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  • New to Washington DC

    America's hometown, our nation's capital, the seat of democracy in the United States―Washington, DC is all of these things. With more than 600,000 residents within approximately 68 square miles, the District of Columbia has been referred to as a city-state divided into several smaller villages, or wards.

    Named after Christopher Columbus and our nation's first president, George Washington, the city of Washington, DC, was established as the seat of the U.S. government. It's not surprising that the streets and neighborhoods are centered around the nucleus of the government buildings.

    Government and tourism are the two main industries in Washington, DC. People come from all over the country and the world to visit the capital of the United States―to see firsthand the home of the seated president, to visit the historic monuments and museums, and to exercise their First Amendment rights on a national stage.

    Outside of politics, every spring the annual Cherry Blossom Festival draws thousands of tourists to see the famous and beautiful cherry trees. These symbolic blooms were given as a gift by Japan to the United States; they line the Tidal Basin and adorn several locations among the monuments around town. The Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, the National Cathedral, and the several war memorials are also popular with tourists.

    The District of Columbia boasts several distinguished institutions of higher learning. Georgetown University, American University, Gallaudet University, and Howard University all have their home here.

    Getting Settled

    When you move to the District of Columbia, the first thing you want to do (well, within 30 days) is visit a local DMV service location to get your DC driver's license. It's easy to convert your out-of-state license.

    You'll then need to get auto insurance to comply with the district's car insurance requirements.

    Next you'll need to convert your vehicle's registration and title . As with your driver's license, you have 30 days to register your motor vehicle in the District of Columbia.

    Weather and Climate

    The climate in Washington, DC, is one of contrasts. Winter slams you with blustery snow and ice storms, and the summer humidity can make you want to stay inside out of the baking heat. Spring and fall make up for these extremes by being very temperate and enjoyable, with bright, clear, and sometimes chilly days.

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