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Licenses and Identification Cards

Effective May 1, 2014, the District of Columbia will begin issuing a REAL ID Credential and a Limited Purpose Credential.

The REAL ID credential requires a one-time revalidation of source documents when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate (including a change of address) DC driver license or identification card. This validation will enable the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure your identity and issue a federally compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card. The new requirements will affect what you will need to bring to the DC DMV office when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate credential. First time DC applicants and existing DC driver license and identification card holders should expect to provide source documents as proof of identity (full legal name and date of birth), social security number, lawful presence in the United States, and current residence in the District of Columbia.  For more information about REAL ID, please review our FAQs.

The Limited Purpose credential also requires a one-time validation of source documents when applying for your DC Limited Purpose driver license or identification card. The driver knowledge and road tests will be required for all applicants applying for the Limited Purpose driver license.  First time DC applicants must be a resident of the District of Columbia for at least 6 months. Applicants must have never been issued a social security number, previously been issued a social security number but no longer eligible, or not be eligible for a social security number. The Limited Purpose credential may not be used for official federal purposes, and it will be marked to reflect this requirement. You must schedule an appointment to obtain either Limited Purpose driver license or identification card. Prior to your DMV appointment, if you are applying for a driver license, be sure to study and review the Driver Manual in preparation for the knowledge test.  If you fail the knowledge test, you will be required to make another appointment.  For more information about our Limited Purpose credential, please review our FAQs.  You can also refer to the Limited Purpose Step by Step Process.

If you live in the District of Columbia for 30 days or more and operate a vehicle in public space, DC law requires you to obtain a DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license, unless you are eligible for reciprocity (students, military, members of Congress, presidential appointees, part-time residents, diplomats and residents with take home company vehicles).

DMV offers a number of services related to a driver license and identification card. When obtaining either a driver license or identification card, be prepared to also make the following decisions: to become an organ and tissue donor, to register for selective service (if applicable) and to register to vote (if eligible).  You may also apply for a veteran designation (if eligible).

Driver License

Learner Permit

Provisional Driver License (Age 16 1/2 - 20 years old)

Commercial Driver License (CDL)

Additional Driver Services

Non-Driver Identification Services

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