This Step: Get a Learner Permit
Get a Learner Permit in Washington DC
If you’re a teen looking to drive, you must follow Washington DC’s Department of Motor Vehicle's (DMV) Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) program. This step-by-step program applies to all new drivers ages 16 through 21, beginning with the learner's permit.
A) Ace a Few DMV Practice Permit Tests
All questions are based on information (road sign identification, turning in intersections, night driving...) contained in Washington DC’s Driver Manual ― your prime study source. If you can't download the manual, you can grab a free copy from any DMV office location.
B) Gather the Appropriate Documents and License Fees
On the day of your learner's permit test, you’ll need to bring the following:
- Proof of name and date of birth
- Proof of DC residency
- Your Social Security number
- A completed Notarized Parental Consent form along with a copy of your parent’s or legal guardian’s driver license or Washington ID card (only if under 18)
- A completed Driver License Application
- Cash, money order or credit card (Visa, Discover, MasterCard) to cover all fees
C) Take the Washington DC Learner Exam
Visit any District of Columbia DMV office to take the learner's permit exam. No appointment necessary. The DMV administers the test on a walk-in basis only. If needed, the exam is offered in the following languages:
You must correctly answer at least 20 of the 25 questions to pass.
While at the DMV office you will also be required to pass a vision test.
Pass both exams and you'll leave with a learner's permit, valid for one year.
Retake Written Permit Test
If you fail the permit test three times during a 12-month span, you will not be allowed to take the exam a fourth time until exactly 12 months after the date of your first attempt.