printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Registration and Titling


Registration and Titling

To fulfill the requirements of the Congressional mandates of the Foreign Missions Act of 1982, as amended in 1983, and to ensure that adequate liability insurance coverage is maintained, the U.S. Department of State requires that all vehicles owned, leased, or otherwise operated by a mission, its members, and dependents of such members must be registered with the Diplomatic Motor Vehicle Office (DMV), Office of Foreign Missions, U.S. Department of State, and must bear distinctive red, white and blue federal license plates.

In order to properly register a vehicle, all original ownership documents (and a copy of the leasing agreement, if applicable) must be submitted at the time of registration to this office. All vehicles must be properly insured at or above the minimum liability limits listed below. (see Financial Responsibility for limits).    $300,000 combined single limit.

  Split limits (for vehicles) of

$100,000 Bodily Injury/Person

$300,000 Bodily Injury/Accident

$100,000 Properly Damage/Accident.


  Split limits (for motorcycles) of

$100,000 Bodily Injury/Person

$300,000 Bodily Injury/Accident

$50,000 Property Damage/Accident.


Once the proper documentation for registration is received, the Department issues an appropriate registration card, license plates and decals valid for one year. The vehicle title is retained by the DMV until the owner applies for a title to sell, title to export, or terminates employment with the mission. If a lien exists on the vehicle, it is recorded and a lien title is sent to the lien holder to protect the interest of the financial institution.  When the vehicle is leased, a U.S. Department of State lien title will be sent to the lessor showing the leasing company as owner of the vehicle and the lessee as registered owner. 

When the diplomat decides to dispose of the vehicle, the diplomat applies for a title to sell or title to export the vehicle. When the vehicle is leased, a U.S. Department of State lease title will be issued for disposition only by the owner (lessor) at the termination of the leasing contract.

Additionally, any time if payments are not made according to the loan or leasing agreement, the creditor has the right to repossess the vehicle. The Diplomatic Motor Vehicle Office, however, asks that we be contacted for information, instructions or assistance prior to repossessing any vehicle. We will be happy to help you in this situation in order to avoid any of violation of international law.

Registration and Titling
Diplomatic Motor Vehicle Office
3507 International Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008522-3303
TELEPHONE: (202) 895-3532TELEFAX: (202) 895-3646


Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.