If you reside in the District for more than 60 days, you must convert your out-of-state driver license or provisional license to either a DC DMV REAL ID driver license or a REAL ID provisional license.
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:
You will have to surrender your current driver license or provisional license to DC DMV; if you do not have it, DC DMV will accept a certified driving record (issued by the state your license is from within the last 30 days) that reflects that your license is in good standing and has not been expired for more than 90 days.
If your out-of-state driver license has been expired for more than 90 days, you must take the DC DMV knowledge and road skills tests. More information on the tests is available at the links 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:
- REAL ID Proof of Identity—Full Legal Name and Date of Birth
- 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:
- REAL ID Proof of Lawful Presence
- 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
- 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 parental approval, if you are 16 or 17 years old. The parental consent form is available at the link below:
- Parental Consent Form to Obtain a Learner Permit
- Proof of ability to drive. Information on proof of ability to drive is available at the link below:
- Proof of Ability to Drive
- 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:
- Medical/Eye Form
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:
You will have a photograph taken at the service center when your documents are approved. 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 and identification card 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: You cannot convert your out-of-state license to a District license if you have any outstanding debts to the District of Columbia or unpaid fines for moving violations in other jurisdictions. Also, if you have an out-of-state driver license, and you apply for a DC identification card (instead of converting your out-of-state driver license to a District driver license), then this will result in the cancellation of your out-of-state driver license. Once your out-of-state driver license is cancelled, you will be required to retake the knowledge and road test to obtain a DC driver license.
More details on the process of obtaining a District driver license can be found in the sections linked below: