Washington DC

DC Catching Up on Backlog of Thousands of Expired Licenses

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Nearly 10% of non-commercial driver's licenses issued in D.C. are expired as the city catches up on renewals.

The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles was closed for months last year, and, since reopening, has been operating on modified schedules, requiring appointments for in-person services like driver's license renewals.

"We need all of our staff back, which we don’t currently have all of our staff back, that’s happening," Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

D.C. officials have acknowledged there's a backlog and have extended deadlines for renewing expired licenses and registrations, but have not reported numbers until now.

In a written response to questions from D.C. Council member Anita Bonds obtained by News4, DMV Director Gabriel Robinson said that of the more than 467,126 non-commercial driver's licenses currently issued, more than 45,000 are expired.

As for non-commercial vehicles, there are more than 282,244 currently registered in D.C.

Nearly 35,000 have expired tags.

Drivers have until Sept. 9 to renew licenses and tags.

Robinson's email indicates that 95% of D.C. drivers have the Real ID licenses with a black star, which means they can renew online and all tags can be renewed
online or by mail.

Bowser said it could be a while before the city's DMV offices will fully reopen without appointments.

"We will avoid a crush of people coming into the centers having to stand in lines until when we feel like we’ve gotten over that crush of demand. Then, we will be able to come back to first come first serve operation," Bowser said.

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