Washington D.C. drivers are about to see a new name on their licenses, and it’s not their own. According to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, licenses in D.C. will be changing from saying “District of Columbia” to “Washington D.C.” across the top starting in June. The “District of Columbia” wording has been proving confusing in some jurisdictions, escalating to the point of being detained in airport security lines or questioned when trying to buy alcohol out of state.

The old D.C. license:

Washington DC Driver's License Name Change

Officials have decided specifying “Washington D.C.” should remove any margin for error and allow DC license-holders to return to life sans questioning.

License-holders with the current “District of Columbia” driver’s licenses won’t need to rush to their local DMV any time soon. The licenses will remain valid until they expire, with new licenses using “Washington D.C.” being rolled out starting in June. This unfortunately leaves current DC license holders vulnerable to continued questioning and detainment by those who don’t actually know what or where the District of Columbia is. Perhaps with the roll-out of the new licenses, there should also come a U.S. geography brochure!


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