Code of the District of Columbia

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(3) Repealed.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D.C. Law 18-71 repealed par.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.