How to Apply for a Diplomatic Tax Exemption Card In United States

Apply for a Diplomatic Tax Exemption Card In United States By Online

  1. To apply for an exemption card from taxes the eligible mission and its members need to apply on the Departments E-Government (E-Gov) system.
  2. It takes about five business days in order for the application you submitted to be considered.
  3. The tax exemption card is produced at the U.S. Government Printing Office in its facility in Washington and then mailed by the U.S. Postal Service to the cardholders residence address. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the address is accurate in the OFM.

Office Locations and Contacts

U.S. Department of State

Telephone Directory



Sales Tax Exemption Cards:

  • Mission Tax Exemption Card: Used by foreign missions to qualify for exemption from sales taxes and other taxation similar to that imposed on purchases made in the United States that are necessary for mission activities and functions. All purchases have to be paid using a check, credit card or wire transfer with on behalf of the mission.The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) can only issue tax-exemption cards for individuals that (i) has been a key member or an employee for the organization, (ii) holds an A or G series visa (and in the case of the G series visa holders, is a diplomat) or (iii) cannot be considered permanent resident of the United States for purposes of the VCDR and VCCR. The photo of the person will be displayed on the card as the point of contact for the mission. This person, however does not have to be present whenever purchases are made on behalf for the cause.
  • Personal Tax Exemption Cardsfor Tax Credits: The card is used by foreign mission personnel and their dependents to gain exemption from sales tax and other taxes similar to those imposed on personal purchases made in the United States. The card is only used for the benefit of the person who is depicted in the image on the card. The card cannot be transferred and is not able to be loaned to other person, regardless of the person’s eligibility to be exempt from taxation. There are no restrictions on the type of payment that can be made using the card.
    The eligibility of personal tax exemption card is decided on a case-by -case basis. However, the following are eligible to apply for the card in the event that they are not U.S. nationals nor permanently living in the United States for purposes of the VCDR or VCCR:

    • people who are accredited as diplomatic agents as well as members of the technical and administrative team, officers of the consular and consular personnel;
    • family members who are part of their household and, when it comes to children: those who are aged 18-21 or those aged 18-23 in the case of a validly accredited student.
    • Other employees may be eligible for a card if can be eligible on the basis of an agreement other than VCDR and VCCR.
    • Be aware that there are those who are employees (and those who are dependents) of international organisations and their dependents of international organizations and Permanent Missions to the United Nations and the Organization of American States who are granted privileges and privileges granted to diplomatic agents can apply for individual tax exemption certificates. The tax exemption cards are unrestricted for personal use. cards help for the United States in honoring its obligations under treaties that give relief from taxes.


tax return cards

Tax exemption cards must return to the OFM if they are expired or recall or if the cardholder’s job or assignment in an overseas mission has ended. When a member of a mission is dismissed at one place and re-accredited at a different place located in the United States, his or his tax exemption card will be canceled.

When tax exempt cards aren’t given back by Department of Revenue, Department, OFM reserves the right to take the appropriate actions, including temporarily suspending the issue of tax exemption cards for that mission.

Tax exemption cards must be handed in by mail to OFMs Customer Service Center at 3507 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20522, or the closest OFM regional branch (New York Miami, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, or Los Angeles).

Processing Time

Applications are usually processed within five working days.

The Document is required

Diplomatic Tax Exemption cards are provided through the Departments Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) to foreign missions as well as their members and dependents who are accredited in accordance with the law of international jurisdiction and mutuality. They assist that the United States in honoring its obligations as host nation in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) as well as other treaties that help with certain tax burdens. These cards grant exemptions at the point of sale from sales tax as well as other taxes similar to those imposed throughout all of the United States.

The cardholder has to present their card at the merchant at the time of making a purchase.

Information that could be helpful

levels of exemption

Tax exemption cards have information on the back and front of the card, which define the amount of exemption granted to the cardholder. Certain cards grant an unlimited exemption from sales tax Other cards allow an exemption subject to a certain amount of restriction, for example, the requirement for a minimum purchase and excluded categories or both.

Holding cards for individuals may come with different levels of tax exempt privileges that are granted to the card. The OFM determines the amount of exemption based on the principle of reciprocity, which is determined by tax relief benefits enjoyed by members of the U.S. Mission and personnel in the foreign country. Each card is adorned with the four animal symbols to indicate the kind of tax exemption for the cardholder.

  • Owl Mission tax exemption cards that grant tax exemption without restrictions.
  • Buffalo mission tax exemption cards with a level of restriction.
  • Eagle: Personal tax exemption cards that grant unlimited tax exemption.
  • Deer Personal tax exemption cards that come with a level of restriction.

Tax exemption cards can’t be used to get exemption from taxes that are imposed on the purchase for motor vehicles, fuel/diesel, airlines tickets, utility service or cruises.

External Links

  • U.S. Department of State:



Leave a Comment