Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Public Auction Permits.


§ 47–2701. Permit required.

(a) Excepting sales made under authority of law, it shall be unlawful in the District of Columbia for any person, firm, or corporation, either for himself or itself, or for another, or for any firm, or corporation to sell or offer at public auction any stock or stocks of merchandise, in whole or in part, without first obtaining from the Mayor of the District of Columbia a written or printed permit so to do; and the Mayor shall not issue a permit for any such sale or sales until he is satisfied that neither fraud nor deception of any kind is contemplated or will be practiced, and that neither the sale, the reasons therefor nor the goods to be sold have not already been or will not thereafter be fraudulently or falsely advertised or in any wise whatsoever misrepresented.

(b) Any license issued pursuant to this subchapter shall be issued as an Inspected Sales and Services endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of this title.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 846, ch. 473, § 1; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(pp)(5), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(hh)(3), 50 DCR 6913.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2701.

1973 Ed., § 47-2201.

Effect of Amendments

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

Cross References

License law, auctioneer licenses, see § 47-2808.

License law, Council may regulate, modify or eliminate license requirements, see § 47-2842.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 47–2702. Application; fee; required information.

Every such permit shall be issued for a definite period of time not exceeding 12 months from its date of issue, and the date and hour of its expiration shall be stated in the permit, and before such permit shall be issued the applicant therefor shall pay to the District of Columbia, through its Collector of Taxes, such fee as the Mayor may deem sufficient to reimburse the District of Columbia for the work and expense of issuing the permit and gathering information concerning the applicant and his goods as the Mayor may deem prudent and best for the protection of the public, but which fee shall not exceed the sum of $150. The application for the said permit shall be by verified petition, stating the name of the applicant, residence, street, and number of the proposed place of selling, and shall set forth in detail the goods to be sold and what statements or representations are to be made or advertised as to the same, and the length of time for which the permit is desired; and, if previously engaged in a like or similar business, to designate all the places where the same was conducted, and shall furnish to the Mayor such further evidence as shall be deemed necessary to establish the truth of the statements made in the said petition.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 846, ch. 473, § 2; Sept. 14, 1976, D.C. Law 1-82, title I, § 106, 23 DCR 2461; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2702.

1973 Ed., § 47-2202.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 47-401.


§ 47–2703. Personal effects, furniture, personal livestock may be sold without permit.

No permit as herein provided for shall be required for the sale of any wagon, carriage, automobile, mechanics’ tools, used farming implements, livestock, including game, poultry (dressed or undressed), vegetables, fruits, melons, berries, flowers, or for the sale of used household furniture and effects when being sold at the residence of the housekeeper selling them.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 3; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2703.

1973 Ed., § 47-2203.


§ 47–2704. Suspension of license for violations.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby vested with authority to temporarily suspend the operation of the license herein provided for whenever he may believe that this subchapter, or any part thereof, or regulations made in pursuance thereof, are about to be or are being violated, and he shall thereupon forthwith institute the appropriate proceeding in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in accordance with this subchapter, and in the event that the said violation results in a conviction, then and in that event the license shall be and become null and void, but in the event that the said proceeding shall terminate in favor of the defendant, then and in that event the suspension of said license shall be at an end, and the license shall thereupon be restored and be in full force and effect.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 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); enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2704.

1973 Ed., § 47-2204.

Cross References

Administrative procedure, generally, see § 2-501 et seq.


§ 47–2705. Hours restricted for auctions of jewelry or valuables.

No person as herein provided for shall sell at public auction, from the first day of April until the 30th day of September, both inclusive, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., nor from the first day of October until the 30th day of March, both inclusive, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. any jewelry, diamond, or other precious stone, watch, gold and silver ware, gold and silver plated ware, statuary, porcelains, bric-a-brac, or articles of virtu.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 5; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2705.

1973 Ed., § 47-2205.


§ 47–2706. Misrepresenting merchandise.

Any person selling or offering for sale any property under the provisions of this subchapter shall, in describing the same, be truthful with respect to the character, quality, kind, and description of the same and which, for the purpose hereof, shall be considered as warranties, and any breach of the same shall be punishable by prosecution in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, as hereinbefore set forth.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 6; 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); enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2706.

1973 Ed., § 47-2206.


§ 47–2707. Prosecutions.

All prosecutions under this subchapter shall be in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia upon information by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or 1 of his assistants. Any person violating any of the provisions of this subchapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than $10 and not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment of not more than 60 days or both, in the discretion of the court. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this subchapter, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this subchapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this subchapter shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 7; 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, § 465, 32 DCR 4450; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 73(k), 52 DCR 2638; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 286(p), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2707.

1973 Ed., § 47-2207.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354 substituted “Attorney General for the District of Columbia” for “Corporation Counsel”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “and not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “nor more than $200”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 286(p) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 47–2708. Construction.

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to excuse or release any person, firm or corporation, or property from the payment of any occupational or property tax, or any other tax imposed or levied by law. Neither shall anything herein be construed to obviate the application of any fraudulent or false advertisement statute of the District of Columbia to any person who may violate the same; nor shall anything herein be construed to prevent any prosecution for fraud, deceit, or larceny by trick; nor to in any way estop or hinder any remedy at law or in equity, or the right to cancel or estop any unconscionable bargain or fraudulent transaction.


(Sept. 8, 1916, 39 Stat. 847, ch. 473, § 8; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2708.

1973 Ed., § 47-2208.