Washington DC Frequently Asked Questions about ID Cards, CDL and motorcycle licenses

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
To apply for a DC motorcycle license, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver license. Applicants must also pass a DC DMV knowledge test and provide proof of having completed a state-approved motorcycle demonstration course within the preceding six months. The motorcycle license application is only available in person and requires a $20 payment. Other fees may also apply.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington, DC Motorcycle License

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
One of the first steps in how to get a motorcycle license in DC is completing the necessary exams. This includes a knowledge exam as well as a road skills test. The written knowledge exam is offered at local DMV offices for $10 and does not require an appointment.

However, the DMV does not offer road skills tests onsite. Instead, you must enroll in a motorcycle demonstration course with a third party provider, and present your certificate of completion with your application.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington DC Motorcycle License

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
When you are ready to apply for a DC motorcycle endorsement on your license, you must collect the following items for your DMV visit:

  • A completed Driver License or Identification Card Application
  • Your valid driver’s license
  • A Certificate of Completion from a motorcycle demonstration course
  • A printout that proves you passed the written knowledge test
  • The $20 fee payment

Keep in mind that you must provide a certificate from a motorcycle course taken within the last six months. Older certificates do not qualify you for an endorsement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington DC Motorcycle License

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
In order to obtain a motorcycle license in DC, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Before a motorcycle endorsement is added to your license, you need to enroll in a third-party motorcycle demonstration course and pass the motorcycle knowledge test at the DMV. Make sure to obtain documentation for both to submit with your application. Once you complete both of these steps, you can pay the $20 fee to receive your M endorsement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington DC Motorcycle License

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
Military members must obtain a motorcycle endorsement the same way other drivers do. Those seeking to be authorized to operate a motorcycle must first acquire their driver’s licenses. Then, they must pass the knowledge and motorcycle road skills tests. Alternatively, applicants can take and pass an approved motorcycle demonstration course in Maryland or Virginia.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington DC Motorcycle License

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
According to DC motorcycle endorsement rules, three-wheeled motorcycles have the same requirements as the two-wheeled version. This means you must have an M endorsement added to your license in order to operate this type of vehicle. To apply for a motorcycle license endorsement, you are first required to pass a motorcycle demonstration course and written knowledge exam.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington DC Motorcycle License

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
The process of renewing a motorcycle license is similar to renewing a drivers license because in D.C., driving license holders are awarded motorcycle endorsements rather than separate licenses. Therefore, you may renew your motorcycle endorsement online and by mail as long as your current license is a REAL ID or is Limited Purpose. If it is not, however, you can apply to renew in person. However, if your license is more than 365 days expired, you must pass the knowledge test or take an approved online traffic course.

For more information: How to Renew a Motorcycle License in Washington DC

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
To ride a scooter or moped, residents must obtain a DC motorcycle license. You must be 18 years of age or older and already hold a District of Columbia driver’s license in the state. The next step is visiting a DMV center to complete the knowledge test and submit the necessary documentation.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington, DC Motorcycle License

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
As of 2015, motorists who want to obtain a motorcycle license in Washington, D.C. must successfully complete a motorcycle demonstration course within six months of applying. After taking the course, which must be approved by a U.S. state or jurisdiction, applicants must submit a certificate of completion to the DC Department of Motor Vehicles. Getting a motorcycle license also requires having a valid driver’s license and passing a knowledge test.

For more information: How to Apply for a Washington, DC Motorcycle License

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Yes, motorcycle helmet laws in DC state that motorcyclists of all ages must wear a helmet when while operating a motorcycle. Motorists must select helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation and meet safety standards. Motorcycle helmets typically have two main levels of coverage: full face and three-quarter. Motorcyclists should ensure that the helmet fits correctly and has no noticeable defects.

For more information: Washington DC Motorcycle Insurance

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
To apply for a commercial driver’s license in Washington, D.C., you must visit a DMV center in person. To qualify, applicants must have a valid driver’s license and meet eligibility requirements linked to driving history, residency and identity. Once those requirements are met, applicants must prove their understanding of what having a CDL license entails. This entails successfully passing a knowledge and road skills test. After this step, you can obtain the CDL.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
Before receiving a CDL license, you must pass skills tests and medical tests. You must take the CDL written drivers test and CDL road skills test. You may need to apply first for a CDL learners permit. Additionally, you must pass medical certification. You cannot hold a CDL license if you have certain conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
There are six different types of CDL endorsements in Washington DC, which permit you to drive different types of vehicles:

  • H endorsement: for transporting hazardous materials
  • N endorsement: for operating a truck with a tank
  • X endorsement: combines H and N endorsements
  • T endorsement: for operating trucks with a double or triple trailer
  • P endorsement: for transporting 16 or more passengers
  • S endorsement: for operating a school bus with passengers

When you apply to get your CDL license, you must select the type of endorsement you want and pass the appropriate tests.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
According to CDL license requirements in Washington DC, you must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid non-commercial license to apply. However, you may be eligible for an intrastate CDL if you are at least 18. Several other requirements are also involved, including the completion of certain knowledge tests and the submission of a medical certification. Additionally, your driving records will be thoroughly examined for any disqualifying actions.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
One of the most important steps in how to get a CDL license in DC is the medical examination. If you are seeking this type of license, you are required to undergo an examination by a certified medical examiner.

After your examination, the physician will provide you with a Medical Examination Report and a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, which you must submit to the DMV. In order to maintain your CDL license, the DMV requires you to complete this process every two years.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
There are two types of commercial driver’s licenses: interstate CDLs and intrastate CDLs. With the former, you may drive from one state to another without restrictions. However, the latter requires you to operate a vehicle within the borders of the state. With this in mind, you can only use your state CDL if you plan to operate in interstate commerce.

For more information: Apply for a Washington DC Commercial Driver’s License

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
The Washington, D.C. DMV requires CDL license holders to complete the renewal process in person. Motorists can visit the Brentwood Commercial Driver License Center up to six months before the license expiration date to complete the CDL renewal process. If your license has been expired for more than 60 calendar days, you must retake the knowledge and road skills tests to obtain the license.

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License in Washington, D.C.

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
You must have a medical examination completed by a certified medical examiner and supply a U.S. Department of Transportation Medical Examination Report. You must also acquire a Medical Examiner’s Certificate Card. These documents must be submitted as hard copies when you renew your CDL license.

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Washington DC

How often do I need to renew my CDL license?
CDL licenses and regular drivers licenses are valid for the same length of time. They are valid for eight years before they must be renewed. The renewal process for your CDL, however, is more complex than renewing a drivers license since you must bring in all of your documents in person to the DMV.

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License

What happens if I get traffic ticket fines and I have a CDL?
If you commit two serious violations within three years while operating a commercial vehicle, this results in a suspended CDL for a minimum of 60 days. Three or more offenses leads to suspension for at least 120 days.

In addition, if you lose your driving privileges for any reason while operating your personal vehicle, you also lose your CDL privileges.

For more information: Suspended Washington DC Drivers License

What is the DUI penalty for a CDL driver?
A CDL driver who receives a DUI citation receives the same maximum fines and jail time as a driver with a regular license. However, CDL drivers also face an additional mandatory minimum five-day jail sentence for all DUI tickets. Therefore a first-time offense has a mandatory minimum jail time of five days. A second-time offense has a mandatory minimum of 15 days, and third-time offense has a mandatory minimum of 17 days. A fourth-time offense mandates at least 50 days in jail. Additionally, a driver with a CDL license is considered impaired with a BAC of 0.04, as opposed to 0.08.

For more information: Washington DC DUIs and DWIs

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
It is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol level over .04 percent. According to the CDL manual, first-time offenses result in automatic license revocation for a period of one year. After this time, you can apply to reinstate your suspended CDL license by completing the necessary steps. For a second offense, you lose your CDL eligibility for life.

For more information: Suspended Washington DC Drivers License

What is an ID card?
An ID card is a card that serves as an official form of identification but grants no driving privileges. These ID cards help D.C. residents prove their address, identification and age for legal purposes. The District of Columbia has two available DMV ID cards – the REAL ID and the Limited Purpose ID. Real IDs meet federal standards and can be used to board domestic flights. Limited Purpose IDs do not meet standards set by the government and are solely for DC residents who do not have Social Security Numbers.

For more information: How to Apply for an ID card in Washington DC

Where can I obtain an ID card?
If you want an ID card from the DMV, you must apply in person at a DMV office. You can visit the DMV website to locate the DMV office closest to you. Before you visit in person, you can make an appointment online to skip the DMV wait line.

For more information: How to Apply for an ID Card in Washington DC

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
When first getting an ID card, you will receive a temporary one at the DMV which will be valid for 45 days. Your actual ID will arrive within 10 business days to your home address. The DC DMV does not send ID cards to P.O. boxes.

For more information: How to Apply for an ID Card in Washington DC

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
An initial non-driver photo ID costs $20 at the time of application. However, seniors, homeless residents and ex-offenders may obtain an ID at no cost. To renew or replace an ID card in Washington DC, payment of an additional $20 fee is required.

For more information: How to Apply for an ID Card in Washington DC

When does my ID card expire?
A REAL ID card is valid for eight years from the issue date for citizens. For non-citizens, an ID card expires at the end of the card holder’s planned stay in the United States. Once an ID card is expired, you must apply for a new card. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail 60 days before your ID card expiration date. You can renew an expired or near-expired card online, by mail or in person.

For more information: Renew and Replace ID Cards in DC

How do I renew my ID card?
You are eligible to renew a REAL ID or Limited Purpose ID card online if it expires within the next 60 days and you do not have to make any name or address changes. If your expiring ID card is not REAL ID or Limited Purpose ID compliant, you will have to renew your ID card in person and bring extra documentation to upgrade your ID to comply with new standards.

For more information: Renew and Replace ID Cards in DC

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
You can request to replace an ID card online, by mail or in person at a D.C. DMV office. You must qualify to be able to obtain a duplicate ID. Your ID must be a REAL ID or Limited Purpose non-driver ID card in order for you to obtain a duplicate, otherwise you must upgrade your duplicate ID.

For more information: Renew and Replace ID Cards in DC

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
It’s important to replace a lost drivers license in Washington DC in order to continue driving legally. If you lose your license or ID, you can order a replacement easily online or by mail. In order to apply for a replacement online, you must provide your original license number and other verification information.

It is important to note that your duplicate drivers license will be mailed to the address that is currently on file. The DMV does not mail replacement documents to temporary addresses.

For more information: Washington DC Drivers License Replacement

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
To get a veterans ID card, you must show that you were honorably discharged from service in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. You must also complete a form and submit your request in person at a DMV center. If this is your first time obtaining an ID card, you may have to provide additional documents such as proof of ID.

For more information: How to Apply for an ID Card in Washington DC