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-DC DMV will no longer prevent DC residents from applying for a new or renewed driver license because of failing to meet the requirements of the Clean Hands Law.

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Fact vs Fiction

Fact vs Fiction has been established to provide the public with accurate information about the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV). To ensure that District residents, commuters and tourists receive the correct information about the agency, DC DMV will notify the public when inaccurate information has been published or aired and provide the facts about the situation.

Question 1: Does TSA accept the temporary paper driver license or identification card as proof of identification?

TSA says that it accepts valid driver licenses and identification cards from all states to board an airplane until January 22, 2018. The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles' temporary, paper credential is a valid form of identification. However, DC DMV recommends that when travelling, bring another form of identification that TSA will accept. TSA's list of acceptable forms of identification is available at: TSA Identification

Question 2: How does a senior obtain a REAL ID driver license or identification card if he or she does not have a birth certificate or valid US passport?

On April 23, 2016, The Washington Post published a story Obama's dance partner is persona non grata in DC Government by Courtland Milloy.

  • Fiction: South Carolina Vital Records will only accept an ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Access the South Carolina Vital Records Department.
  • Fact: To obtain a birth certificate from South Carolina, the customer needs to provide South Carolina with a valid government, school or employer issued ID. A valid government ID does not have to be one issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is one issued by a city, state or federal government agency.
  • Fact: DC DMV has been issuing REAL ID compliant driver licenses and identification cards since May 1, 2014. District residents are required to show proof of identity, proof of Social Security number and two proof of DC residency. Although residents' existing credentials are valid until the expiration date, residents are encouraged to start gathering their identity and social security documents so they have them available when it is time to renew or replace (for lost, stolen or change of address) their driver license or identification cards. View detailed information about proof of identity, proof of Social Security number and proof of DC residency.
  • Fact: A regulation took effect on April 25, 2016 to expand the list of documents that DC DMV may accept for proof of identity for residents who are 70 years of age and older and do not have the required documents needed to be issued a REAL ID driver license or identification card. DC DMV started working on this exception process in June 2015. Note residents 70 years and older still must bring Director approved documents to obtain a REAL ID driver license or ID card.

Question 3: How can one register to vote at DC DMV?

On DC DMV's driver license/ID card application, question C is "Do you want to register to vote, update your party, or change your name?" It is followed by the option to check one of two boxes - yes or no. In his story, "Voting in DC? Some Residents Discover DMV Voter Registration Never Completed," NBC 4 reporter Mark Segraves states that DC DMV is not registering District residents to vote. He reports that a District resident completed the voter registration form and was not registered to vote. In fact, the resident did not check the voter registration box on his driver license application.

  • Fiction: DC DMV registers residents to vote. Fact: The District of Columbia Board of Elections registers District residents to vote. 
  • Fact: When completing the driver license/identification card application, District residents have the option to check the voter registration box and complete the voter registration form. The District of Columbia Board of Elections picks up the physical voter registration forms weekly from DC DMV's service centers and processes them, thereby registering residents to vote. 
  • Fact: In addition to the paper voter registration form, DC DMV also electronically sends the information about residents who would like to register to vote to the Board of Elections nightly.

Question 4: How is DC DMV providing District residents seeking a Limited Purpose credential with vital documents in different languages?

Rachel Sadon of DCist wrote the story, "Councilmembers Aim for A Legislative Fix to Issues at DMV." She writes that the law, "Driver's License Fair Access and Equality Amendment Act of 2016," classifies that DMV must provide "vital documents" in other languages.

View the Driver License Fair Access and Equality Amendment Act of 2016.

  • Fact: Since 2007, DC DMV has provided its vital documents in the seven languages required by the Language Access Act, including the driver license/identification card application, appeals form, certificate of title application, medical/eye form and numerous other vital documents. 
  • Fact: DC DMV's practice knowledge test was rolled out in April 2015 in seven languages.
  • Fact: Beginning in 2007, DC DMV's knowledge test was available in seven languages; then, in April 2015, the agency expanded it to 15 languages.
  • Fact: Since 2007, DC DMV's driver manual has been available in seven languages.
  • Fact: As the Director testified during the April 26, 2016 budget oversight hearing, DC DMV road test examiners will have cell phones when giving the road skills test and will use them to access the Language Line, which is an interpreter service, during the road test. This initiative takes effect on May 10, 2016.
  • Fact: The website pages about obtaining Limited Purpose credential, as well as other pertinent DC DMV information, is available on our DC DMV in Your Language webpage, which is available in six languages.
  • Fact: In Fiscal Year 2015, DC DMV scored 5 out of 5 on the Office of Human Rights (OHR) Accessibility Rating [PDF] and 4 out of 4 on OHR's Preparedness Rating.
  • Fact: As with all District government agencies, DC DMV uses language line to assist with interpretation. During the last two years (3/1/14 - 3/31/16), DC DMV used language line 3,240 times and there have been seven complaints which represent 0.2%. 

In addressing DC DMV's current appointment system for District residents who want to obtain a Limited Purpose driver license or identification card, Sadon only used part of DC DMV's response on making improvements. 

  • Fact: DC DMV's complete response about the appointment system was, "There are improvements DMV would like to see made to the appointment system that could enable it to work better such as limiting the ability to schedule multiple appointments at once and prompting residents to cancel appointments they may not be able to attend. Presently, our attempts to address these issues have caused additional customer inconveniences as it relates to using the system."