processing for titling all other vehicles. Drivers should provide all the necessary documents required for registration to the DMV. This includes a current title or certificate of origin, a DC driver’s license, a bill of sale and a valid odometer statement. Additionally, drivers should expect to pay all standard title and registration fees. However, fees may be less expensive for smaller vehicles such as scooters and motorcycles.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Washington DC

How do I transfer the title of my RV?
The procedure to transfer a title for an RV is the same as it is for a car. After you purchase an RV, you must submit the original certificate or Certificate of Origin, a Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag application, your DC driver’s license, an odometer statement, bill of sale and lien or lease contract if applicable to a DC DMV. You must also pay the appropriate fees at the time of application.

For more information: How to Perform a Title Transfer in Washington DC

How do I transfer my car title between states?
To complete an out-of-state car title transfer you must have all of your car documentation. This includes your current title or Certificate of Origin signed by both you and the previous owner, lien contract if applicable, a DC driver’s license, a bill of sale and the vehicle’s odometer reading. You must submit those documents along with a Certificate of Title or Temporary Tag Application and a method of payment.

For more information: How to Perform an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Washington DC

What documents do I need to transfer my car title?
It is important to apply for a DC car title transfer if you recently moved to the district or purchased a used vehicle. In order to complete the process, make sure to prepare the following documents for the DMV:

  • The current title
  • Your valid license
  • The bill of sale
  • A valid odometer statement
  • A lien contract, when applicable
  • A lease contract, when applicable
  • The fee payment of $26

For more information: How to Perform a Title Transfer in Washington DC

If a family member dies and leaves his or her car to me, how do I switch over the title?
There are several documents that must be provided to the DMV to complete a car title transfer. These documents include the relative’s death certificate, an application for a new Certificate of Title and an assignment of title. You must also provide an authenticated copy of the small estate order, a trust agreement or authenticated copy of letters testamentary or administration issued to the decedent’s representative.

For more information: How to Perform a Title Transfer in Washington DC

How do I transfer my car title if I lost the original?
To transfer a lost car title, you must first acquire a replacement. You can visit a DC DMV center or mail in your Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag application, photo identification, vehicle information and vehicle Power of Attorney form if you are not the owner to a DC DMV. Your duplicate title will arrive in the mail within 10 business days.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

How do I obtain a duplicate car title?
A duplicate car title is available to vehicle owners whose title has been lost or stolen or the lien has been satisfied. For car titles that require changes, you may apply for a duplicate title online. This request can also be completed by mail or in person. For stolen or lost titles, you will need to complete a Certificate of Title application and provide valid photo ID, copy of driver’s license or ID card and the vehicle information.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

What are the required fees to get a replacement car title?
To get a copy of a car title in DC, you must submit an application either online, in person or by mail. You can complete the process using the same application required to obtain a new title. In addition to providing the required documents with your application, you also need to pay the $26 fee.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

Will I need to present proof of insurance to get a car title replacement?
If you need a duplicate car title to replace a lost car title, you will need to provide documents to identify the vehicle. However, you will not need to provide proof of insurance to get a car title replacement. Instead, you must complete the Duplicate Title Information form. If your title is lost or stolen, you will need to submit a Certificate of Title application, photo ID, driver’s license and vehicle information. No proof of insurance is required.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

What documents do I need to present for a replacement car title?
To replace a lost car title in DC, you can apply online, by mail or in person using the following documents:

  • The Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application form
  • Valid photo ID
  • A copy of your valid license
  • Vehicle information, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The $26 replacement fee

If you are not the current owner of the vehicle, you must also provide a document establishing vehicle power of attorney at the DMV office.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

Where can I mail my request for a replacement title?
To request a duplicate car title by mail, you must address your application to the DC DMV. First, you must gather all your necessary documents. Once you have them, mail your duplicate car title request to the following address:

DC Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 90120
Washington, D.C. 20090

For more information: How to Replace a Washington DC Vehicle Registration

How long does it take to receive my replacement car title after ordering online?
All car title applications and processes take the same amount of time. New and replacement car titles take at least 10 business days to arrive in your mail. That is, 10 business days from the date that you presented all of the title application documents to the DMV.

For more information: Washington DC New Car Title

How do I file a police report if my car title was stolen?
You can file a police report with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. This can be done online using the Online Reporting Tool. You can also call the department’s non-emergency number. Then, you can begin the process of replacing the lost car title.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

Do I need to turn in my damaged car title?
If your car title in Washington, D.C. has suffered extensive damage, you are not required to turn it in. However, it’s imperative that you obtain a car title replacement as soon as possible. A title is one of the only ways to prove ownership of a vehicle. Without it or in the wrong hands, you may be at risk of fraudulent activity. To replace your title, you can do so online, in person or via mail.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington, DC

What if the original is located after my car title replacement has been issued?
As soon as you are issued a duplicate car title in DC, only this replacement document is valid. This means that the original document is considered void and cannot be used to establish vehicle ownership. If you find the original title, you are strongly advised to destroy the document or return it to the DMV. This helps to protect you from future title fraud or identity theft.

For more information: How to Replace a Lost Car Title in Washington DC

When should I complete a bill of sale?
A bill of sale documents when a vehicle trades hands in a private sale. You must present it when you obtain a new title and registration for a vehicle. You should obtain a bill of sale anytime you are buying a vehicle from a private vehicle owner. Additionally, if you are selling a vehicle, you should be prepared to furnish a bill of sale.

For more information: Washington DC Bill of Sale

How do I obtain a salvaged car title?
To obtain a title for a salvaged car, the vehicle must pass several inspections. Insurance companies must first complete a damage settlement before you or the insurance company can apply for a salvaged car title. Also, the Metropolitan Police Department must carry out a safety and anti-theft inspection.

For more information: Save Money on Washington DC Auto Insurance