Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Operation of Retail Service Stations.


§ 36–302.01. Registration of intent to sell.

(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in § 47-2814, all refiners, producers, manufacturers, marketers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, jobbers, resellers, retailers, retail dealers, or sellers of motor fuels, including any operator of a retail service station, shall, before selling, supplying, or distributing any motor fuels which may ultimately be used for the purpose of propelling or running any motor vehicle and annually thereafter by May 1, file with the Mayor a written declaration that they desire or intend to sell, supply, or distribute motor fuels in the District of Columbia. The declaration shall be filed on such form or forms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Mayor and shall include, in addition to such other information as the Mayor shall require, a listing of the types and grades of the motor fuels and petroleum products that such person wishes or intends to sell, supply, or distribute; any trademark or trademarks associated therewith; a listing of the names and addresses of the suppliers thereof; a listing of the names and addresses of the persons to whom such motor fuels or petroleum products are or will be sold, supplied, or distributed; and a description, including the location, of any proposed or existing facilities and equipment such person will utilize in his business for all drive-in retail service stations, excluding car agencies, parking garages, and operations. This would include gas only self-service islands, gas only mixed service islands, gas only full service islands and gas with automotive repair services. It shall be a violation of this subchapter for any person to sell, supply, or distribute any motor fuel to any person in the District of Columbia, by himself or by his employee, servant, or agent, or as the employee, servant, or agent of any other person, or to have any motor fuel in his custody or possession with intent to sell, supply, or distribute such motor fuel, without having first filed a current valid declaration with the Mayor, provided that any person who is engaged in the business of selling, supplying, or distributing motor fuel in the District of Columbia on April 19, 1977, may continue such business for not more than 30 days after April 19, 1977, without filing a declaration.

(b) Whenever a person intends to discontinue the business of selling, supplying, or distributing motor fuel in the District of Columbia, whether through a sale or transfer of the business or otherwise, such person shall notify the Mayor in writing of such discontinuance at least 10 days prior to the date that such discontinuance will take effect. Such notice shall give the date of the discontinuance, the reason for such discontinuance, and, in the event of a sale or transfer of the business, the effective date thereof and the name and address of the purchaser or transferee thereof.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 3-101, 24 DCR 2371; Dec. 29, 1979, D.C. Law 3-44, § 2(b), 26 DCR 2093.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-211.

1973 Ed., § 10-211.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-302.04.


§ 36–302.02. Restrictions on operation.

(a) After April 19, 1977, no producer, refiner, or manufacturer of motor fuels as the terms are defined in § 36-301(6A), (9), and (12), shall open a retail service station in the District of Columbia, irrespective of whether or not the retail service station will be operated under a trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the producer, refiner, or manufacturer, unless the retail service station is to be operated by a person or entity other than.

(1) An employee, servant, commissioned agent, or subsidiary of the producer, refiner, or manufacturer; or

(2) A person or entity who operates or manages the retail service station under a contract with the producer, refiner, or manufacturer which provides for a fee arrangement.

(b) After January 1, 1981, no producer, refiner, or manufacturer of motor fuels, as the terms are defined in § 36-301.01(6A), (9), and (12), shall operate a retail service station in the District of Columbia, irrespective of whether or not the retail service station will be operated under a trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the producer, refiner, or manufacturer; with employees, servants, commissioned agents, or subsidiaries of the producer, refiner, or manufacturer; or with a person or entity who operates or manages the retail service station under a contract with the producer, refiner, or manufacturer which provides for a fee arrangement; provided, that any entity, which, as of October 9, 1979, operates a retail service station in the District of Columbia, and of which a producer, refiner, or manufacturer, as defined in § 36-301.01(6A) and (12), only has no more than 49% voting control, may continue to operate the station after January 1, 1981, so long as no producer, refiner or manufacturer, as defined in § 36-301.01(6A) and (12), only has more than 49% voting control of the entity.

(c) Repealed.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 3-102, 24 DCR 2371; Dec. 29, 1979, D.C. Law 3-44, § 2(a), 26 DCR 2093; Apr. 8, 2005, D.C. Law 15-297, § 2(b), 52 DCR 1485; Jan. 29, 2008, D.C. Law 17-80, § 2(a), 54 DCR 11883.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-212.

1973 Ed., § 10-212.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-302.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-297 rewrote the section which had read:

“(a) After April 19, 1977, no producer, refiner, or manufacturer of motor fuels as the terms are defined in § 36-301.01(10) and (12) shall open a retail service station in the District of Columbia, irrespective of whether or not such retail service station will be operated under a trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by such producer, refiner, or manufacturer, unless such retail service station is to be operated by a person or entity other than either an employee, servant, commissioned agent or subsidiary of such producer, refiner, or manufacturer or a person or entity who operates or manages such retail service station under a contract with such producer, refiner, or manufacturer which provides for a fee arrangement.

“(b) After January 1, 1981, no producer, refiner, or manufacturer of motor fuels as the terms are defined in § 36-301.01(10) and (12) shall operate a retail service station in the District of Columbia, irrespective of whether or not such retail service station will be operated under a trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by such producer, refiner, or manufacturer, with employees, servants, commissioned agents, or subsidiaries of such producer, refiner, or manufacturer or with a person or entity who operates or manages such retail service station under a contract with such producer, refiner, or manufacturer which provides for a fee arrangement. However, any entity, which as of October 9, 1979, operates a retail service station in the District of Columbia, and of which a producer, refiner, or manufacturer as defined in § 36-301.01(12) only has no more than 49 per centum voting control, may continue to operate such station after January 1, 1981, so long as no producer, refiner or manufacturer as defined in § 36-301.01(12) only has more than 49 per centum voting control of the entity.”

D.C. Law 17-80, in subsecs. (a) and (b), deleted “jobbers,” preceding “producer”; and repealed subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) Any jobber in violation of subsections (a) or (b) of this subsection as of April 8, 2005, shall have 2 years following April 8, 2005, to come into compliance.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Retail Service Station Clarification Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-21, March 22, 2007, 54 DCR 2782).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-6 amended subsec. (c) to read as follows:

“(c) Any jobber in violation of subsections (a) or (b) of this subsection as of April 8, 2005, shall come into compliance by January 1, 2008.”

Section 4(a) of D.C. Law 17-6 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 36–302.03. Nondiscrimination required of wholesalers.

(a) Every wholesaler shall extend all voluntary allowances, including, but not limited to, any temporary or permanent price reduction, price allowance, price adjustment, special sale, deal, discount, inducement, incentive, rent rebate, rent abatement, rent relief, premium or other allowance, uniformly, on an equitable basis, to every retail service station served. In the event that an exceptional or undue hardship has been imposed on a specific retail service station by the occurrence or existence of special or unusual circumstances, including, but not limited to, loss by fire or a temporary road closing, a nonuniformly extended voluntary allowance may be extended to such retail service station.

(b) Every wholesaler shall apply all equipment rental charges for equipment of a comparable age, condition, grade, or quality uniformly, on an equitable basis, to every retail service station served.

(c) Every wholesaler shall, during periods of shortage affecting such wholesaler, apportion uniformly all motor fuels, including all grades of motor fuel, and all petroleum products affected by such shortage, on an equitable basis, to every retail service station served. No wholesaler shall unreasonably discriminate between retail service stations in their allotments. For the purpose of this subsection, a shortage shall exist when any wholesaler is unable or unwilling for any reason, on either a permanent or temporary basis, to sell, distribute, or supply any specific motor fuels or petroleum products to all retail service stations previously served in a quantity equivalent to that previously sold, distributed, or supplied to such retail service stations.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 3-103, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-213.

1973 Ed., § 10-213.


§ 36–302.04. Exemption from enforcement of § 36-302.02; regulations; reports.

(a) Upon finding that enforcement of § 36-302.02 would impose an exceptional or undue hardship upon any refiner, producer, or manufacturer as a result of the existence of special or unusual circumstances, the Mayor may grant permission to such producer, refiner, or manufacturer to temporarily operate a retail service station for a period of not longer than 90 days. Within 60 days following April 19, 1977, the Mayor shall promulgate rules and regulations specifying the special or unusual circumstances during which a producer, refiner, or manufacturer may temporarily operate a retail service station, including, but not limited to, the abandonment of a retail service station by a retail dealer, the termination of, cancellation of, or failure to renew a marketing agreement other than a wrongful or illegal termination, cancellation, or failure to renew, and other emergencies. Any producer, refiner, or manufacturer who desires the permission provided for in this subsection shall submit a written request for such permission to the Mayor, on such form or forms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Mayor, prior to operating any retail service station. Such request shall include a statement of the special or unusual circumstances that exist and of the exceptional or undue hardship which would result from the enforcement of § 36-302.02. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed as authorizing any producer, refiner, or manufacturer to operate any retail service station in violation of this subchapter during the pendency of a request for permission to temporarily operate such retail service station.

(b) The Mayor may grant an exemption of not longer than 1 year to the divorcement date specified in § 36-302.02(b) to any producer, refiner, or manufacturer who is unable, after reasonable effort, to either sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any retail service station which he owns, leases, or otherwise controls or enter into a satisfactory marketing agreement or lease with a qualified retail dealer or other person who is authorized to operate such retail service station under § 36-302.02.

(c) The Mayor is authorized to promulgate all other rules and regulations necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of subchapters II and IV of this chapter.

(d) The Mayor may require any person subject to the provisions of § 36-302.01 to maintain such written records and to file with the Mayor written reports containing such information as the Mayor shall deem necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of subchapters II and IV of this chapter.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 3-104, 24 DCR 2371.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-214.

1973 Ed., § 10-214.

Editor's Notes

Exemption from moratorium on conversion of full service retail service stations: Sun Refining & Marketing Co. (Sunoco) Station located at 2305 Pennsylvania Ave: See Mayor’s Order 91-34, February 28, 1991.


§ 36–302.05. Violations; notice, order, injunction, and penalties.

(a) Whenever the Mayor has reason to believe that any person has violated or is violating any provision of subchapter II or IV of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, he shall cause written notice to be served upon such person in the manner provided by law. Such notice shall specify the provision or provisions that the Mayor has reason to believe that the person has violated or is violating and the ultimate facts or actions upon which the Mayor bases his belief. The Mayor shall also cause a written order to be served upon such person directing such person to immediately cease and desist from continuing such violation. If the person so ordered refuses or fails to comply with such order, the Mayor shall be authorized to apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction restraining such person from continuing such violation. The court shall have jurisdiction to grant such temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, or other relief as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

(b) Any violation of any provision of subchapter II or IV of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or both. In the event of any violation of any provision of subchapter II or IV of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, each and every day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense and the penalties provided for herein shall be applicable to each such separate offense.

(c) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this subchapter or § 36-304.01, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of those sections, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 3-105, 24 DCR 2371; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 419, 32 DCR 4450; Apr. 8, 2005, D.C. Law 15-297, § 2(c), 52 DCR 1485.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-215.

1973 Ed., § 10-215.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-297, in subsec. (b), substituted “$1,000” for “$300”.