License Renewal in Washington DC
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the DMV's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the DMV's most recent updates for the latest information.
Renew Your Washington, D.C. Driver's License
When your Washington, D.C. driver's license is set to expire, you'll need to submit a renewal application to the Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (D.C. DMV). If you have an expiring DC DMV driver's license, it will either be renewed with a REAL ID driver's license or a Limited Purpose driver's license.
Continue reading this page to find out how to renew your D.C. driver's license before it expires.
D.C. REAL ID Licenses
REAL ID licenses are federally compliant and allow you entry onto domestic flights and into federal facilities. When renewing your license, you'll receive a REAL ID unless you cannot provide proof of your Social Security number. See below for details.
To get info about other types of driver's licenses or permits, please visit any of the following links:
- Commercial driver's license (CDL) renewals
- Washington, D.C. ID cards
- Driver's permits
- Motorcycle licenses
When to Renew Your D.C. Driver's License
In order to drive, you must hold a D.C. driver's license and renew it every 8 years.
If the D.C. DMV has your current address, you should receive a renewal reminder in the mail 60 days before your driver's license expires. You are not required to bring this card with you to the D.C. DMV office when you renew.
Expired Driver's License
IMPORTANT: Expired D.C. driver's licenses must be renewed in person.
There are no additional fees if you let your driver's license expire; however, if you allow it to be expired for 365 days or more, you will need to re-take the written test when you renew. If your license has been expired for longer than 545 days, you must also take the road test again.
Renew Your D.C. Driver's License
If you're a U.S. citizen, your Washington, D.C. driver's license is valid for 8 years at a time. If you're a non-U.S. citizen, your driver's license will have an expiration date based on the expiration of your immigration documents.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to renew your D.C. driver's license:
- By mail
- See Out-of-State D.C. Residents & Military below for these steps.
- In person at your local D.C. DMV office.
We'll walk you through the online and in-person options below.
NOTE: If you're 70 years old or older, you must renew your driver's license in person.
Out-of-State D.C. Residents & Military
Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany
If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.
If you're temporarily living outside of Washington D.C. you will only be able to renew online if you have a REAL ID driver's license. With the change to REAL ID-compliant cards on May 1st, 2014, your personal information must be on file with the DMV. This information includes proof of:
- Identity (full legal name and birthdate).
- Social Security number.
- Lawful presence in the United States.
- D.C. residency.
The cost to renew your Washington, D.C. driver's license is $47 and your renewed license will be valid for 8 years.
Washington, D.C. DMV offices currently accept the following payment methods:
- Money orders.
- VISA, Discover, or MasterCard.
Online renewals must be paid by VISA, Discover, or MasterCard credit/debit card.
Some offices may not accept a specific payment method. Be sure to contact your local D.C. DMV office before your visit to make sure your method of payment is accepted.
- Social Security Number Declaration for Limited Purpose Credential
- This form is used by the D.C. DMV to confirm whether or not you have a Social Security number, whether you are eligible to receive one, OR to state that you cannot establish legal presence in the U.S. but have been assigned a Social Security number.