District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles

The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) oversees drivers licenses, vehicle registration, and other related services for Washington D.C. Residents can access many DMV services online, by phone, by mail, or in-person.


The DC DMV website allows customers to download commonly used forms including:

  • License and registration applications
  • Title transfers
  • Address changes
  • Ticket payment
  • License renewal

Having forms filled out in advance can save time with DMV transactions. Blank forms can be accessed online.

Registration Renewal District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles

Vehicle registration in D.C. must be renewed every 2 years. Customers can renew registration:

  • Online – for eligible renewals using the license plate number.
  • By mail – using the mailed renewal notice.
  • In person – at DMV service centers.

Online renewal is available up to 6 weeks before expiration. Mailed renewals should be sent at least 6 weeks prior to allow processing.

Appointment Scheduling

The DC DMV offers appointment scheduling for many transactions including:

  • License applications
  • Registration services
  • Title transfers
  • Testing

Appointments can be booked online or by phone. They are recommended to reduce wait times at DMV centers.

Driver Exam Stations District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles

The DC DMV has exam stations for knowledge and road testing. Locations include:

  • Brentwood – for commercial driver license testing
  • Rhode Island – for motorcycle testing
  • Brentwood and Rhode Island – for passenger vehicle testing

Road exams are by appointment only. Knowledge tests can be taken without an appointment. Testing is available Tuesday through Saturday. Applicants must provide identification and payment.

2024 Driver’s Manual

The DC DMV provides the District of Columbia Driver Manual for important driving information. The 2024 manual covers:

  • Licensing procedures
  • Traffic laws
  • Safe driving practices
  • Penalties for offenses
  • Motorcycle manuals

Reading the driver’s manual is highly recommended before getting a new license or permit. Free printed copies are available at DMV centers. An online version is also provided.

License Renewals

Driver’s licenses in D.C. expire after 8 years. Customers can renew licenses:

  • Online – for eligible renewals every other cycle.
  • By mail – using the renewal notice form.
  • In person – at DMV service centers.

In-person renewals may require an updated photo or vision screening. Proper identification is always required. Licenses can be renewed up to 6 months prior to expiration.

License Plates

The DC DMV issues standard license plates to residents. Optional plates are also available for additional fees:

  • Personalized plates
  • Special event plates
  • Special organization plates

Standard plates must be replaced every 10 years along with registration. Optional plates vary in renewal requirements. Lost or damaged plates can be replaced for $20.

Driver’s Licenses

The DC DMV provides the following license types:

  • Operator’s license – for operating passenger vehicles
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – for commercial operation
  • Motorcycle license – for operating two-wheeled vehicles
  • Instructional permits

New residents must apply for a DC license within 60 days. Proper identification and residency verification is required.

Contact DMV

Contact the DC DMV for additional information:

DMV center locations can be found online. Appointments are recommended for in-person visits.

This overview provides the key services, information, and requirements from the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles. Proper preparation helps ensure efficient transactions.


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