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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Streamlined Sales Tax Exemption Certificate


The Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, a multi-state agreement providing for the simplification of the nation’s varying sales tax laws. These states include: Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming. 

In accordance with the Agreement, the procedure for obtaining an exemption from sales tax on the basis of diplomatic or consular status remains similar to previous procedures. Please note that this procedure only applies to purchases made in the states listed above. The procedure for obtaining tax-exemption on purchases made in all other states and the District of Columbia has not changed. In order for foreign missions, international organizations, or their eligible members to obtain tax exemption on purchases made in the states listed above, the following procedure must be followed:

  • At the point of purchase, the foreign mission, international organization, or eligible member (the purchaser) must inform the vendor that they are eligible for exemption from sales tax exemption on the basis of diplomatic or consular status.
  • The purchaser must then present a valid tax-exemption identification card issued by the Department of State.
  • The vendor is required to review the card to ensure that the purchase complies with the level of tax-relief the Department has reciprocally established for the cardholder.
  • Sales tax exemption can only be authorized on official purchases if the payment is made with either a mission credit/debit card or a mission check. A wire transfer from the mission or the mission's government is also an acceptable form of payment.
  • If the purchase qualifies, the cardholder must complete a “Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement – Certificate of Exemption,” and submit the document to the vendor. (See Tabs for sample certificates.)
  • Once the vendor accepts the Certificate, the transaction may be authorized for sales tax exemption.

Instructions for Completing the Certificate of Exemption:

  1. Enter the two-letter postal abbreviation of the state where the purchase is being made. (e.g. IN, ND, SD…)
  2. Check the box for a single purchase certificate.
  3. Complete the “Business” and “Seller” section.
  • Name of Purchaser – Individual, Foreign Mission, International Organization
  • Business Address – Personal Address of Individual, official address of Foreign Missions or International Organization
  • Purchaser’s Tax ID Number – Leave Blank
  • State of Issue – Leave Blank
  • Country of Issue – Leave Blank
  • FEIN (Federal Employee Identification Number) – If a Foreign Mission or International Organization have this number, they may list it here, however this is not required.
  • Driver’s License Number/State Issued ID Number – The purchaser may list this information, however it is not required.
  • Foreign Diplomat Number – The purchaser must enter the 10-digit number displayed beneath the photo on their tax exemption identification card. (i.e. 4006-0000-01)
  • Name & Address of Seller – This information can be obtained from the vendor and is required.

   4. Complete the Type of Business Section

  • Purchasers requesting sales tax exemption on the basis of diplomatic or consular status must circle number 20 for “Other” and write in “Diplomatic Mission” for both Personal and Mission-related expenses.

   5. Complete the Reason for Exemption section.

  • Purchasers requesting sales tax exemption on the basis of diplomatic or consular status must check box D, “Foreign Diplomat,” and include the number displayed beneath the photo on their tax exemption identification card. (i.e. 4006-0000-01)

    6. The purchaser must sign and date the Certificate.

The Office of Foreign Missions advises all foreign missions, international organizations, and individuals that are either assigned or plan to travel to the states listed at the beginning of this notice, to make photocopies of the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement Exemption Certificate.

If there are questions or concerns about this new procedure, please contact OFM’s Tax & Customs Program by telephone at (202) 895-3500, extension 2, or by electronic mail at ofmtaxcustoms@state.gov.


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