How to Get a Driver’s License in Washington, D.C

Each state in the union, as well as the District of Columbia, has unique rules for driving on the road. Whether you are moving to Washington, D.C. or you are a long-term resident driving for the first time, it is important to know the requirements necessary for earning a driver’s license. Knowing what to expect before attempting to receive a driver’s license will make the process smooth and relatively simple.

Drivers License Requirements

In order to receive a first-time driver’s license, applicants must provide the following:

– Proof of Identity: This can include a birth certificate, unexpired driver’s license, certificate of naturalization, or certificate of citizenship. Some other forms may be allowed for foreign citizens.

– Proof of Residency: Examples are utility bills with name and address, land line telephone bill with name and address, home deed, current lease, property tax bill, or current homeowner’s insurance policy

– Proof of Social Security Number: If a social security card is not available, applicants can use a recent payroll receipt that includes a social security number or a copy of a recent tax form issued by the IRS.

Those wishing to receive a Washington, D.C. driver’s license must also complete an application, pass an eye exam, and pass a knowledge test. They will then be given a skills road test. Applicants under the age of 18 must also have parental consent. No licenses are issued to those with outstanding debts to the District of Columbia.

Drivers who wish to transfer an out-of-state license may avoid the knowledge and skills tests if their license is current. They must provide all other documentation.

Drivers License Cost

There are a number of fees related to obtaining a driver’s license in Washington, D.C. First, the driver must pay $10 for the knowledge test as well as $10 for the road test. A learner’s permit is $20 while the Washington, D.C. driver’s license is $44 for the first time license as well as renewals.

Those who wish to receive a commercial driver’s license must pass separate knowledge and road skills tests that are each $10. A commercial driver’s license in Washington, D.C. costs $117.

Who Needs a Driver’s License?
Any long-term resident of Washington, D.C. needs a district license if he or she will be driving and living in the city for more than 30 days. There are exceptions in the cases of students who are not permanent residents of the city, those who are serving active military duty, and certain government employees. Drivers must be at least 16 years of age to receive a learner’s permit in D.C. Full licenses can be held at age 17.

Preparing for the Tests

The D.C. knowledge test covers road signs, traffic laws, and safety rules that are to be adhered by all drivers in the city. The DC DMV provides a copy of the Driving Manual, which should be studied thoroughly prior to taking the test. Likewise, hopeful drivers can take a practice test online before they walk in to take the official test in person. Drivers are allowed to fail the test six times in a one year period. However, applicants must wait 72 hours to retake any test.

The skills test is scheduled by appointment. Drivers must arrive with a valid learner’s permit. Those under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult driver as well as a certificate of eligibility. The vehicle used in the skills test must be accompanied by a valid registration and proof of insurance. The vehicle must be fully operational. Drivers may fail the road test up to six times in a one year period. They must wait 72 hours after a failure to retake the skills test.

What to Expect
First-time drivers receive a provisional license once they reach the age of 16 years and six months. The provisional license allows drivers to drive alone, with immediate family members, or with one passenger who is 21 or older. Provisional drivers must practice night driving as well. At age 17, those drivers who have held a provisional license for six months may receive a full license with conditions. This can be converted into a full license at age 21.

Driver’s licenses are not given out over-the-counter in Washington, D.C. Individuals must supply a home address to have the license mailed. Licenses in D.C. are valid for eight years.

Take Free Practice Test Now

Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
Washington DC DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)