“trying to figure out if my daughter can register her car temporarily in DC for the summer?”


“Dear PoPville,

I’m trying to figure out if my daughter can register her car temporarily in DC for the summer while she lives in the GWU dorms. She will need her car for her internship and I want to make sure she can park it legally near where she is living. I live in Petworth and it’s not at all convenient for her to leave her car at my house.

I’ve read the DMV website, emailed them, and I still can’t figure out if this is possible and how to do it. Does anyone know?”

29 Comment

  • Summer Guest Parking

  • ROSA, registered out of state automobile, it’s on the dmv page

    • +1

      • +1000 but she will have to prove she lives somewhere else and the title tags, and reg are current there

        • That is very easy to do, and it can be done online, but you have to wait until you get a warning before you can do.

    • ROSA only exempts her from having DC license plates (sounds like she has those if the car is registered to Petworth) but won’t give her a parking permit for the zone near GW.

    • ROSA is not a parking permit, it is an exemption from registering your car in DC. It does’t address OP’s parking concerns.

  • Yes you can, you get a 6 month Reciprocity Pass for $250 if she needs to park there during the day (9am-630pm). You’ll also need to get the ROSA once she get’s a warning, but that’s not an actual pass, that just avoids a ticket. At $250 though I’d bet she can rent a spot for less, especially for just the summer when all the students are gone.


    • I don’t think GW students are eligible for the reciprocity passes (nor are Georgetown students), so this might not be possible if a GWU dorm is her address.

  • Thank you for these great suggestions. I checked in on GWU campus parking and it is $305/month! I’ll try some of these other options.

    • If her car is registered in DC, can’t she just take her lease with the GW address to get a new resident parking pass for this area then switching it back once the internship is done?

    • There are lots of parking garages one metro stop away in Rosslyn that are much cheaper than this, if she’d be ok to metro one stop to get it.

    • If she’d be ok with taking the metro one stop, there are quite a few garages in Rosslyn for $150ish/month.

  • Check with the school. At the GWU Mount Vernon campus all visitors to the school are required to park on-campus due to the school’s zoning agreement.

  • I imagine some private office/apartment buildings in Foggy Bottom have monthly options for parking. These would probably be cheaper than parking on campus at GW, although still probably expensive. Just look for garages around the neighborhood and ask what options they have.

    • It’s going to be at least 250/mo at any garages in that area. Likely closer to 350. Our garage in McPherson square is 400, but I believe it’s on the high end

  • Is she required to live in the GW dorms? Having to live in Foggy Bottom but commute by car out of the city (presumably somewhere transit is unavailable/impractical) every day for a few months seems like a huge hassle. If it’s a safety/environment issue, maybe one of the Northern Virginia schools has dorm summer rentals?

    • She probably wants to stay where her friends are living seeing as she also has the option of living at home but isn’t going to.

  • Here are a couple of details. Her car is registered out of state, at her dad’s house in Michigan. She is not attending GWU, just renting a dorm room there (much more fun she thinks than living with mom in Petworth).

    So should I do a ROSA?

    • As another commenter was saying, ROSA would exempt her only from the requirement to have her car registered in D.C. — it won’t get her a zone permit to park near GW. As far as I can tell, she’ll need to rent off-street parking somewhere. If that seems like too much of a hassle, she might want to re-think whether renting a GWU dorm room is enough “fun” to be worth it.
      And the tricky thing with ROSA is that you can’t apply for it — you have to wait until your car gets ticketed for having out-of-state tags and THEN present the DMV with evidence that you don’t actually live in D.C.

    • Another critical piece of information is what kind of parking situation she wants/needs. Residential parking restrictions vary from block to block (or even one part of a block vs. another). Having RPP may be necessary to park in a section at all anytime during the week, or (more likely) to park for more than 2 hours during the workday. If her internship is of the 9-5 variety, and she’ll be driving every day, RPP may not be that important to her in this case. You’ll have to visit her prospective home and check out the rules in the surrounding area, preferably during the times she’d be parking to get a feeling for how hard parking will be to find within the parameters allotted.

      Note that even with RPP, there’ll be times the car has to be removed for street-sweeping (this also varies from block to block, especially one side of the street vs. the other), so living with a car in the dense areas of town without off-street parking is always going to require a high degree of responsibility.

      • Ahhh, I get it. Totally opaque DC regs. I will investigate renting a parking spot.

        • Yeah, admittedly it is difficult to figure out sometimes, but my take is that it’s for the benefit of people who live here rather than people who don’t. Not that “visitors” aren’t important to our town, but there’s limited parking and everyone wants some. Like anon said, your daughter’s options are probably dictated by the specific parking situation around the GWU dorms more than any general citywide rule. If your daughter is renting from GWU then her best bet might be contacting the school and asking them what the parking options are for students and dorm tenants.

        • These particular regs aren’t opaque; they’re published right there on signs on the street (although a little cryptically, if you’re not used to reading those signs).

          You can always use the GW parking garages as a fall-back, too. Either daily when necessary or monthly to just not worry about it. But that wouldn’t be cheap.

  • Where is her internship and do you know anyone near a metro along the way? I was in a similar situation the summer I moved to DC (minus having a local parent) and eventually left my car parked at a friend’s cousin’s house near the Falls Church metro. I’d metro there, walk the two blocks to the house, and use the car to drive to wherever I needed in Virginia. It was still a pain in the butt, but better than the many tickets I got for forgetting to renew my out of state permit every two weeks, moving the car for street cleaning, and having to circle around for an hour trying to find residential street parking in south Dupont.

  • Brava to the OP for trying to do the right thing. Thousands of DC residents own homes here, but contort themselves to keep their cars off-street and registered in other states — thereby cheating on taxes, using invalid registrations, and committing insurance fraud — while enjoying life in our beautiful city.

  • The confusion here seems odd. She will be a temporary DC resident, and can apply for a reciprocity permit. She will have some rental agreement with GW that will be proof of where she is residing while in DC, which will allow her to get the reciprocity permit. This is different from ROSA, which applies to those who make short visits to the city. She does not have to wait for a ticket to apply for a reciprocity permit as a temporary resident – it is what anyone coming to the city for a few months can do. I’ve known people who came here for such things and did this, and parked on their street – it isn’t rocket science.

    Whether she can get a parking permit that allows her to park on the street for free will depend on whether the block she lives on is one that has residential parking on it. If the block has the green signs that limit those without the sticker on their windshield with the ward number for parking to parking for two hours, then she can get a residential parking permit that will allow her to park anywhere where these signs are in that ward all the time, without being limited to two hours. If the block is only zoned for commercial parking, then she cannot get a residential parking sticker, and she’s out of luck for street parking for free during the day. It all depends on her address. If you go to the dept. of transportation’s website ddot.dc.gov and look under residential parking permits, she can find whether her address will allow her to get a parking permit.

    Then there is finding parking. It isn’t that hard (says a former New Yorker who did alternate side of the street parking for years). You can find parking a 10 minute walk from home often, if you look around a bit. If you get tired of looking, you can pay for a garage for a night. If that is considered too much work (looking for parking and walking home), then you pay for a monthly parking space or parking garage. It all depends on your priorities – your time v. money.

    And yes, not that you asked, but she should be figuring this stuff out for herself by now. She’ll have the advantage of being with a group of people dealing with similar issues, and can likely find out the various rules from them far more easily than you. Though I find the DC gov websites on such issues to be quite clear.

  • I’m not sure about ROSA, but I do live in Foggy Bottom next to the GW Medical School and recently got a car. The GW parking lots are the most expensive option. I would search Craigslist as many people rent out their parking spots in the area.

    Secondly, she may not need to register at all depending on her hours. Before 7am and after 7pm on weekdays cars can be parked on the streets south-west/west of the hospital with no zoning, dc registration, nada. Same goes for on weekends. My boyfriend has parked his car (out of state plates) almost every weekend around those streets and the majority of weeknights.

    I believe, but am 100%, that any non-registered car can park for a 2 hour window around the area between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. If you are leaving around 7:30-8:00am and getting back around 6:30, you shouldn’t need to register or pay at all. Parking can be difficult to find during the daytime but many cars leave as work gets off and it clears out significantly by 8pm.

Comments are closed.