Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1401.02. Exemptions.

(a) The owner or operator of any motor vehicle who is not a legal resident of the District of Columbia, and who has complied with the laws of any state, territory, or possession of the United States, or of a foreign country or political subdivision thereof, shall, subject to the provisions of this section, be exempt for a continuous 30 day period immediately following the entrance of such owner or operator into the District of Columbia from compliance with § 50-1401.01 and § 50-1501.02. The 30-day exemption period shall not apply to commercial motor vehicles required to obtain a permit, as provided by § 50-1507.03 or charter busses identified in § 50-1501.02(j).

(b) Upon expiration of the 30 day exemption period, the owner or operator of any motor vehicle shall be required either:

(1) To comply with the provisions of §§ 50-1401.01 and 50-1501.02 and all applicable provisions of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations requiring the registration of motor vehicles, the display of identification tags, and the licensing of owners or operators of motor vehicles in the District of Columbia; or

(2) To purchase, from the Mayor or his designated agent, a reciprocity sticker which shall be valid 180 days from the date of its issuance if the owner or operator has complied with the motor vehicle registration and licensing laws of the state, territory, or possession of the United States, or of a foreign country or political subdivision thereof, of which the owner or operator is a legal resident and the owner or operator is not a legal resident of the District of Columbia. Upon expiration of the reciprocity sticker, the owner or operator who continues to reside in the District of Columbia shall be required to comply with §§ 50-1401.01 and 50-1501.02 and all applicable provisions of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations requiring the registration of motor vehicles, the display of identification tags, and the licensing of owners or operators of motor vehicles in the District of Columbia.

(c) The following persons shall, if they have complied with the motor vehicle registration and licensing laws of the state, territory, or possession of the United States of which they are a legal resident, be exempt during their respective term of office or employment from compliance with §§ 50-1401.01 and 50-1501.02, and all applicable provisions of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations requiring the registration of motor vehicles, the display of identification tags, and the licensing of owners or operators of motor vehicles in the District of Columbia:

(1) Senators, Representatives, and Delegates of the United States Congress;

(2) Personal employees of Senators, Representatives, and Delegates of the United States Congress who are legal residents of the state, territory, or possession from which said Senators, Representatives, and Delegates have been elected or appointed. Personal employees include only those individuals who work directly and specifically for a Senator, Representative, or Delegate of the United States Congress and does not include those staff members considered committee or patronage staff;

(3) The President and Vice-President of the United States;

(4) Officers of the executive branch of the United States government who are not domiciled within the District of Columbia, whose appointment to the office held by them was by the President of the United States, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and whose tenure of office is at the pleasure of the President;

(5) Any nonresident service member in accordance with section 511 of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, approved December 19, 2003 (117 Stat. 2835; 50 U.S.C. § 571);

(6) Any foreign mission, its members, or dependents of its members, but only if they have been issued a title and registration by the United States Department of State; and

(7) Any minor under 21 years of age or spouse of any person identified in paragraphs (1) through (6); provided, that the person identified in paragraphs (1) through (6) signs an affidavit stating the minor or spouse resides at the same address in the District as the affiant.

(d) Those persons listed under subsection (c) of this section shall be required to obtain and display a valid reciprocity sticker. The Mayor shall issue, upon application and a fee of $50, a reciprocity sticker for those persons listed under subsection (c) of this section, valid for 1 year, and renewable for the respective term of office or employment.

(e) Persons enrolled as full-time students engaged in higher education (as defined by the respective institutions of higher education in the District of Columbia) in an institution of higher education licensed to operate in the District of Columbia, and who are not residents of the District of Columbia, shall, if they have complied with the motor vehicle registration and licensing laws of the state, territory, or possession of the United States of which they are a legal resident, be exempt during their respective tenure as full-time students engaged in higher education from compliance with §§ 50-1401.01 and 50-1501.02, and all applicable provisions of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations requiring the registration of motor vehicles, the display of identification tags, and the licensing of owners or operators of motor vehicles in the District of Columbia; provided, that the full-time student shall be required to obtain and display a valid reciprocity sticker.

(1) A full-time student shall be required to submit proof, as required by the Mayor, that the student is a full-time student and is in compliance with this subsection.

(2) The Mayor shall issue, upon application and for a $338 fee, a reciprocity sticker to full-time students who comply with this section. Such sticker shall be valid for 1 year. A full-time student while enrolled in an institution of higher education in the District of Columbia and while in compliance with this subsection shall be able to obtain successive reciprocity stickers, each valid for 1 year and each for a fee of $338.

(3) A full-time student who is a resident of the District of Columbia, who is registered to vote in the District of Columbia, who is employed for more than 20 hours a week, whose address for the purpose of paying tuition for higher education is in the District of Columbia, whose parent or parents domicile in the District of Columbia or whose parents are divorced or separated and the custodial parent domiciles in the District of Columbia, whose student loan is from a bank or savings and loan in the District of Columbia, or who fulfills any criteria promulgated by the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall be required to comply with § 50-1401.01 and § 50-1501.02, and all applicable provisions of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations requiring the registration of motor vehicles, the display of identification tags, and the licensing of owners or operators of motor vehicles in the District of Columbia.

(4) Notwithstanding any other law, full-time students who reside within the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 2A and 2E shall not be issued or use a reciprocity parking sticker for out of state vehicles. As of January 1, 2003, this provision shall also apply to full-time students who reside within the boundaries of ANC 3D06 and 3D09.

(e-1)(1) An owner or operator of a motor vehicle shall be exempt from compliance with § 50-1401.01, § 50-1501.02, and sections 414.1, 422.1, and 422.7 of Title 18 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR § 414.1, 422.1, 422.7); provided, that the owner or operator:

(A) Is a legal resident of a state, territory, possession of the United States, foreign country, or political subdivision other than the District of Columbia;

(B) Owns residential property in the District of Columbia;

(C) Lives at the residential property described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph on a part-time basis;

(D) Has a motor vehicle registered and licensed in a state, territory, possession of the United States, foreign country, or political subdivision other than the District of Columbia; and

(E) Has complied with the motor vehicle registration and licensing laws of a state, territory, or possession of the United States, or of a foreign country or political subdivision thereof, of which the owner or operator is a legal resident.

(2) An individual who meets the qualifications set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be required to submit proof, as required by the Mayor, that the individual owns residential property in the District and is a part-time resident.

(3) An individual who meets the qualifications set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection may obtain and display a valid reciprocity sticker. The Mayor shall issue, upon application and for a $338 fee, a reciprocity sticker to the motor vehicle owner or operator who complies with this subsection, which shall be valid for one year. A motor vehicle owner or operator while in compliance with this subsection shall be able to obtain successive reciprocity stickers, each valid for one year, and each for a fee of $338.

(e-2)(1) A motor vehicle owner that is a partnership, corporation, association, trust, limited liability company, or government entity and has legally complied with the motor vehicle registration and licensing laws of a state, territory, or possession of the United States, shall be exempt from compliance with § 50-1501.02, and sections 414.1, 422.1, 422.7, and 422.10 of Title 18 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR § 414.1, 422.1, 422.7, 422.10); provided, that:

(A) The vehicle is housed in the District of Columbia;

(B) The vehicle is provided to an employee of the owner or lessee for the employee’s use;

(C) The employee is domiciled in the District of Columbia;

(D) The employee is licensed by the District of Columbia to operate a motor vehicle; and

(E) The business or government entity purchases a reciprocity sticker for the vehicle provided to its employee.

(2) The Mayor shall issue, upon application and for a $338 fee, a reciprocity sticker to the motor vehicle owner or operator who complies with this subsection, which shall be valid for one year. While in compliance with this subsection, the motor vehicle owner or operator shall be able to obtain successive reciprocity stickers, each valid for one year, and each for a fee of $338. There shall be no fee for vehicles owned by the District or the United States government.

(f) Repealed.

(g) The Mayor or his designated agent is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements or arrangements with the duly authorized representatives of a state, territory, or possession of the United States or a foreign country or political subdivision thereof, to vary the conditions under which the validity of motor vehicle registration and identification tags of any category of vehicles such as dealer tags, tags for persons with disabilities, and rental vehicle tags of such state, territory, or possession of the United States or foreign country or political subdivision thereof, shall be recognized in the District of Columbia.

(h) The Mayor of the District of Columbia shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement and enforce this section. Such rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of how many times during the 30-day exemption period an agent or employee of the Mayor of the District of Columbia must observe a motor vehicle for purposes of the enforcement of this section and a method of enforcing the provisions of this section applicable to commercial vehicles.

(i) Any operator of a motor vehicle who is not a legal resident of the District of Columbia and who does not have in his immediate possession an operator’s permit issued by a state, territory, or possession of the United States, or foreign country or political subdivision thereof, having motor vehicle reciprocity relations with the District, shall not operate a motor vehicle in the District unless: (1) the laws of the state, territory, or possession of the United States, or foreign country or political subdivision thereof, under which the motor vehicle is registered do not require the issuance of a motor vehicle operator’s permit; or (2) has submitted to examination within 72 hours after entering the District and obtained an operator’s permit in accordance with the provisions of § 50-1401.01. Any individual who violates any provision of this subsection shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than $5 and not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned not less than 30 days, or both.


(Mar. 3, 1925, 43 Stat. 1123, ch. 443, § 8; Feb. 27, 1931, 46 Stat. 1424, ch. 317, § 2; Aug. 16, 1954, 68 Stat. 733, ch. 741, § 6; Apr. 6, 1978, D.C. Law 2-69, § 5, 24 DCR 6800; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-80, § 2, 29 DCR 149; July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-122, § 2, 29 DCR 2080; Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-145, § 7, 29 DCR 3138; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-24, § 9, 30 DCR 3341; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 506, 43 DCR 4569; Sept. 5, 1997, D.C. Law 12-14, § 8, 44 DCR 3620; June 28, 2002, D.C. Law 14-167, § 3, 49 DCR 4475; June 5, 2003, D.C. Law 14-307, § 1706(b), 49 DCR 11664; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, §§ 202(d), 401(c), 54 DCR 903; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 6062, 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 34, 59 DCR 5567; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-244, § 2, 59 DCR 14942; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 268(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-303.

1973 Ed., § 40-303.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-1401.01, § 50-1403.01, § 50-1403.02, § 50-1501.02, § 50-1501.04, and § 50-2201.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-167 rewrote subsec. (e)(4) which had read:

“(4) Notwithstanding any other law, this subsection shall not apply to full-time students who reside within the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 2A and 2E.”

D.C. Law 14-307, in subsec. (e)(2), substituted “$338” for “$250” in two different places.

D.C. Law 16-279 rewrote subsec. (a); in subsec. (c), added pars. (5), (6), and (7); and in subsec. (d), substituted “a fee of $10, which may be increased by the Mayor to cover administrative costs” for “without a fee”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) The owner or operator of any motor vehicle who is not a legal resident of the District of Columbia, and who has complied with the laws of any state, territory, or possession of the United States, or of a foreign country or political subdivision thereof, shall, subject to the provisions of this section, be exempt for a continuous 30 day period immediately following the entrance of such owner or operator into the District of Columbia from compliance with § 50-1401.01 and § 50-1501.02.”

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsec. (d), substituted “a fee of $50,” for “a fee of $10, which may be increased by the Mayor to cover administrative costs,”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “tags for persons with disabilities” for “handicapped tags” in (g).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-244 added (e-1) and (e-2).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “and not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “nor more than $50” in (i).

Cross References

Registration of motor vehicles, exemptions, see §§ 50-1501.02 and 50-1501.04.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 8 of the International Registration Plan Agreement Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-291, July 9, 1996, 43 DCR 4152), § 8 of the International Registration Plan Agreement Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-401, October 9, 1996, 43 DCR 5702), § 8 of the International Registration Plan Agreement Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-465, December 30, 1996, 44 DCR 161) and, § 8 of the International Registration Plan Agreement Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-17, March 3, 1997, 44 DCR 1756).

For temporary inapplicability of subsection (e) of this section to full-time students who reside within the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 2A and 2E, see § 506 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), § 506 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-429, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6151), and § 506 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-2, February 19, 1997, 44 DCR 1590).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1706(b) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-544, December 4, 2002, 49 DCR 11700).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1706(b) of the Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-27, February 24, 2003, 50 DCR 2151).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1706(b) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Amendment Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-103, June 20, 2003, 50 DCR 5499).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 268(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 8 of International Registration Plan Agreement Temporary Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-189, April 9, 1997, law notification 43 DCR 2384).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 506 of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Temporary Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-226, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2584).

Short Title

Short title: Section 6061 of D.C. Law 19-21 provided that subtitle G of title VI of the act may be cited as “Reciprocity Registration Amendment Act of 2011”.

Editor's Notes

Section 1001 of D.C. Law 11-198 provided that titles I, II, III, V, and VI and sections 405 and 406 of the act shall apply after September 30, 1996.

Definitions applicable: For definitions applicable in this chapter, see § 50-2201.02.

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.

D.C. Law 19-182, effective October 22, 2012, amended this section subject to the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register. As of April 1, 2013, this certification has not occurred; therefore the amendment has not been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.