Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–2853.12. License, certification, and registration criteria; waiver.

(a) A person applying for licensure, certification, or registration under this subchapter shall establish to the satisfaction of the Mayor that the person:

(1) Has not been convicted of an offense which bears directly on the fitness of the person to be licensed; provided, that this restriction shall not apply to the following occupations, unless the Mayor has issued rules before [May 24, 2005], specifying the criteria for the determination of fitness for licensure based on a specific offense committed by an applicant:

(A) Asbestos worker;

(B) Barber;

(B-i) Body artist;

(C) Cosmetologist;

(D) Commercial bicycle operator;

(E) Electrician;

(F) Funeral director;

(G) Operating engineer;

(H) Plumber/gasfitter;

(I) Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic; and

(J) Steam engineer.

(2) Is at least 18 years of age, or at least 17 years of age if applying for license as a barber under § 47-2853.72 or as a cosmetologist, a cosmetologist-manager, a cosmetologist-owner, or any subcategory of specialty cosmetologist under § 47-2853.82;

(3) Has successfully completed the requirements set forth in law or regulation, as applicable;

(4) If required, has passed an examination or otherwise met the requirements established by the relevant board to demonstrate his or her fitness to practice the profession or occupation; and

(5) Meets any other requirements established by the relevant board by regulation to assure that the applicant has had the proper training, experience, and qualifications to practice the profession or occupation or any subcategory or specialization of the profession or occupation.

(b) A board shall waive the requirements for passage of an examination or other proof of fitness to practice for any person who:

(1) Presents proof that he or she is licensed or certified in the same or substantially similar profession or occupation, and is currently in good standing, in any state which, on the date such license or certification was issued had standards at least as high as those required for licensure or certification in the District and admits professionals licensed by the District in a like manner; or

(2) Has passed an examination acceptable to the board (or has met other requirements for certification) and has been certified by a recognized national certifying organization acceptable to the board whose standards on the date of such certification were at least as high as the standards required for the same profession or occupation in the District, and has not been disciplined or otherwise disqualified by the national certifying organization.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section and except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, where a board determines that the occupation or profession requires a substantial knowledge of District law or procedures, the board may require that an applicant, who is otherwise qualified by virtue of licensure in another state or certification by a national certifying organization, take an examination demonstrating knowledge of the relevant District laws or procedures.

(2) An applicant applying for licensure as a journeyman electrician pursuant to § 47-2853.92(b-1) shall not be required to take an examination demonstrating knowledge of the relevant District laws or procedures.

(3) An applicant applying for licensure as a journeyman plumber or journeyman gasfitter pursuant to § 47-2853.122(b) shall be exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

(4) An applicant applying for licensure as a journeyman refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic pursuant to § 47-2853.202(c) shall be exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

(d) Each board by regulation shall maintain a list of each national certifying organization, and each state, whose standards have been determined to be at least as high as those required by the District, and which admits professionals licensed by the District in a like manner.

(d-1) The Board of Industrial Trades shall annually update the list of national certifying organizations required to be maintained pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(e) The Mayor may deny a license or certificate to an applicant whose license or certificate to practice an occupation or profession was revoked or suspended in another jurisdiction if the basis of the revocation or suspension would have caused a similar result in the District, or if the applicant is the subject of pending disciplinary action regarding his or her right to practice in another jurisdiction.

(f) The Mayor may deny a license or certificate to an applicant licensed or certified in another jurisdiction who has failed to meet the continuing education requirements established by that jurisdiction, but failure of an applicant to meet the continuing education requirements established by the District shall not be a basis for denial of a District license or certificate if the jurisdiction in which the applicant was licensed does not have continuing education requirements or has requirements that are different than those required by the District for the occupation or profession.

(g) The Mayor may grant a license or certificate to an applicant whose education and training in an occupation or profession has been successfully completed in a foreign school, college, university, or training program, or who is licensed or certified in the same or substantially similar profession or occupation by the foreign jurisdiction, if the applicant otherwise qualifies for licensure or certification, including passing an examination if required, and if the board determines that the education and training requirements for licensure or certification in the foreign jurisdiction were substantially equivalent, at the time they were received by the applicant, to the requirements of this subchapter.

(h) An applicant for a license, certificate, or registration shall:

(1) Submit an application to the Mayor on the form required by the Mayor; and

(2) Pay the applicable fees established by the Mayor.

(i) An applicant for licensure who otherwise qualifies for a license is entitled to be examined as follows:

(1) Each board that requires the passage of an examination for licensure shall give applicants the opportunity to take such examination at least twice a year.

(2) When a board determines that a national examination is acceptable, then the frequency, time, and place that the national examination is given shall be considered acceptable and in accordance with this subchapter.

(3) The Mayor shall notify each qualified applicant of the time and place of examination.

(4) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, each board shall determine the subjects, scope, form, and passing score for examinations to assess the ability of the applicant to practice effectively the occupation or profession regulated by the board, except that when a national examination has been determined to be acceptable, the board shall use the passing score recommended by the organization administering the national examination.

(j) A person licensed or certified under this subchapter to practice an occupation or profession is authorized to practice that occupation or profession in the District while the license is effective.

(k) A person who fails to renew a license or certification required by this subchapter, or fails to re-register, shall be considered to be unqualified to practice the occupation or profession and subject to the penalties set forth in this subchapter and other applicable laws of the District if he or she continues to practice the profession or occupation.

(l) A license, certificate or registration, expires 2 years from the date of its first issuance or renewal unless renewed in accordance with procedures established in this section, except where another period is provided by law or regulation.

(m) Each board may establish by rule continuing education requirements as a condition for renewal of licenses or certificates issued under this subchapter.


(Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 1002, 46 DCR 3142; May 24, 2005, D.C. Law 15-357, § 202(a), 52 DCR 1999; Nov. 16, 2006, D.C. Law 16-176, § 2, 53 DCR 6505; Feb. 24, 2012, D.C. Law 19-82, § 2(a), 58 DCR 11022; Oct. 23, 2012, D.C. Law 19-193, § 3(e), 59 DCR 10388; Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-274, § 2(a), 60 DCR 2055.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2853.12.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-357 rewrote subsec. (a)(1) which had read as follows: “(1) Has not been convicted of an offense which bears directly on the fitness of the person to be licensed;”

D.C. Law 16-176, in subsec. (a)(2), inserted “, or at least 17 years of age if applying for license as a barber under § 47-2853.72 or as a cosmetologist, a cosmetologist-manager, a cosmetologist-owner, or any subcategory of specialty cosmetologist under § 47-2853.82”.

D.C. Law 19-82, in subsec. (c), designated the existing text as par. (1), substituted “section and except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection,” for “section” in par. (1), and added par. (2); and added subsec. (d-1).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-193 added (a)(1)(B-i).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-274 added (c)(3) and (c)(4).