The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) encourages drivers to cancel their license plates online. The DMV recently added the option to its website in an effort to streamline the process, improve customer service, and help drivers avoid penalties for insurance lapses.
The DMV is asking carriers to advise their insureds to surrender tags before changing coverage because D.C. law requires drivers to maintain continuous insurance for all vehicles with valid D.C. registration. For example, drivers who sell or donate their cars must cancel their tags before canceling their insurance. Doing otherwise may lead to a lapse punishable by a fine of $150 for the first 30 days and $7 per day thereafter up to a $2,500 total.
The individual is responsible for securely disposing of the actual license plates after cancellation. The DMV website provides recommendations for disposal.