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Washington, D.C. Driver’s Permits
The Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires all drivers younger than 21 years old to fulfill the requirements of its Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) program before obtaining a full driver’s license.
The first step of the process is getting your learner’s permit. During this period, you’ll improve your driving awareness, and learn how to drive safely.
Continue reading this page to get information about WA D.C. learner’s permits and start the process of getting your WA, D.C. driver’s license.
You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a D.C. learner’s permit.
To apply, you’ll need to visit your local D.C. DMV office and:
- Submit a completed DC Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DMVR-4).
- Submit a completed Parental Consent Form to Obtain a Learner Permit (Form DMV-PCF-01), if you’re 16 to 17 years old.
- Show proof of your age, identity, residency, and Social Security number (SSN).
- For a complete list of acceptable documents, visit the WA D.C. DMV website.
- Pass your vision test.
- Pass a DMV written test.
- Have your photograph taken.
- Pay the $20 learner’s permit fee and $10 knowledge test fee.
You must hold your Washington, D.C. learner’s permit for 6 months before moving on to the next steps of the GRAD program.
NOTE: If you do NOT have a Social Security number, you can submit a Social Security Number Declaration (Form DMV-SSN-001). The Washington, D.C. DMV will issue you a limited purpose learner’s permit.
If you’ve never been licensed in Washington, D.C., you must pass a written exam before the DC DMV will issue you a learner’s permit. The fee for your knowledge test is $10.
The test contains questions about traffic laws, road signs, and safety rules, which will help determine if you’re ready to operate a vehicle in the state. You will have 60 minutes to complete the test.
If you fail the written knowledge test, you will need to wait at least 72 hours before retaking it. If you fail 6 times within 1 year, you will need to wait 1 year from when you failed your 1st test, before you can try again.
When you practice driving with your learner’s permit in Washington, D.C.:
- A licensed adult who is at least 21 years old must supervise you.
- You can only drive between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The DC DMV requires you to complete a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving practice before moving to the next step of the process.
If you’re younger than 21 years old, you must complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving practice before you can obtain your provisional driver’s license. The DC DMV requires you to practice driving with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
You will need to record your driving hours on a Certification of Eligibility for Provisional License (Form DMV-GRAD-HR40).
Once you complete the behind-the-wheel requirement and have held your learner permit for 6 months, you’re eligible to apply for your D.C. provisional driver’s license.
- Proof of your identity, residency, and Social Security number (SSN).
- Payment for the $20 duplicate permit fee.
NOTE: The only location where you cannot replace a learner’s permit is at the Adjudication Services, Brentwood Road Test Office and Inspection Station.
To apply for your provisional driver’s license, you must:
- Be at least 16 1/2 years old.
- Have held your instruction permit for at least 6 months.
- Have completed a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving practice.
For specific details about how to apply for your provisional driver’s license, please read our page about Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Washington, D.C.
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