DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES FUNCTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC
(December 2020 edition – Our thanks to Susan Davis for compiling this information.)
Has your DC Driver’s License expired? No appointments available at the DMV to renew it? What about your car’s registration and emissions inspection sticker? Do you need a Disability Parking Placard? Don’t you have to get a REAL ID very soon? And what about your Visitor Parking Permit or Residential Parking Permit?
The most important thing to know is that your driver’s license, parking permit and registration are still valid. They will not expire until after the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted and the DMV is operating at full capacity, probably in mid-2021. The deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended until October 2021. Here is the link to the official DMV memo explaining the Credential Extension. You are encouraged to print the memo and take it with you when travelling or using your Driver’s License for ID.
This summary is aimed to assist you if you choose to renew your credentials with the DMV during the pandemic while the DMV is not operating at full capacity and visits to most DMV offices are only by appointment. Links to useful sites and printable documents are below. If you don’t have a printer or don’t have internet access, please email email@example.com or call 202-656-7322 any day between 8am and 8pm and we will be glad to review the process with you and print out forms for you and get them to you. You can also get assistance with issues by calling 311 and being patient.
You may get a US Mail or email notice 60 days before your registration expires which will help you get started.
Click here for how to renew your registration online or by mail: Vehicle Registration Renewals
Senior citizens should request expedited services when they arrive in order to go to the head of the line. More information is at inspection station.
You can also go to the “self-serve” inspection kiosk at 300 Van Buren St NW, which is entered from southbound 3rd Street. (Note that the self-serve kiosk will only work if your car has had at least one previous inspection at the Half St. facility.) The payment for inspection is included in your registration fee.
You can renew your residential parking permit when you renew your car’s registration.
The 2020 Visitor Parking Permit will be good until sometime next year when a new
permit process will begin.
Disabled Parking Placard: You can apply for or renew a Disabled Parking Permit Placard by mail or online.
You will need to have a doctor’s note stating that you have mobility difficulties.
Here is where you can print out the application form including the doctor’s note:
More information for completing the form, including a place to apply online by scanning
in a completed paper application, begins at Disability Parking Application Process.
Driver’s License/REAL ID: In order to renew your driver’s license and obtain a REAL ID, you need to visit a DMV office in person, where you will submit your REAL ID documents to be copied and to complete an eye test. These visits are by appointment only.
To make an appointment online click here: DMV Appointments or you can call 311. Most of the time there are no appointments available but if to go online or call 311 on Tuesdays at or after 3pm, new appointment times are released, and you can sign up.
While you are waiting for your appointment you will need to print out and complete this application form: Driver's License Application Form.
If you are 70 or older you will need to have a doctor complete the doctor’s statement on the application AND ALSO have a medical doctor and an optician/ophthalmologist complete a separate medical/eye form which you can find here: DMV Medical Requirements.
To have the eye form completed you will probably have to go in person for an eye exam. You will need to collect forms to get your REAL ID card, including a valid passport or birth certificate, marriage certificate, Social Security card, and two proofs of address.
There is a useful online questionnaire on the DMV site which can assist you in determining which documents you will need. You will find it in the middle of this page: Document Verification Guide.
There is a lot more information on the REAL ID documents on the DMV site. You will want to double check all your documents before going to the DMV so you won’t have to make a second visit.
ERCV Can Help: Please feel free to email or call ERCV for assistance in dealing with the DMV (or any other government agency). We are glad to print out any forms and to help you find website locations. We have a volunteer who will help you at the inspection kiosk on request. The office email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone is 202-656-7322.