New DC Residents

The T.R.I.P. is our way of getting new DC residents and seasoned cenizens of the District through the time-consuming DC title, registration, inspection, and parking permit processes in one fell swoop. Instead of spending hours at the DMV and then waiting weeks to get all of the puzzle pieces assembled, we take the guesswork out of the equation to save you an abundance of time (and quite a few gray hairs!).


The vehicle title is a legal document that shows you are the proper owner of your vehicle. Every vehicle title should have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and other information noted on it. Whether you get a new vehicle or used vehicle, you need to obtain an original title for the car. If a financial institution holds your title for you, we can facilitate making sure they send it to the DMV correctly to update your registration.


Washington, D.C. requires every vehicle housed and operated within the city to be registered with the District.


Every vehicle that is registered in the District must first pass an emissions inspection. Once inspection is finished, a sticker will be placed on the front passenger side in the lower corner of the windshield. The District does not require inspections for motorcycles or motorized bicycles. Personal vehicle inspections are valid for two years, or four years if you are the first owner of a brand-new car. Commercial vehicle inspections are valid for one year.

Parking Permit

The world of DC parking permits is complex and almost impossible to understand even for lifetime Washington, D.C. residents. We are well-versed in all of the rules governing parking permits and can help you determine what parking permit you need, what you need to get that parking permit, and how to renew it once it’s time.

Your Checklist

Below is a sample list of the things we’ll need from you to help speed the T.R.I.P. process along:

    • The original title for your vehicle
    • Original or photocopy of your certificate of insurance. This document has to contain:
        • The make of your car (Mercedes, Ford, Honda, etc.)
        • VIN # (17 digits)
        • Model (C 300, Fusion, Civic, etc.)
        • Your current DC address
        • Policy start date
      • Policy end date
    • Odometer statement (the mileage listed on your gauge display)
  • Two checks
      • A blank check written to “DC Treasurer”
      • A check made out to United States Vehicle Registration Service for $400.00 (Or $600.00 if you also need us to secure the title from a lien-holding financial institution)
      • For both checks, you will receive an itemized receipt detailing fees
    • We suggest that every customer writes the make, year, and the last 6 digits of the VIN in the memo section on both checks

We also ask that you prepare your vehicle for us to use it.

    • Remove money, electronics, and valuables from your vehicle
    • Ensure that the gas tank is at least 50% full
    • Clean the car interior
  • Tell your driver about any odd habits that your car has so that they are aware

Don’t Forget!

Please remember that all cars need to pass their inspection before they can get to the registration step. If your car fails its DC inspection, don’t panic! Our professionals will give you informed advice about what you should do, where you should go, and how much the repairs might cost.

10-15 days after registration is complete, you will receive your car title in the mail. If there is a lien, loan, security agreement, or lease on your car, you will not receive the title in the mail. Instead, it will be sent to the appropriate institution. Be aware that the DC DMV sends car titles in nondescript, junk-mail-looking envelopes, so keep your eyes peeled in the days following the completion of your T.R.I.P.

If you have your leftover license plates from Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, you should turn them in as quickly as you can or contact United States Vehicle Registration Service for our tag/license plate surrender services. After turning in your license plates, we will give you the receipt your insurance company will be looking for. If someone steals your plates, you can be held legally responsible for any fines or tickets they accumulate, so turn them in ASAP!

If you have license plates belonging to another state, we suggest that you contact the Department of Motor Vehicle in that state. We do not recommend sending license plates in the mail.

The T.R.I.P. Is Easy with United States Vehicle Registration Service

When you choose United States Vehicle Registration Service for The T.R.I.P., you will never need to worry about standing in line, bringing the wrong documents, or dealing with the time and stress that a trip to the DMV involves.

United States Vehicle Registration Service is built around one concept—that your time is better spent anywhere but the Department of Motor Vehicles. We have mastered simplifying complex DMV processes and confusing instructions into a seamless process that we’ll handle from start to finish. We specialize in helping our valued customers in Washington, D.C. area, including Tenleytown, Palisades, and Van Ness. If you need the T.R.I.P., just give us a call! We’d love to give you back your time.