The DC DMV issues a federally compliant driver license and identification card which is called “REAL ID”. Therefore, you need to find out what documents to COLLECT and BRING with you so you can SECURE your new REAL ID driver license or REAL ID identification card.
The Real ID Core categories that you’ll need to verify who you are and where you live.
- Proof of Identity
- Proof of Social Security Number
- Proof of Current DC Residency (2)
If you do not qualify for a DC DMV REAL ID license, you may be eligible for a DC DMV Limited Purpose driver license. More information on the Limited Purpose credential is available at the link below:
In general, the steps to getting a DC DMV REAL ID driver license are:
- Vision Screening
- Knowledge Test
- Road Test
Use DC DMV's online Document Verification Guide to determine what documents you need to obtain a REAL ID driver license by clicking the link below:
The first step in obtaining a REAL ID driver license, or learner permit, is to print and fill out the driver license/identification card application form. Effective June 26, 2018, when you complete the application, you will automatically be opted in to register to vote unless you select to decline. You can find the application form at the link below:
Next, bring your completed application form to a DC DMV service center. A list of service centers is available at the link below:
If you get a REAL ID driver license, you may make certain declarations regarding voting, organ donation, Selective Service eligibility, veteran status and special designation indicators such as Autism, Hearing Impaired, and Intellectual Disability. Instructions for these designations are available at the link below:
- License Designations: Donor Status, Selective Service, Voting, Veteran, Autism, Hearing Impaired, Intellectual Disability.
You must also bring the documents that prove you are eligible for a driver license. The documents required are listed below, and DC DMV will not accept any documents that are not listed:
You will need:
- Proof of identity and age. You must be at least 16 years old. The list of documents that DC DMV accepts as proof of identify is available at the link below:
- Proof of lawful presence. US citizens and non-US citizens are required to provide proof of lawful presence. The list of documents that DC DMV accepts as proof of lawful presence is available at the link below:
- Proof of your Social Security number. Information on the Social Security number is available at the link below:
- Two documents that prove you reside in the District. The list of documents that prove DC residency is available at the link below:
- Proof of parental approval, if you are 16 or 17 years old. The parental consent form is available at the link below:
- Proof of ability to drive. Information on proof of ability to drive is available at the link below:
- Medical/Eye form, if you have a medical condition indicated in the medical fitness section of the Driver License Application. If you are 70 years or older, you must also have the mature certification section completed on the Driver License Application. The Medical/Eye form must be completed by your physician and is available at the link below:
NOTE: You may not get a DC DMV REAL ID driver license if you have outstanding debts to the District or unpaid fines for moving traffic violations in other jurisdictions.
At the DC DMV service center, when you have provided your application form and other documents, you must take and pass a vision screening test to be issued a driver license. Information on the screening is available at the link below:
At the DC DMV service center, when you have provided your application form and other documents, you must take and pass a knowledge test. Information on the test is available at the link below:
If you do not currently have a valid driver license from DC or another jurisdiction, you will be issued a REAL ID learner permit after you take and pass the knowledge test. If you do have a valid driver license from another jurisdiction but it has been expired for more than 90 days, once you pass the knowledge test you will be eligible for a DC DMV Learner Permit.
Road Skills Test
If you do not have a valid driver license from another jurisdiction, when you have passed the knowledge test and been issued a REAL ID learner permit, you can schedule a road skills test. An appointment is required to take the road skills test, as DC DMV does not accept walk-ins. More information on the road skills test is available at the link below:
You must take a new photograph after every driver license, knowledge test, or identification card transaction you have with DC DMV. District law and policy requires a full frontal digital photo that will show either the ears, or up to the hairline without showing the hair.
Once your photo has been taken, you will pay the appropriate fee for your license. Information on DC DMV driver license fees is available at the link below:
DC DMV will issue you a temporary, paper DC DMV driver license after you have completed the process and paid the fees. This temporary ID will be valid for 45 days; your actual license will be mailed to you within 10 business days. DC DMV does not mail licenses to PO boxes.
Check the mailing status of your license, online at the link below:
NOTE: Drivers under the age of 21 who are obtaining a driver license are automatically enrolled in the GRAD Program. More information on the GRAD Program is available at the link below: