District of Columbia

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the District of Columbia. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

District of Columbia
AV legislation

Authorizes full deployment of AVs with a human operator.

District of Columbia
Bike helmets required?

Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 16.

District of Columbia
Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1970.

District of Columbia
Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

5 years

District of Columbia
Provisions for Mature Drivers

70 and over: no electronic renewal; medical certification required

District of Columbia
Rural Interstates: Cars (MPH)

55

District of Columbia
Rural Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

55

District of Columbia
Urban Interstates: Cars (MPH)

n/a

District of Columbia
Urban Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

n/a

District of Columbia
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars (MPH)

n/a

District of Columbia
Other Limited Access Roads: Trucks (MPH)

n/a

District of Columbia
Increased penalty for high BAC

.20, .25 and .30

District of Columbia
Administrative license suspension on first offense

2-90 days or until deposition

District of Columbia
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

District of Columbia
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

District of Columbia
Open container laws

Yes

District of Columbia
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

District of Columbia
Child Restraint Required

Under 2 yrs or under 40 lbs in rear-facing child restraint

2–3 yrs old and under 30 lbs in forward-facing child restraint in the back seat

Under 8 yrs old and under 57” tall in a child restraint or booster seat in the back seat

District of Columbia
Adult Safety Belt Permissible

8-15 yrs

District of Columbia
Full Privilege Minimum Age

18 years

District of Columbia
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

District of Columbia
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

District of Columbia
Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

40 (10 in intermediate stage)

District of Columbia
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16 / 6

District of Columbia
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

September through June: 11 p.m. - 6 a.m. (Sun-Thurs); Midnight - 6 a.m. (Fri-Sat) July through August: midnight - 6 a.m.

District of Columbia
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no passengers Thereafter: No more than 2 passengers under 21

District of Columbia
Type of Law

Primary

District of Columbia
Who is Covered?

16 and over

District of Columbia
In What Seat?

All

District of Columbia
Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

District of Columbia
All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

District of Columbia
All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers with learner's permit. Primary law.

District of Columbia
Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

District of Columbia
Speed Cameras: State Law

Permitted by district law

District of Columbia
Speed Cameras: Where Permitted

Citywide

District of Columbia
Red Light Cameras: State Law

Permitted by district law

District of Columbia
Red Light Cameras: Where Permitted

Citywide

District of Columbia
DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

None

District of Columbia
Marijuana Possession and Use

Decriminalized and legal for recreational and medical use

District of Columbia
Marijuana Impaired Driving

None

Public Affairs Specialist

You will serve as a Bilingual Spanish Public Affairs Specialist in the Office of Media Relations. The individual plans, participates in, and executes NHTSA’s high-profile public information programs directed toward the news media, industry media, consumer organizations, and the public.

More Traffic Cameras, Reckless Driving Classes Among D.C. Plans for Bad Drivers

Jonathan Adkins, a D.C. resident and executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said automated enforcement has been effective nationwide. He said whether fines or points are issued — or both — the primary goal should be to eliminate dangerous driving. “Fines have a more immediate deterrence and accountability impact, while points have to rack up before any real-world action occurs,” he said. “In that sense, points are useful to take action on drivers that have a clear pattern of dangerous driving.”

Subscribe to District of Columbia