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  • Renewing Your License in Washington DC

    Registering a car?

    It's a good time to check car insurance rates

    Find the lowest rate among top providers.

    Determine the Status of Your License

    In order to drive, you must own a driver's license, making it imperative that you renew your license every 8 years.

    Possessing car insurance is also mandatory. If you're in the market for insurance, you can compare rates at our Insurance Center.

    Valid License

    If you're a U.S. citizen, your driver's license is valid for 8 years. But if you're a non-citizen, your license's expiration date is contingent upon the expiration date for your immigration documents. Depending on your circumstance, you have a variety of ways to renew:

    • In person
    • Online
    • By mail

    If you have any doubts on the current status of your license, consider ordering a driving record report.

    NOTE: Renewing a commercial license (CDL) requires different procedures from renewing a regular driver's license.

    Expired License

    Attempting to renew an expired license will not cost you in fines, but it may cost you in time. If you allow your license to remain expired for 1 year or more, you must retake the written test. And if you allow it to remain expired for longer than 545 days, you must also take the road test again.

    Expired licenses must be renewed in person.

    If you're unclear on the current status of your license, you can find out for sure by ordering a driving record report.

    Suspended License

    Ordering a driving record report will update you on the latest status of your license. If you're cleared for reinstatement, you will probably notice that your insurance rates have vaulted through the roof. You can either accept the rates as is, or shop around for lower premiums at our Insurance Center.

    Lost License

    Is your license lost or stolen? Find out how to obtain a duplicate on our Lost License page.

    Check Your Renewal Notice

    Depending on your license's expiration date, you should receive a renewal notice 60 days prior.

    Renew Online

    You cannot renew online if:

    • You used the online option for your last renewal.
    • You recently changed address or name and failed to notify the DMV.
    • You are 70 years old or older.
    • Your driver license does not have a digital photograph and signature.

    When renewing online, you must pay the $44 fee using VISA, MasterCard or Discover.

    Renew By Mail

    To apply, you must mail the following:

    1. A completed D.C. Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DMVR-4).
    2. Payment for the $44 fee.

    Mail to:

    • DC Department of Motor Vehicles
    • ATTN: Driver License/ID Card Renewal
    • P.O. Box 90120
    • Washington, DC 20090

    NOTE: You cannot request consecutive absentee renewals.

    Renew in Person

    Visit any DMV service location with:

    NOTE: Non-citizens must renew at the Georgetown service center.

    Update Your Driving Skills

    Negotiating DC's ever-congested streets requires skill and patience. To keep road-sharp you should consider enrolling in a supplemental traffic school every few years. And, as an added bonus, it may even reduce your insurance rates.

    If your insurance company does not recognize the advantages of traffic schools, you always have the option of searching for a new insurance carrier.