Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Regulatory Authority.


Part A. Police Regulations.

§ 1–303.01. Police regulations.

The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make and modify, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce, usual and reasonable police regulations in and for said District as follows:

(1) For causing full inspection to be made, at any reasonable times, of the places where the business of pawnbroking, junk-dealing, or second-hand clothing business may be carried on.

(2) To regulate the storage of highly inflammable substances in the thickly populated portions of the District.

(3) Repealed.

(4) To establish and regulate the charges to be made by owners of hacks and hackney carriages of any kind whatsoever.

(5) To prohibit conducting droves of animals upon such streets and avenues as it may deem needful to public safety and good order.

(6) To regulate the keeping of dogs and fowls.

(7) To prohibit the deposit upon the street or sidewalks of fruit, or any part thereof, or other substance or articles that might litter the same, or cause injury to or impede pedestrians.

(8) To regulate or prohibit loud noises with horns, gongs, or other instruments, or loud cries, upon the streets or public places, and to prohibit the use of any fireworks or explosives within such portions of the District as it may think necessary to public safety.

(9) To prescribe reasonable penalties, including civil penalties, for the infraction of the regulations mentioned in §§ 1-303.01 and 1-303.02. The penalties may be enforced in any court or administrative tribunal of the District of Columbia having jurisdiction of minor offenses or civil infractions, and in the same manner that minor offenses or civil infractions are by law prosecuted or adjudicated and punished.


(Jan. 26, 1887, 24 Stat. 368, ch. 49, § 1; Mar. 3, 1925, 43 Stat. 1125, ch. 443, § 16; Sept. 13, 1961, 75 Stat. 498, Pub. L. 87-227, § 3; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 483, 32 DCR 4450; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 27, 38 DCR 314; Oct. 22, 2009, D.C. Law 18-71, § 12(a), 56 DCR 6619.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-315.

1973 Ed., § 1-224.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.02, § 1-303.03, § 1-303.05, and § 1-303.43.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-71 repealed par. (3), which had read as follows: “(3) To locate the places where licensed vendors on streets and public places shall stand, and change them as often as the public interests require, and to make all the necessary regulations governing their conduct upon the streets in relation to such business.”

Cross References

Environmental planning commission, see § 3-1001 et seq.

Mayor’s authority, supervision of pawnbrokers and other businesses, see § 5-117.02.

Removal of snow and ice, public property, see § 9-602.

Special licensing provisions, sellers of gasoline, kerosene, oils, fireworks, and explosives, see § 47-2814.

Specific licensing provisions, Council’s authority to regulate, modify, or eliminate licensing agreements, see § 47-2842.

Specific licensing provisions, secondhand dealers, see § 47-2837.

Temporary Legislation

Section 11(a) of D.C. Law 17-172 repealed par. (3).

Section 13(b) of D.C. Law 17-172 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 10(a) of D.C. Law 18-4 repealed par. (3).

Section 12(b) of D.C. Law 18-4 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

New Implementing Regulations

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1978: The “District of Columbia Noise Control Act of 1977” (D.C. Law 2-53, Mar. 16, 1978, 24 DCR 5293) (as amended by D.C. Law 9-135, July 23, 1992, 39 DCR 4079) and the “Vendors Regulation Amendments Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-82, June 30, 1978, 24 DCR 9293).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1979: The “District of Columbia Noise Control Amendments Act of 1979” (D.C. Law 3-17, Sept. 28, 1979, 26 DCR 229).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1982: The “Taxicab Act of 1981” (D.C. Law 4-89, Mar. 31, 1982, 29 DCR 661).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1982: The “Vendors Regulation Amendment Act of 1982” (D.C. Law 4-195, Mar. 10, 1983, 30 DCR 55).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(1) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.02. Publication of regulations; effective date.

The regulations provided for in § 1-303.01 and adopted prior to October 21, 1968, shall be printed in 1 or more of the daily newspapers published in the District of Columbia; and no penalty prescribed for the violation of said regulations shall be enforced until 30 days after such publication.


(Jan. 26, 1887, 24 Stat. 369, ch. 49, § 2; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-24, § 19, 30 DCR 3341; Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-159, § 26, 32 DCR 30.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-318.

1973 Ed., § 1-225.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.01 and § 1-303.03.

Cross References

Publication of laws and ordinances, see § 5-103.01.


§ 1–303.03. Regulations for protection of life, health, and property.

The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce, all such reasonable and usual police regulations in addition to those already made under §§ 1-303.01 and 1-303.02, as the Council may deem necessary for the protection of lives, limbs, health, comfort, and quiet of all persons and the protection of all property within the District of Columbia.


(Feb. 26, 1892, 27 Stat. 394, Res. No. 4, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-319.

1973 Ed., § 1-226.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.05.

Cross References

Alcoholic beverage control, regulations for administration and enforcement, see §§ 25-201 and 25-211.

Boxing, rules governing, see § 3-606.

Businesses, rules and regulations for licensing, inspection, or regulation, see § 47-2844.

Department of human services, rules governing, see §§ 7-174 through 7-177.

Discharge of parolees, regulations governing, see § 24-404.

Electricity, regulation of production, use, and control, see § 2-131.

Federal government restaurants, regulations governing, see § 7-2701.

Fire escapes and building safety, rules governing, see § 6-701.04.

Firemen, rules governing, see §§ 5-402, 5-406 and 5-411.

Food and drugs, regulations to prevent adulteration, see § 48-104.

Garbage and other refuse, rules governing collection, see §§ 8-701 and 8-707.

Harbor regulations, see § 22-4401.

Human excreta and waste, rules governing disposal, see § 8-603.

Insurance and insurance companies, regulations governing, see § 31-202.

Lighting of streets and bridges, regulations, see §§ 9-301 and 9-507.

Mattresses, regulations governing manufacture, renovation, and sale, see §§ 8-503 and 8-506.

Medical and dental colleges, regulations for granting licenses and permits to operate, see § 38-1402.

Metropolitan police department, rules governing, see §§ 5-105.05, 5-127.01, 5-133.06, 5-111.01, 5-111.03 5-115.02, and 5-115.05.

Money lenders, rules and regulations governing, see § 26-911.

Motor vehicles, general regulations, see § 50-2201.03.

Motor vehicles, regulations governing registration, see § 50-1501.02.

Municipal fish wharves and markets, regulations governing, see § 37-205.01.

Municipal playgrounds and parks, regulations governing, see §§ 10-127 and 10-137.

Parking, rules governing, see § 6-405.

Plumbing and drainage, regulations, see § 2-135.

Prison labor, regulations governing, see § 24-201.12.

Produce markets, regulations governing, see § 37-201.28.

Public beach and dressing houses, regulations governing, see § 10-162.

Public convenience stations, regulations governing, see § 10-134.

Public utilities, regulations governing, see § 34-809.

Reagan national airport, regulations for administration, see § 9-702.

Repair of streets, alleys and sewers, regulations governing, see § 9-101.01.

Retirement of public school teachers, regulations governing, see § 38-2001.16.

Steam and pressure boilers, regulations, see §§ 2-115 and 2-118.

Taxation, authority to make rules and regulations, see § 47-3407.

Weights and measures, establishment of tolerances and specifications, see §§ 37-201.16a and 37-201.25.

Weights and measures, wood sales, standards, see § 37-201.17.

Zoning regulations, see § 6-641.01.

New Implementing Regulations

New implementing regulations: Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1978: The “Elimination of the Chest X-Ray Requirement Act of 1977” (D.C. Law 2-39, Feb. 2, 1978, 24 DCR 3175); the “Water Quality Standard Approval Act of 1977” (D.C. Law 2-68, Apr. 6, 1978, 24 DCR 6809); the “Fire Lanes and Fire Hydrants Act of 1977” (D.C. Law 2-90, June 30, 1978, 24 DCR 9759); the “Amended Eligibility Requirements for AFDC by Reason of the Employment of the Father Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-97, Aug. 12, 1978, 25 DCR 392); the “District of Columbia Child Development Facilities Regulation Amendment Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-98, Aug. 17, 1978, 25 DCR 245); the “Fire Safety Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-99, Aug. 17, 1978, 25 DCR 252); and the “Standards of Assistance Relating to Persons Residing in Community Residence Facilities Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-108, Sept. 22, 1978, 25 DCR 1453).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1979: The “Air Quality Control Regulations Amendment No. 3 of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-133, Mar. 3, 1979, 25 DCR 3490); the “District of Columbia Mental Health Information Act of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-136, Mar. 3, 1979, 25 DCR 5055); the “Air Quality Amendment Act No. II of 1978” (D.C. Law 2-151, Mar. 6, 1979, 25 DCR 2532); and the “Community Residence Facilities Licensure Act Amendments of 1979” (D.C. Law 3-27, Oct. 18, 1979, 26 DCR 667).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1981: The “Secondhand Dealers Regulation and Rental Housing Act of 1980 Clarification Act of 1981” (D.C. Law 4-15, July 14, 1981, 28 DCR 2255).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1981: The “Intermediate Paramedic Regulations Act of 1981” (D.C. Law 4-25, Aug. 1, 1981, 28 DCR 2622).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1982: The “Enclosed Sidewalk Cafe Act of 1982” (D.C. Law 4-148, Sept. 17, 1982, 29 DCR 3361).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(4) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.04. Building regulations.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized and directed to make and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized and directed to enforce such building regulations for the said District as the Council may deem advisable.

(b) Such rules and regulations made as above provided shall have the same force and effect within the District of Columbia as if enacted by Congress.


(June 14, 1878, 20 Stat. 131, ch. 194, §§ 1, 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-322.

1973 Ed., § 1-228.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.05.

Cross References

Electricity, authority of Council to make rules respecting production, use, and control, see § 2-131.

Plumbing and drainage, maintenance of house and public sewers, regulations governing, see §§ 2-135 and 2-135.

New Implementing Regulations

New implementing regulations: Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1982: The “Enclosed Sidewalk Cafe Act of 1982” (D.C. Law 4-148, Sept. 17, 1982, 29 DCR 3361).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(5) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.05. Additional penalties for violation of regulations.

The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized to prescribe reasonable penalties of a fine not to exceed $300 or imprisonment not to exceed 10 days, in lieu of or in addition to any fine, or to prescribe civil fines or other civil sanctions for the violation of any building regulation promulgated under authority of § 1-303.04, and any regulation promulgated under authority of § 1-303.01, and any regulation promulgated under authority of § 1-303.03.


(Dec. 17, 1942, 56 Stat. 1056, ch. 762, § 7; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 446, 32 DCR 4450; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 5, 40 DCR 6311.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-316.

1973 Ed., § 1-224a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.41.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(2) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


Part B. Outdoor Signs.

§ 1–303.21. Rules.

(a) The Mayor shall issue, amend, repeal and enforce rules governing the hanging, placing, painting, projection, display, and maintenance of signs on public space, public buildings, or other property owned or controlled by the District and on private property within public view within the District. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed disapproved. The rules shall not take effect until approved by the Council.

(b) The rules shall:

(1) Determine the types of signs that shall be allowed and prohibited and establish permit requirements for signs, where appropriate;

(2) Establish standards for the location, size, and illumination of different types of signs;

(3) Allow for the display of signs that contribute to a healthy business environment and civic communication while protecting the health, safety, convenience, and welfare of the public, including protection of the appearance of outdoor space throughout the District;

(4) State the specific requirements for large signs and billboards;

(5) Establish standards for signs on historic sites or in historic areas;

(6) Provide structural requirements for signs to ensure their safety;

(7) Ensure compliance with federal highway requirements;

(8) Provide for the creation of Designated Entertainment Areas to allow for the display of additional signs; and

(9) Establish permit fees.

(10) Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1931, 46 Stat. 1486, ch. 399, § 1; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-289, § 2(a), 60 DCR 2328; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 4(a), 61 DCR 12690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-325.

1973 Ed., § 1-231.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-303.23.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote the section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-207 repealed (b)(10) and made related stylistic changes.

Cross References

Real estate, sale or rent signs, see 42-1801.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2(b) of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-499, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12749), applicable as of October 9, 2012, and with the condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

For temporary addition of the Act of March 3, 1931, Ch. 399, § 1a, concerning adjudication of infractions, see § 2(b) of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-497, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12749), applicable as of October 9, 2012, and with the condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(a) of D.C. Law 19-181 amended § 1-303.21 to read as follows:

“(a) The Mayor shall issue, amend, repeal and enforce rules governing the hanging, placing, painting, display, and maintenance of signs on public space owned or controlled by the District and on private property within public view within the District. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

“(b) The rules shall, at a minimum:

“(1) Determine the types of signs that shall be allowed and prohibited and establish permit requirements for signs where appropriate;

“(2) Establish standards for the location, size, and illumination of different types of signs;

“(3) Allow for the display of signs that contribute to a healthy business environment and civic communication while protecting the health, safety, convenience, and welfare of the public, including protection of the appearance of outdoor space throughout the District;

“(4) State the specific requirements for large signs and billboards;

“(5) Establish standards for signs on historic sites or in historic areas;

“(6) Provide structural requirements for signs to ensure their safety;

“(7) Ensure compliance with federal highway requirements;

“(8) Provide for the creation of Designated Entertainment Areas to allow for the display of additional signs; and

“(9) Establish permit fees and fines and other penalties for violations of the sign rules.”

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 19-181 added the Act of Mar. 3, 1931, ch. 399, § 1a, to read as follows:

“Sec. 1a. Adjudication of infractions of the rules issued pursuant to section 1 shall be pursuant to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985, effective July 16, 1985 (D.C. Law 6-42; D.C. Official Code § 8-801.01 et seq.) (“Civil Infractions Act”), and the Litter Control Administration Act of 1985, effective March 25, 1986 (D.C. Law 6-100; D.C. Official Code § 8-801 et seq.) (“Litter Control Act”), as applicable. The Mayor may, through rulemaking, establish a schedule of fines and penalties for infractions of these rules that are separate from the fines and penalties imposed under the Civil Infractions Act and the Litter Control Act. These rules shall be subject to Council review and approval as described in section 1.”

Section 8 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by the act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the act shall apply upon the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property pursuant to section 2 of the act.

Section 11(b) of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(8) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.22. License required; fee. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1931, 46 Stat. 1486, ch. 399, § 2; Sept. 14, 1976, D.C. Law 1-82, title I, § 102, 23 DCR 2461; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 421, 32 DCR 4450; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 301, 42 DCR 3684; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(a), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(a), 50 DCR 6913; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-289, § 2(b), 60 DCR 2328.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-326.

1973 Ed., § 1-232.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1159 and § 50-921.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (b), substituted “General Services and Repair endorsement to a basic business license under the basic” for “Class B General Services and Repair endorsement to a master business license under the master”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 2(c) of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary repeal of section, see § 2(c) of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-499, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12749), applicable as of October 9, 2012, and with the condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(c) of D.C. Law 19-181 repealed this section.

Section 8 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the act shall apply upon the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property pursuant to section 2 of the act.

Section 11(b) of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3 dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. The collection functions of the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue was transferred to the District of Columbia Treasurer by § 47-316 on March 5, 1981.

Transfer of function: Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969, transferred to the Director of the Department of Economic Development the function of business and professional licensing. The Department of Economic Development was replaced by the Department of Licenses, Investigation and Inspections by Mayor’s Order 78-42, dated February 17, 1978. The functions of the Department of Licenses, Investigations, and Inspections were transferred to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1983, effective March 31, 1983.

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-289: Section 10 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the act shall not apply until the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property pursuant to section 2 of the act. Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote §§ 1-303.21 and 1-303.23, and repealed § 1-303.22.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.23. Penalties and enforcement.

(a) Enforcement and adjudication of infractions of these rules shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.] (“Civil Infractions Act”), Chapter 9A of Title 50 [§ 50-921.01 et seq.] (“DDOT Establishment Act”), and Chapter 1A of Title 12A of the Construction Codes. The Mayor shall enforce the rules applicable to signs on public space, public rights-of-way, public buildings and structures, and other property owned or controlled by the District under the Civil Infractions Act and the DDOT Establishment Act. The rules applicable to signs on private property shall be enforced under the Civil Infractions Act and Chapter 1A of Title 12A of the Construction Codes. The Mayor shall also establish, by rulemaking, a schedule of fines and penalties for infractions of these rules, which shall be subject to Council review and approval as described in § 1-303.21.

(b) A person or entity, whether as principal, agent, or employee, violating rules issued pursuant to § 1-303.21 or this section shall, upon conviction in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, be fined no less than $5 nor more than $200 for each offense, and a fine shall be imposed for each day that the violation continues.


(Mar. 3, 1931, 46 Stat. 1486, ch. 399, § 4; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 457, 32 DCR 4450; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-289, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2328; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-207, § 4(b), 61 DCR 12690.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-327.

1973 Ed., § 1-233.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-289 rewrote the section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-207 rewrote (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Sign Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-387, July 11, 2012, 59 DCR 8491).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(d) of the Sign Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-497, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12749), applicable after the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property, and with the condition that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(d) of D.C. Law 19-181 amended § 1-303.23 to read as follows:

“(a) In addition to the remedies applicable under section 1a, the Mayor may summarily abate a violation of rules issued under section 1 if the violation presents a hazard to the public. In these circumstances, the permit holder and the owner of the property where the sign is displayed shall be entitled to an expedited hearing within 72 hours after the abatement.

“(b) Unauthorized signs and signs that are otherwise out of compliance with rules issued under section 1 shall be removed within 10 days after the permit holder, or the owner or occupant of the premises where the sign is displayed, receives a written notice of violation from the Mayor. The owner and occupant of the premises where the sign is displayed and the permit holder shall be responsible for removing the sign and may be held responsible for any penalties imposed for the violation. If the owner, occupant, or permit holder fails to remove the sign within the 10-day period and fails to request a hearing, the Mayor may remove the sign and the owner, occupant, and permit holder shall be responsible for the costs of the removal.”

Section 8 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the act shall apply upon the Mayor’s issuance of a comprehensive final rulemaking governing signs on public space and private property pursuant to section 2 of the act.

Section 11(b) of D.C. Law 19-181 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Section 9 of D.C. Law 19-289 provided that any order, rule, or regulation in effect under a law replaced by this act shall remain in effect until repealed, amended, or superseded.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-207: Section 12(a) of D.C. Law 20-207 provided that §§ 2(a), 2(b)(1), 2(b)(2)(A), 2(b)(2)(B), 2(b)(2)(C), 2(c), 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 shall apply as of March 11, 2015.


Part C. General.

§ 1–303.41. Regulations for the keeping, leashing, and running at large of dogs.

The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make and modify, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce, regulations in and for the District of Columbia to regulate the keeping and leashing of dogs and to regulate or prohibit the running at large of dogs, including penalties for violations of such regulations as provided in § 1-303.05.


(Sept. 13, 1961, 75 Stat. 498, Pub. L. 87-227, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-317.

1973 Ed., § 1-224b.

Cross References

Disturbances of public peace, dogs at large, see 22-1311.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(3) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.42. Expenditures for emergencies.

When required by the public exigencies to meet conditions caused by emergencies such as riot, pestilence, public insanitary conditions, flood, fire, storm, and similar disasters, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Council of the District of Columbia, is authorized to expend such amounts as may be necessary without regard to advertising provisions of § 2-225.05.


(Oct. 26, 1973, 87 Stat. 504, Pub. L. 93-140, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-320.

1973 Ed., § 1-226a.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.43. Regulations relative to firearms, explosives, and weapons.

The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce, all such usual and reasonable police regulations, in addition to those already made under §§ 1-303.01 to 1-303.03 as the Council may deem necessary for the regulation of firearms, projectiles, explosives, or weapons of any kind in the District of Columbia.


(June 30, 1906, 34 Stat. 809, ch. 3932, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-321.

1973 Ed., § 1-227.

Cross References

Dangerous weapons, criminal provisions, see § 22-4501 et seq.

Dangerous weapons, licensing, regulation and supervision of dealers, see § 47-2838.

Firearms, fireworks, or loud noises, prohibition on Capitol grounds, see § 10-503.16.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(4) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–303.44. Regulations for construction, repair, and operation of elevators.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and directed to make and publish such orders as may be necessary to regulate the construction, repair, and operation of all elevators within the District of Columbia, and prescribe such means of security as may be found necessary to protect life and limb.

(b) Any person or persons, or corporation, who shall neglect or refuse to comply with the orders made pursuant to this section shall, upon conviction thereof in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, on information filed in the name of the District of Columbia, be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for each offense.

(c) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the orders made pursuant to this section in accordance with Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this section shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Mar. 3, 1887, 24 Stat. 580, ch. 390, §§ 1, 2; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); March 3, 1887, § 3; as added Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 481, 32 DCR 4450.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-323.

1973 Ed., § 1-229.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under law promulgating rules for adoption of new construction codes, see Mayor’s Order 84-146, August 23, 1984.

New Implementing Regulations

New implementing regulations: Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1982: The “Elevator Code Amendment Act of 1981” (D.C. Law 4-91, Mar. 31, 1982, 29 DCR 683).

Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1984: The “Apartment House Elevator Act of 1984” (D.C. Law 5-132, Mar. 13, 1985, 32 DCR 1717).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(6) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.