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Washington D.C. Drivers License

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The District of Columbia requires all motorists to be fully licensed to drive on public roads. The Washington D.C. Department of Motor vehicles (DC DMV) issues driver’s licenses to qualified individuals.

Find a Licensing Center

You can obtain a driver’s license at one of four DC DMV centers located within the district. The DC DMV provides four general services centers where residents can obtain or renew their driver’s licenses. Those centers and their respective addresses are:

  • Benning Ridge Service Center, which is located at 4525 Benning Road SE.
  • Georgetown Service Center, which is located at 3270 M Street NW, Canal Level, Suite C200.
  • Rhode Island Service Center, which is located at 2350 Washington Place NE, Suite 112N.
  • Southwest Service Center, which is located at 95 M Street SW.

The licensing centers can help with driver’s license renewals, address changes, graduated licensing programs for teens and a wide range of other licensing services. If you want to obtain a REAL ID, you can do that at a licensing center.

Getting a License for the First Time

Although driver’s education is not required, the District of Columbia does enforce a graduated driver’s license system called the GRAD License Program. Anyone between 16 and 21 years of age must obtain a learner permit, which allows them to drive during limited times while accompanied by a licensed adult driver over age 21. Anyone with a learner permit only can drive between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Upon completion of learner permit requirements the next step in the graduated licensing program is a provisional license. Motorists must possess and use a provisional license for at least six months. A Certification of Eligibility form signed by a licensed adult driver who is over age 21will affirm the provisional driver has completed the requisite amount of daytime and nighttime driving to qualify for full driving privileges.

The final step of the graduated licensing system is obtaining full driving privileges with a Washington D.C. driver’s license. Teens must be at least 17 years of age to qualify for a driver’s license with full driving privileges and pass a road test. A $47 fee applies and is payable by credit card or debit card.

Renewing Your License

Residents can renew their driver’s licenses at one of the four service centers, online or by mail. The DMV will mail a renewal form at least 60 days prior to your license expiration date to remind you to renew.

Do You Need a REAL ID?

Because it is the nation’s capital city, the DC DMV enables residents to obtain a REAL ID as well as a driver’s license. A REAL ID is indicated by a star within a circle and is located in the upper right corner of the driver’s license. A REAL ID enables holders to board commercial aircraft, enter federal courthouses and other federal facilities without providing additional ID, such as a U.S. passport.

Upgrade Your Provisional License

Upon completion of the graduated licensing system and successful passage of knowledge and road tests, Washington D.C. residents who have provisional driver’s licenses can upgrade them. A DC DMV service center will issue a driver’s license with no restrictions. You can obtain your full driving privileges at a local DMV service center.

Replace a Lost or Stolen License

If you lose your driver’s license or it is stolen, you can obtain a replacement at the DC DMV, online or by mail. You need to inform the DC DMV right away when your driver’s license turns up missing so that you can prevent others from using it and obtain a replacement as soon as possible.

Last Verified:
Sep 13, 2022