Amid scramble for appointments, DC pushes back deadline on expired licenses

D.C. is extending the July 1 deadline for residents to renew expired licenses and ID cards until September.

The new deadline is Sept. 9.

“To ensure that District residents have ample time to secure appointments at the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, Mayor Bowser is extending the July 1 date for valid DMV credentials to September 9,” Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure Lucinda Babers said in a statement provided to WTOP.

The move comes as many District residents have scrambled to snag a limited number of in-person appointments to renew IDs and handle other business with the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which has not allowed walk-ins since the start of the pandemic. DCist was the first to report the extended deadline.

“Every day I hear from people still struggling to get DMV appointments,” D.C. At-large Council member Janeese Lewis George tweeted Wednesday, along with a screenshot of the D.C. DMV appointment portal showing no appointments available at several locations.

“The Hunger Games appointment system didn’t work for vaccines and it’s not working for the DMV either,” Lewis George tweeted. “People shouldn’t have to stalk a website to get basic services. As D.C. reopens let’s reopen the DMV too.”

On Thursday, the city unveiled additional changes:

  • The city will increase the number of new appointments this month. The number will go from 6,000 to 10,000 as DMV employees return to work.
  • The DMV Rhode Island Service Center reopens full capacity Friday, June 25.
  • Employees will keep working overtime so appointments may be scheduled on select Monday and Wednesday evenings.
  • The DMV will continue to monitor appointments, adding more to specific categories as needed.

The D.C. DMV website notes that D.C. residents with a REAL ID can renew theirs online. However, residents without a REAL ID, residents 70 and older and people converting an out-of-state license must make an online appointment to renew their credentials in-person.

If you lost your ID or it was damaged or stolen, you can get a duplicate online or by mail but you have to know your driver’s license number.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, D.C. restarted parking enforcement for the first time since the start of pandemic, meaning drivers will have to display valid registration stickers on their cars or risk getting ticketed.

That move also led to a rush for appointments on the online portal.

At the start of the month, D.C. rolled out an amnesty program for drivers with outstanding tickets. The program runs through Sept. 30 and will include tickets issued before that date. During the amnesty period, drivers will only have to pay the original ticket amount, not any penalties that have accrued.

The program will benefit drivers who have had trouble obtaining a REAL ID because of outstanding tickets, the city said.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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