If you are between 16 and 21 years old, DC DMV offers you a special license program to help you become a safe, experienced driver. The Graduated License Program (known as GRAD) gives novice drivers the support you need to improve your driving skills and graduate from learner permit, to provisional license, to a full DC DMV driver license.
DC DMV’s GRAD program does not simply help with basic driving skills; it addresses complex driving situations, such as night driving, and offers a supportive framework through which you learn to safely navigate.
There are three stages of the GRAD program:
- Supervised learner's phase, in which you have a learner permit and are bound by the rules of the permit. More information on learner permits is available at the link below:
- Intermediate phase, in which you earn a provisional license after you complete the permit phase and pass the road skills test. More information on provisional licenses is available at the link below:
- Full license phase, when you have satisfied the requirements of your provisional license. Depending on your age, there may be conditions attached to your license at this phase. More information on the full license with conditions is available at the link below:
The GRAD program places the responsibility on you as a young driver to maintain your right to drive. If you violate traffic laws or GRAD program requirements, there are penalties.
Each type of learner permit or license allows you to drive different hours or under different conditions. The table below shows you the hours you are permitted to drive for each phase of the GRAD program.
GRAD Permissible Driving Hours
|GRAD TYPE||Hours Permitted to Drive|
6 am – 9 pm
September to June
July and August
Full License drivers between the ages of 17 – 18 years old *
September to June
Sunday to Thursday, 6 am – 10:59 pm
Friday and Saturday, 6 am – 11:59 pm
July and August
There are no driving hours or passenger restrictions for full license drivers once you turn 18 years old.
* You can operate a motor vehicle during GRAD restricted hours if you are driving to or from work, a school-sponsored activity, a religious or an athletic event, or to a related training session in which you are a participant, sponsored by the District of Columbia, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for you, the minor, or if you are accompanied by the holder of a valid driver license who is 21 years of age or older, wearing a seat belt, and occupying the passenger seat beside you.
NOTE: When you turn 21 years old, you are released from the GRAD license program.
If you turn 21 when you have a learner permit, you may immediately schedule a road test appointment. You do not need to provide a driving certification form or wait until you have had the permit for 6 months.
If you turn 21 when you have a provisional license, you may immediately visit a DMV service center location to obtain a regular driver license. You do not need to provide a driving certification form or wait until you have had the permit for 6 months. A list of DC DMV service centers is available at the link below:
Also, it is not mandatory that you convert your provisional license to a regular driver license once you turn age 21. Instead, you may wait until your provisional license expires to obtain a regular license.
Document Verification Guide
The Online Document Verification Guide will assist you with determining which documents you will need to collect and bring to DC DMV. If you do not bring the correct documents with you, you need multiple trips to DC DMV.
You can use this guide for the following transactions:
- Driver License
- Non-Driver Identification Card
- Vehicle Title and Registration
- Vehicle Title Only
- Temporary Tags
You will need to provide original documents to DC DMV. Photocopies, altered documents, or notarized copies will not be accepted, unless specifically indicated as being acceptable.
This online document verification will guide you through the process for whatever DC DMV transaction you must make. To apply for a driver license or non-driver identification card, you must prove the following:
- Proof of Identity and Date of Birth
- Social Security Number (or proof that you are not eligible to obtain a SSN)
- DC Residency
- Ability to Drive (when applying for driver license)
- Name Change (if applicable)
To apply for vehicle title and registration, you must prove the following:
- Vehicle Ownership
- DC Residency (DC DMV Driver License or DC DMV Non-Driver Identification Card)
- Odometer Mileage
- DC Vehicle Insurance
- DC Vehicle Inspection
- Financial Agreement/Contract
The Online Document Verification Guide is available at the link below: