District of Columbia License Renewal

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The Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles oversees the license renewal process.

Your license renewal will process as one of two types:

  • Limited Purpose

Your Washington, D.C. license is good for 8 years and must be renewed to continue legally driving in the location/state. You will receive a renewal notice about 60 days before its expiration. You have up to 365 days to renew your license before you’re required to re-take the written test or 545 days past expiration where you’ll re-take the road test.

You can renew your D.C. license:

  • In-person
  • Online
  • By mail

Note: Anyone older than 70 must get a medical exam and submit a Medical and Vision Report Form in person when renewing their license.

You can check your license validity and expiration date by requesting driving records. Otherwise, take note of its expiration on the card or if you’ve marked it on the calendar.

The following sections share the step-by-step process to renew your DC driver’s license.

How to Renew Your DC Driver’s License

A valid DC driver’s license is required if you drive on state roads and highways. Washington, D.C. auto insurance is a requirement, too, if you plan to operate your vehicle. The renewal process doesn’t take long if you have documents ready and follow the steps below.

In-Person Renewals

Here is what all you need to renew your Washington, D.C. driver’s license in-person:

  1. Find a DCDMV office
  2. For REAL ID holders – provide proof of:
    1. Identification
    2. Social security number
    3. C. residency
  3. For Limited Purpose holders – provide proof of:
    1. Identification
    2. (2) residency documents (less than 6 months old)
    3. Social Security Number Declaration for Limited Purpose Identification (DMV-SSN-001)
  4. File the DC Driver License or Identification Card Application (DMVR-4)
    1. If 70 and older: Have a physician complete the medical section of the form
  5. Pay the $47 license renewal fee

Congratulations! You’ve successfully renewed your Washington, D.C. driver’s license.

Online Renewals

Online renewals are available to those:

  • Under 70 years old with a valid REAL ID or Limited Purpose license
  • Completed their last renewal in-person
  • The license isn’t expired beyond the 365 days
  • Haven’t had a change in their medical condition or vision
  • Doesn’t have a digital photo or signature

You will do the following to renew your license online:

  1. Visit D.C.’s Driver License Renewal Assessment
  2. Go through the non-graded quiz
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts
  4. Provide your license # or control # (from the notice)
    1. Or: Personal information (name, SSN, DoB)
  5. Pay the $47 renewal fee
  6. Print the copy of your certificate

Your certificate acts a temporary license (for 45 days) until you receive the permanent one by mail in a few weeks. If you haven’t received the license in a few weeks, contact the DMV.

Military members and out-of-state residents are deferred to renew online if they have a REAL ID.

Mail-In Renewals

The mail-in renewal option is limited to those who have a gold star printed on the upper right corner of their driver’s license. Or, if they have a Limited Purpose or REAL ID provisional license. The renewal notice you receive details the steps required to renew by mail.

Become a Better Washington, D.C. Driver

Looking for more information and guides to become a better Washington, D.C. driver? Check out our DC DMV topics, browse our DMV directory, or get active in the community! We offer a wide range of helpful guides and tips to improve your driving experience.