To get a DC DMV REAL ID learner permit you must be at least 16 years old, and you will have to take and pass a knowledge test and meet eligibility requirements. A DC DMV learner permit entitles you to drive between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm.
If you have a valid learner permit from another state or jurisdiction you will need to visit a DC DMV service center and take the knowledge test to begin the process of obtaining a DC DMV learner permit.
Effective March 27, 2017, a DC DMV REAL ID learner permit is valid for 2 years for US citizens and is non-renewable. For non-US citizens, the length of time will depend on the approved duration of stay. If you possess a DC learner permit, prior to March 27, 2017, it will not be renewable and you will be required to retake the knowledge test to obtain a new learner permit.
In general, the steps to getting a DC DMV REAL ID learner permit are listed below. Remember to study in advance for your knowledge test; you will have to wait 3 calendar days, and return on the fourth day, to take it again if you do not pass:
- Mandatory Driver Education Program
- Vision Screening
- Knowledge Test
The first step in obtaining a REAL ID learner permit is to print and fill out the driver license or identification card application form you can find at the link below:
Next, bring your completed application form to any DC DMV service center. A list of service centers is available at the link below:
You must also bring the documents that prove you are eligible for a DC DMV learner permit. The documents required are listed below, and DC DMV will not accept any documents that are not listed:
You will need documents from each of the four categories below:
- 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:
- REAL ID Proof of Identity—Full Legal Name and Date of Birth
- 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 Current District of Columbia Residency
- Proof of your Social Security number. Information on the Social Security number is available at the link below:
- REAL ID Proof of Social Security Number
- Proof of parental approval, if you are 16 or 17 years old. The parental consent form, which requires a birth certificate, adoption court order or guardianship decree for parental/legal guardianship verification, is available at the link below:
- Parental Consent Form to Obtain a Learner Permit
NOTE: You may not get a DC DMV REAL ID learner permit if you have outstanding debts to the District or unpaid fines for moving traffic violations in other jurisdictions.
Driver Education Program
District residents who have never had a driver license are encouraged to take driver education prior to their road test appointment. Information about the driver education program 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 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:
When you have passed your knowledge test, you will have your picture taken for your DC DMV REAL ID learner permit. 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 permit. Information on DC DMV driver license and permit fees is available at the link below:
DC DMV will issue you a temporary, paper DC DMV learner permit after you’ve completed the process and paid the fees. This temporary ID will be valid for 45 days; your actual permit will be mailed to you within 10 business days. DC DMV does not mail licenses or permits to PO boxes.
To check the mailing status of your permit, you can go to the system at the link below:
NOTE: Drivers under the age of 21 who are obtaining a learner permit are automatically enrolled in the GRAD Program. More information on the GRAD License Program is available at the link below: