Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 6. Codification and Publication of Acts, Resolutions, Rules, and Orders.


Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 2–601. Definitions.

For the purpose of this subchapter:

(1) The term “act” shall have the same meaning as is ascribed to it in § 1-201.03(7).

(2) The term “agency” means any officer, employee, office, department, division, board, commission, or other agency of the government of the District of Columbia including both those which are independent of and those which are subordinate to the Mayor and Council but not including the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

(3) The term “Board of Commissioners” means the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia established by Act of June 11, 1878 (20 Stat. 102).

(4) The term “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the District of Columbia established by subsection (a) of § 301 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (81 Stat. 949).

(5) The term “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia created by § 1-204.01(a) unless the phrase “District of Columbia Council” is used in which event the term shall mean the District of Columbia Council created by subsection (a) of § 201 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (81 Stat. 948).

(6) The term “Council year” means the legislative period of the Council beginning on January 2nd of each year and ending on January 1st of the following year.

(7) Repealed.

(8) The term “District of Columbia Register” means the District of Columbia Register mandated by § 2-504.

(9) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia created by § 1-204.21(a) or his or her designated agent.

(10) The term “rule” means the whole or any part of any Board of Commissioners’, Commissioner’s, District of Columbia Council’s, Mayor’s, or agency’s statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or designed to describe organization, procedure, or practice requirements.

(11) The term “regulation” shall have the same meaning as the term “rule.”

(12) The term “resolution” means a resolution of the Council unless the term “Congressional resolution” is used in which case it shall mean a resolution of the Congress of the United States or either House thereof.


(Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title II, § 202, 22 DCR 2056; Apr. 7, 2006, D.C. Law 16-91, § 135, 52 DCR 10637.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1601.

1973 Ed., § 1-1601.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-91 repealed par. (7) which had read as follows: “(7) The term ‘District of Columbia Code’ means the Code of the District of Columbia as provided for in the Act of July 30, 1947 (61 Stat. 638) and any continuations, supplements, or revisions thereof authorized by Act, Congressional resolution, or act.”

References in Text

“Act of June 11, 1878,” referred to in paragraph (3), is also known as the Organic Act of 1878, and is set forth in its entirety in Volume 1.


§ 2–602. Publication prerequisite for effectiveness of Council acts and resolutions.

No act or resolution shall be effective until the act or resolution has been published in the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, except that any emergency act or resolution approved pursuant to § 1-204.12(a), any resolution to approve or disapprove proposed actions pursuant to § 1-204.12(a)(2) or § 1-204.90(a)(1), or any resolution that pertains to the internal operation or organization of the Council shall be effective without prior publication, but shall be published as soon as practicable.


(Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title II, § 204, 22 DCR 2058; Oct. 30, 1975, D.C. Law 1-27, § 4, 22 DCR 2472; Apr. 7, 1977, D.C. Law 1-115, § 2, 23 DCR 8744; Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, § 6(c), 25 DCR 6960; Mar. 15, 1990, D.C. Law 8-89, § 2, 37 DCR 644; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 8, 40 DCR 6311; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 5, 49 DCR 8140; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 27, 51 DCR 881.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1602.

1973 Ed., § 1-1602.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2302.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-213 substituted “§§ 1-204.12(a)(2), and 1-204.90(a)(1)” for “§ 1-204.12(a)(2)”.

D.C. Law 15-105 validated a previously made technical correction.

Cross References

Motor vehicles and traffic, moving infractions, exceptions, criminal offenses, amendment of municipal code by publication, see § 50-2302.02.

Publication and codification of acts of D.C. Council, requirements, see § 1-204.04.

Editor's Notes

Publication requirement exemption: Section 5 of D.C. Law 16-300 provided: “Notwithstanding section 8 of this act and sections 204 and 308(b) of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, effective March 6, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-153; D.C. Official Code §§ 2-602 and 2-558(b)), the text, maps, and graphics of the District elements of the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital, as amended by this act, need not be published in the District of Columbia Register to become effective.”


§ 2–603. Statutes-at-Large.

(a) Beginning in 2013, within 45 days of the end of each Council year, the Council shall compile and publish online the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large which shall include in separate chronological order:

(1) Council acts, including emergency acts adopted after December 31, 1986, which become law during that Council year; and

(2) Council resolutions adopted during that Council year, except ceremonial resolutions adopted after December 31, 1986.

(b) The 1st publication of the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large shall also contain in a separate part each regulation and resolution of the District of Columbia Council in chronological order.

(c) Repealed.

(d) The District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large shall contain a certificate by the General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia stating that it contains all the documents required to be published pursuant to this section as of the date of the certificate.


(Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title II, § 205, 22 DCR 2062; Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, § 6(c), 25 DCR 6960; Feb. 18, 1988, D.C. Law 7-78, § 2, 34 DCR 7956; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1112, 59 DCR 8025.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1603.

1973 Ed., § 1-1603.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168, in the introductory language of (a), added “Beginning in 2013,” substituted “the Council” for “the Mayor,” and substituted “publish online” for “publish”; repealed (c), which read: “The Mayor shall make copies of the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large available to the public at a reasonable cost calculated to cover the costs of its compilation, publication, and distribution”; and added (d).


§ 2–604. Enrollment of Council acts and resolutions.

After enactment by the Council, but before any presentation to the Mayor, each act and resolution of the Council shall be set forth on parchment or other such suitable paper.


(Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title II, § 206, 22 DCR 2062; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-235, § 3, 38 DCR 302.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1604.

1973 Ed., § 1-1604.

Cross References

Public records management, see § 2-1701 et seq.


§ 2–605. Judicial notice.

All courts within the District of Columbia shall take judicial notice of the acts and resolutions published in the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large.


(Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title II, § 207, 22 DCR 2063; Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, § 6(c), 25 DCR 6960.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1605.

1973 Ed., § 1-1605.


Subchapter II. District of Columbia Office of Documents.

§ 2–611. Established; appointment and qualifications of Administrator; duties; compensation of Administrator; authorization of positions and fundings; transfer of property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriated funds.

(a) Part IV D of Organization Order No. 2, Commissioner’s Order No. 67-23, December 13, 1967, creating the Secretariat within the executive office of the Mayor, is amended:

(1) By striking subsection 1. k.; and

(2) By transferring, as provided in this subchapter, to the District of Columbia Office of Documents all of the powers, duties, and functions assigned to the Secretariat under any provision of law relating to the preparation, certification, and publication of the District of Columbia Register and all District of Columbia rules, regulations, codes, ordinances, and any amendments thereto.

(b) There is hereby established within the executive office of the Mayor (created by Organization Order No. 2, dated December 23, 1967) a District of Columbia Office of Documents which shall be under the supervision and control of an Administrator appointed by the Mayor without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of fitness to perform the duties of the position.

(c) The District of Columbia Office of Documents shall provide for the prompt preparation, editing, printing, and public distribution of the District of Columbia Register and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations in accordance with this subchapter.

(d) The Administrator of the District of Columbia Office of Documents (hereinafter also referred to as “Administrator”) shall be a member of the District of Columbia Bar. The Administrator shall appoint such employees within the District of Columbia Office of Documents as may be necessary for the prompt and efficient performance of the functions of the Office and for which sufficient appropriation is authorized and provided.

(e) The Administrator shall be paid at a per annum gross rate not to exceed the highest step level of GS-15 of the General Schedule.

(f) Repealed.

(g) All property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriated funds in the Office of the Secretariat which are currently allotted for legal publications, codification, and the District of Columbia Register functions shall be transferred to the District of Columbia Office of Documents. All rules, regulations, documents, and other materials assembled or developed by the Mayor’s municipal code compilation project shall be transferred to the Office of Documents.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, § 2, 25 DCR 6960; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 1021, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1114(a), 59 DCR 8025.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1611.

1973 Ed., § 1-1611.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-551 and § 2-552.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-111 repealed subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) No fewer than 7 funded and authorized positions and the attendant funding totaling at least $150,000 for salaries and personnel benefits for such positions shall be transferred by the Mayor to the District of Columbia Office of Documents.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “the District of Columbia Register and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” for “District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, the District of Columbia Register, and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” in (c).

Cross References

Administration, administrative procedure, “administrator” defined, see § 2-551.

Office of documents, responsibility for publication of District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, see § 2-552.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1021 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1021 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Short Title

Short title: Section 1020 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle C of title I of the act may be cited as the “Documents Amendment Act of 2009”.


§ 2–612. Duties of Administrator.

The Administrator of the District of Columbia Office of Documents shall:

(1) Supervise, manage, and direct the preparation, editing, printing and public distribution of all legal publications of the District of Columbia government including the District of Columbia Register and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations in accordance with this subchapter;

(2) Promulgate appropriate rules of procedure to implement the provisions of this subchapter;

(3) With the assistance of the Office of the Corporation Counsel, the officer designated by the Chairman of the Council, or legal counsels to agencies and other governmental entities, certify the promulgation, adoption, or enactment of documents to be published in accordance with this subchapter;

(4) Coordinate with the officer designated by the Chairman of the Council the drafting and preparation of legislation to be published in the District of Columbia Register and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations;

(5) Establish editorial standards for the removal of unnecessary sex-based terminology in documents and for the numbering, grammar, and style of all documents to be published pursuant to this subchapter;

(5A) Establish editorial standards for the use of respectful language in documents as required under § 2-632;

(6) Except with respect to acts or resolutions of the Council, reject for publication proposed rules, regulations, orders, administrative issuances, or ordinances which fail to comply substantially with the publication requirements authorized by this subchapter;

(7) In accordance with applicable law, procure contracts for the preparation and publication of documents pursuant to this subchapter; and

(8) Instruct promulgators of documents to be published under this subchapter concerning the requirements established by the Administrator under this subchapter and the means to comply with those requirements.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, § 3, 25 DCR 6960; Sept. 29, 2006, D.C. Law 16-169, § 6, 53 DCR 6223; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 123, 56 DCR 1117; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1114(b), 59 DCR 8025.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1612.

1973 Ed., § 1-1612.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 6-1408.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-169 adds par. (5A).

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in the punctuation in par. (5A).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “the District of Columbia Register and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” for “District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, the District of Columbia Register, and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” in (1).

Cross References

Editorial standards, exemptions, see § 6-1408.

Public records management, see § 2-1701 et seq.


Subchapter III. Government Notices in Newspapers.

§ 2–621. Requirement.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, any other requirement that the District of Columbia publish notices in 2 daily newspapers shall be satisfied by publication in at least 2 general circulation newspapers, published in the District of Columbia, once every 2 weeks or more frequently.


(Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-81, § 6, 29 DCR 156.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1621.


Subchapter IV. Respectful Language Modernization.

§ 2–631. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Disability” means, with respect to an individual:

(A) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that individual;

(B) A record of such an impairment; or

(C) Being regarded as having such an impairment.

(2) “Internet publication” means any information posted to an official web site of a public body, except for archival documents.

(3) “Policies” means official instructions and guiding principles issued by a public body for the implementation of its programs.

(4) “Public body” shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 2-502(18A).

(5) “Publications” means any written material issued by a public body, either for internal or external use, and does not include internet publications, policies, rules, regulations, and signage.

(6) “Regulation” shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 2-502(17).

(7) “Rule” shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 2-502(6).

(8) “Signage” means any poster on paper larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches issued by a public body and any signs regardless of size made of any material other than paper and posted or issued by a public body.


(Sept. 29, 2006, D.C. Law 16-169, § 2, 53 DCR 6223.)


§ 2–632. Respectful language.

(a) On or after September 29, 2006, all new and revised sections of the District of Columbia Official Code, all new, revised, or republished District regulations, rules, policies, or publications and all internet publications shall, when referring to persons with disabilities:

(1) Avoid any use of following terms, except as required by any law or regulation: “afflicted,” “cripple,” “crippled,” “defective,” “feebleminded,” “handicapped,” “handicap,” “idiot,” “lunatic,” “imbecile,” “insane,” “invalid,” “maimed,” “moron,” “suffering,” “wheelchair user,” or “wheelchair bound”;

(2) Use “person,” “people,” “individual,” “individuals,” “adult,” “adults,” “child,” “children,” or “youth” in sentence construction so that the language refers to individuals:

(A) With disabilities or with conditions that result in disability;

(B) Who have disabilities or who have conditions that result in disability; or

(C) Who use or who need assistive technology.

(a-1)(1) Beginning on Sept. 26, 2012, all new and revised sections of the District of Columbia Code, all new, revised, or republished District regulations, rules, policies, or publications, and all internet publications shall avoid the use of the terms “mental retardation,” “mentally retarded,” and “retarded,” except as required by any law or regulation, and further:

(A) Where the term “mental retardation” is used, the term “intellectual disability” or “intellectual disabilities” shall be substituted;

(B) Where the term “intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation” is used, the term “intermediate care facility for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities” shall be substituted;

(C) Where the term “qualified mental retardation professional” is used, the term “qualified developmental disability professional” shall be substituted; and

(D) Where the term “is at least moderately mentally retarded” is used, the term “has at least a moderate intellectual disability” shall be substituted.

(a-2) Beginning 6 months after Sept. 26, 2012, all policies and signage shall comply with subsection (a-1) of this section.

(a-3) Upon the earlier of reprinting or after one year following Sept. 26, 2012, all publications shall comply with subsection (a-1) of this section.

(b) On or after 6 months following September 29, 2006, all policies and signage shall comply with subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Upon the earlier of reprinting or September 30, 2007, all publications shall comply with subsection (a) of this section.

(d) No statute, regulation, or rule shall be invalid because it does not comply with this section.


(Sept. 29, 2006, D.C. Law 16-169, § 3, 53 DCR 6223; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 6(a), 59 DCR 5567.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-552, § 2-553, and § 2-612.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 added (a-1), (a-2), and (a-3).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 2–633. Report. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 29, 2006, D.C. Law 16-169, § 4, 53 DCR 6223; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 6(b), 59 DCR 5567.)

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


Subchapter V. Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act.

§ 2–651.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

(2) "Legal material" means, whether or not in effect:

(A) The acts and resolutions of the Council;

(B) The District of Columbia Official Code;

(C) The District of Columbia Municipal Regulations;

(D) Other legal materials designated by the Mayor by rule; and

(E) Other legal materials designated by the Council by resolution.

(3) "Official publisher" means:

(A) For the acts and resolutions of the Council, the Secretary to the Council;

(B) For the District of Columbia Official Code, the General Counsel to the Council;

(C) For the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, the Administrator of the District of Columbia Office of Documents, established by § 2-611;

(D) For other legal material designated by the Mayor pursuant to paragraph (2)(D) of this section, the Mayor; and

(E) For other legal material designated by the Council pursuant to paragraph (2)(E) of this section, the Secretary to the Council.

(4) "Publish" means to display, present, or release to the public, or cause to be displayed, presented, or released to the public, by the official publisher.

(5) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(6) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 2, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.02. Applicability.

This subchapter applies to all legal material in an electronic record that is designated as official under § 2-651.03 and first published electronically on or after July 1, 2017.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 3, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.03. Legal material in official electronic record.

(a) If an official publisher publishes legal material only in an electronic record, the official publisher shall:

(1) Designate the electronic record as official; and

(2) Comply with §§ 2-651.04, 2-651.06, and 2-651.07.

(b) An official publisher that publishes legal material in an electronic record and also publishes the material in a record other than an electronic record may designate the electronic record as official if the official publisher complies with §§ 2-651.04, 2-651.06, and 2-651.07.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 4, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.04. Authentication of official electronic record.

An official publisher of legal material in an electronic record that is designated as official under § 2-651.03 shall authenticate the record. To authenticate an electronic record, the official publisher shall provide a method for a user to determine that the record received by the user from the official publisher is unaltered from the official record published by the official publisher.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 5, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.05. Effect of authentication.

(a) Legal material in an electronic record that is authenticated under § 2-651.04 is presumed to be an accurate copy of the legal material.

(b) If another state has adopted a law substantially similar to this subchapter, legal material in an electronic record that is designated as official and authenticated by the official publisher in that state is presumed to be an accurate copy of the legal material.

(c) A party contesting the authentication of legal material in an electronic record authenticated under § 2-651.04 has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the record is inauthentic.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 6, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.06. Preservation and security of legal material in official electronic record.

(a) An official publisher of legal material in an electronic record that is or was designated as official under § 2-651.03 shall provide for the preservation and security of the record in an electronic form or a form that is not electronic.

(b) If legal material is preserved under subsection (a) of this section in an electronic record, the official publisher shall:

(1) Ensure the integrity of the record;

(2) Provide for backup and recovery of the record in the event of a disaster; and

(3) Ensure the continuing usability of the material.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 7, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.07. Public access to legal material in official electronic record.

An official publisher of legal material in an electronic record that is required to be preserved under § 2-651.06 shall ensure that the material is reasonably available for use by the public on a permanent basis.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 8, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.08. Standards.

In implementing this subchapter, an official publisher of legal material in an electronic record shall consider:

(1) Standards and practices of other jurisdictions;

(2) The most recent standards regarding authentication of, preservation and security of, and public access to, legal material in an electronic record and other electronic records, as promulgated by national standard-setting bodies;

(3) The needs of users of legal material in an electronic record;

(4) The views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons; and

(5) To the extent practicable, methods and technologies for the authentication of, preservation and security of, and public access to, legal material that are compatible with the methods and technologies used by other official publishers in the District of Columbia and in states that have adopted a law substantially similar to this subchapter.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 9, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.09. Rules.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of this title, may promulgate rules to carry out the purposes of this subchapter pursuant to the Mayor's authority under § 2-651.01(3)(C) and (D).

(b) The Council may adopt its own rules or resolutions to implement the provisions of this subchapter that are exclusively applicable to the Council pursuant to its authority under § 2-651.01(3)(A), (B), and (E).


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 10, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.10. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 11, 64 DCR 1652.)


§ 2–651.11. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

This subchapter modifies, limits, or supersedes the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, approved June 30, 2000 (144 Stat. 464; 15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq.), but does not modify, limit, or supersede section 101(c) of that act (15 U.S.C. § 7001(c)), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in section 103(b) of that act (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)).


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-251, § 12, 64 DCR 1652.)