Apply for a License (Under 18) in Washington DC
Teen Drivers in Washington, D.C.
Teenagers and young adults must complete the requirements of the Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) gradual rearing of adult drivers (GRAD) program to get their unrestricted driver's license.
The GRAD program can help new drivers practice and develop valuable defensive driving skills and safe driving habits.
On this page you'll find information about the D.C. GRAD program requirements and your next steps towards your first driver's license.
Washingon, D.C. REAL ID Licenses
The D.C. DOT issues federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to limited-purpose driver’s licenses. Beginning October 2021, the REAL ID will allow you to continue using your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard ID will no longer suffice for these activities. After that date, without a REAL ID license, you will need another form of federal identification (like a passport or birth certificate).
You will automatically receive a REAL ID upon application; if you don't qualify, you'll receive a limited-purpose license instead. For more, visit the state's guide to REAL IDs.
New to Washington, D.C.?
If you've recently moved to Washington, D.C. from another U.S. state, you must transfer your out-of-state driver's license within 60 days of moving.
You will need to visit your local D.C. DMV office and:
- Submit a completed DC Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DMVR-4).
- Prove your identity, D.C. residency, Social Security number, and ability to drive. For more information, visit the D.C. DMV website.
- Surrender your valid out-of-state driver's license OR submit a certified driving record (issued within the last 30 days).
- Submit a completed Parental Consent Form to Obtain a Learner Permit (Form DMV-PCF-01), if you're 16 to 17 years old).
- Pass the vision exam.
- Pay the $47 fee.
If your out-of-state driver's license has been expired for more than 90 days, you must also pass both written and driving tests in Washington, D.C.
If you're under 21 years old, you will need to satisfy the requirements of the GRAD program. Read below for more information.
GRAD Program Requirements & Restrictions
The purpose of the graduated licensing program, or Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD), is to make sure drivers under 21 years old are properly educated and trained, and that they take on additional responsibilities only as they become able to handle them.
The program consists of the following stages:
- Learner's permit.
- Provisional license.
- Full driver's license.
The minimum age requirements to begin each phase of the Washington, D.C. GRAD program are as follows:
- Learner's permit: 16 years old.
- Provisional license: 16 1/2 years old.
- Full driver's license with conditions: 17 years old.
Washington, D.C. Learner's Permit
To receive your learner's permit, you must visit your local D.C. DMV office and:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Complete a DC Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DMVR-4).
- Submit a Parental Consent Form to Obtain a Learner Permit (Form DMV-PCF-01).
- Provide proof of your identity, age, residency and Social Security Number.
- You can use the DC DMV online document guide to help you.
- Pass the vision and DMV written knowledge test.
- Have your photo taken.
- Pay the $20 learner's permit fee and $10 knowledge test fee.
Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions & Behind-the-Wheel Practice
With your learner's permit, you can only drive when supervised by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
You'll need to complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving before moving on to the next steps of the Washington, D.C. GRAD program.
Before moving on to your provisional driver's license, you must:
- Be at least 16 1/2 years old.
- Have had your learner's permit for 6 months with no traffic violations.
- Have completed at least 40 hours of driving practice.
To obtain your provisional license, you must visit your local Washington, D.C. DMV office and:
- Submit a Certification of Eligibility for Provisional License (Form DMV-GRAD-HR40).
- Pass the road test. You can schedule a road test online on the DC DMV website.
- Pay the $10 road test fee and the $20 provisional license fee.
Provisional License Driving Restrictions & Behind-the-Wheel Practice
With your provisional driver's license, you can:
- Drive unsupervised:
- From 6:01 a.m. to 10:59 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
- From 6:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., Friday to Sunday in September through June.
- Drive unsupervised:
- From 6:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. every day in July and August.
- Only drive with 1 passenger who is 21 years old or older and has a valid driver's license, unless the passenger is an immediate family member.
Before moving on to your full driver's license, you'll need to complete at least 10 hours of supervised driving at night.
Full Washington, D.C. Driver License
Before you can apply for your Washington, D.C. driver's license, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old.
- Have had your provisional license for 6 months.
- Have had no traffic violations for the past 12 months.
To obtain your full D.C. driver's license, you must visit your local D.C. DMV office and:
- Submit a Certification of Eligibility for Full License with Conditions (Form DMV-GRAD-HR10).
- Pay the $47 driver's license fee.
Until you are at least 18 years old, your full driver's license will still have a few restrictions. You can drive:
- With no more than 2 passengers younger that 21 years old, unless they are your siblings.
- Between 6:01 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 6:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Friday to Sunday in September through June.
- Between 6:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. every day in July and August.
Follow the new license checklist to keep track of your progress towards your first full driver's license.