I tried MBFS and they are saying that District of Columbia is on their “non-sellable” list or something. In effect, it means that for residents of DC, they have to go to a dealership for paperwork. For other states that MBFS does sell to, it looks like buying out the car directly from MBFS without involving a dealership is the way to go.
With regard to the other questions, MBFS said that the buy-out can be done at any dealership.
Editing for completeness sake:
Adding the answers for future reference:
Don’t put any stock into the “certified” hoopla.
The only tangible benefit is the longer warranty.
…MBworld forums who sell the same or better OEM extended warranty…
Thanks again! I’ll be skipping the certified pre-owned inspection at lease-end time and check into these warranties as well as the one offered by Mercedes for comparison later.
If wanting to get the vehicle certified by Mercedes as pre-owned, can the vehicle be taken to a Mercedes dealership after the lease buyout or must it be done at the time of the buyout?
Based on @max_g 's answer, getting certified for warranty purposes or otherwise getting the car inspected has nothing to do with the buy-out other than there are certain eligibility requirements for the warranties, e.g. for Mercedes the car must not be older than 6 years old and must have fewer than 50k miles etc…
As a followup to question 1, can the vehicle be taken to a different Mercedes dealership than the original one where the car was leased to do the Certified Pre-owned Mercedes inspection?
For the lease-end paperwork, can the vehicle be taken to a different Mercedes dealership than the original one where the car was leased from, e.g. since there is a closer dealership nearby?
Changing the answer to this as I didn’t realize one should do the Certified Pre-Owned certification at same time your buying out the vehicle. Thanks for the clarification, @Calvin.MB as it is something that I was interested in even though I have to admit I have not looked into the other extended warranties mentioned elsewhere in this post and will be following up on that too.