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  • Vehicle Code in Washington DC

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    What is the Vehicle Code?

    Just as Washington, DC, is a unique jurisdiction in the United States, so are its laws a unique, patchworked hybrid of British law, the early laws of the state of Maryland and the state of Virginia (both of whom ceded land to comprise the district), and acts of Congress.

    Even today the laws passed in the District of Columbia by the city council must go through a congressional review period before they officially become law. This unusual procedure is in place because, not being a state, the district does not otherwise have representation in Congress.

    Title 50 is the section within the DC Code that deals with motor and non-motor vehicles and traffic laws. These laws are passed in order to promote safety, protection, and order for both drivers and pedestrians alike.

    The laws in the DC Code are updated as new laws are passed by the Council of the District of Columbia.

    As you can see, the motor vehicle portion of the DC Code covers not only the rules of the road for the District of Columbia, but it also covers a wide variety of other topics such as the sale of vehicles, insurance, the regulation of car dealers, and the basic responsibilities of motorists.

    Important Topics in Title 50

    When you navigate to the home page for the DC Code, you will have to scroll down to Title 50 and then drill down to the specific topics you want to research. Here are some of the topics covered:

    Title 50. Motor and Non-Motor Vehicles And Traffic

    Subtitle I: Commercial and Government Vehicles

    • Insurance, inspections, and registration
    • Driver safety programs
    • Penalties

    Subtitle II: Consumer Protection

    • Consumers' remedy for defective vehicles
    • Disclosure of damages or defects in used motor vehicles; violations; penalties
    • Rules and regulations

    Subtitle III: Environmental Protection

    Subtitle IV: Motorized Vehicle Registration, Inspection, Licensing

    • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Driver License Compact
    • Inspection
    • Motor vehicle owners and operators responsibility
    • Operator's permits
    • Registration of motor vehicles

    Subtitle V: Non-Motorized Vehicles

    Subtitle VI: Safety

    • Distracted-driving prevention
    • Mandatory use of seat belts
    • Senior citizen motor vehicle accident prevention course certification

    Subtitle VII: Traffic

    • Regulation of traffic
    • Traffic adjudication

    Subtitle VII: Vehicles on Public and Private Space

    • Abandoned and junk vehicle removal
    • Public parking authority
    • Regulation of parking

    Check Your License Status

    Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DMV. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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