Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Clean Hands Before Receiving a License or Permit.


§ 47–2861. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1)(A) “Applicant” means:

(i) An individual, business, or other entity that applies for the license or permit; and

(ii) Any person that owns a majority interest in the business or other entity; provided, that this sub-subparagraph shall not apply to a majority interest in a publicly-traded corporation.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “majority interest” means:

(i) In the case of a corporation, more than 50% of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of the corporation or more than 50% of the total value of all of the corporation;

(ii) In the case of a partnership, or entity treated as a partnership, more than 50% of the total interest in the capital or profits of a partnership or entity treated as a partnership; or

(iii) In the case of a trust, more than 50% of the beneficial interest in a trust.

(1A) “District government” means the Mayor, any executive branch or independent agency except the courts, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, or any board or commission other than the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

(1B) “District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority service fees” or “service fees” means all fees or charges, including penalty and interest, billed by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

(2) “License” and “permit” means any license or permit issued by the District government, except that the terms “license” and “permit” shall not include:

(A) Any license or permit required pursuant § 6-1401 et seq.; or

(B) Any license or permit determined by the Mayor to be necessary to secure, remove, or otherwise remedy an unsafe and hazardous condition that presents an immediate threat to public health or safety.

(3) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(4) “Taxes” means any tax or fee, including any penalties or interest associated with such tax or fee, administered by the District of Columbia Department of Finance and Revenue or its successor agency.


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 2, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Oct. 21, 2000, D.C. Law 13-183, § 2(b), 47 DCR 7062; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, § 1011(b), 53 DCR 6899.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2861.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-301.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-183 added at the end of par. (1) “or the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority”, and added par. (5).

D.C. Law 16-192 rewrote par. (1); redesignated former par. (1A) as (1B); and added par. (1A). Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “(1) ”District government“ means the Mayor, any executive branch or independent agency excluding the courts, or any board or commission of the government of the District of Columbia or the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(b) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(b) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(b) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

Short Title

Short title: Section 1010 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided that subtitle B of title I of the act may be cited as the Clean Hands Licensing Revision Act of 2006.

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.


§ 47–2862. Prohibition against issuance of license or permit.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the District government shall not issue or reissue a license or permit to any applicant for a license or permit if the applicant:

(1) Owes the District more than $100 in outstanding fines, penalties, or interest assessed pursuant to the following acts or any regulations promulgated under the authority of the following acts, the:

(A) Litter Control Administrative Act of 1985, effective March 25, 1986 (D.C. Law 6-100; D.C. Official Code § 8-801 et seq.);

(B) Illegal Dumping Enforcement Act of 1994, effective May 20, 1994 (D.C. Law 10-117; D.C. Official Code § 8-901 et seq.);

(C) District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978, effective September 12, 1978 (D.C. Law 2-104: D.C. Official Code § 50-2301.01 et seq.);

(D) Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985, effective October 5, 1985 (D.C. Law 6-42; D.C. Official Code § 2-1801.01 et seq.);

(E) Department of For-Hire Vehicles Establishment Act of 1985, effective March 25, 1986 (D.C. Law 6-97; D.C. Official Code § 50-301.01 et seq.); or

(F) The Compulsory/No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act of 1982, effective September 18, 1982 (D.C. Law 4-155; D.C. Official Code § 31-2401 et seq.);

(2) Owes the District more than $100 in past due taxes;

(3) Owes fines assessed to car dealers pursuant to § 50-1501.02(i);

(4) Owes parking fines or penalties assessed by another jurisdiction; provided, that a reciprocity agreement is in effect between the jurisdiction and the District;

(5) Owes past due District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority service charges or fees;

(6) Owes a vehicle conveyance fee, as that term is defined in § 50-2302.01(i);

(7) Owes the District more than $100 in outstanding fines, penalties, or interest;

(8) Has failed to file required District tax returns; or

(9) Owes the District any past due fines, penalties, or past due restitution on behalf of an employee due to a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 32, Chapter 1A of Title 32, Chapter 10 of Title 32, or Subchapter X-A of Chapter 2 of Title 2.

(b) For purposes of this section, if: (A) the amount of outstanding debt over $100 is subject to dispute, (B) the applicant has properly and timely appealed the infraction, assessment, tax, or basis for the alleged debt, and (C) the appeal is pending, then the outstanding debt shall not be cause for the District government to deny the issuance or reissuance of any license or permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed as allowing the nonpayment of any tax, fee, fine, penalty, or any other debt owed to the District government for which payment is required by other law.

(c) A license or permit shall not be denied pursuant to subsection (a) of this section if the applicant has agreed to a payment schedule to eliminate the outstanding debt, the payment schedule has been agreed to by the District government, the applicant is complying with the payment schedule, and the payment schedule is otherwise permitted by law.

(d) This section shall not apply to an applicant for a block party permit pursuant to [Chapter 6A of Title 9, § 9-631 et seq.].


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 3, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 59(j), 45 DCR 745; Oct. 21, 2000, D.C. Law 13-183, § 2(c), 47 DCR 7062; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-289, § 601, 48 DCR 2057; Apr. 8, 2005, D.C. Law 15-307, § 201, 52 DCR 1700; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, §§ 81, 94, 53 DCR 6794; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, §§ 1011(c), 1013, 53 DCR 6899; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 209(b), 54 DCR 903; Mar. 20, 2009, D.C. Law 17-303, § 2, 55 DCR 12803; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 164(a)(1), 56 DCR 1117; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1054(b)(1), 59 DCR 8025; Oct. 23, 2012, D.C. Law 19-190, § 6, 59 DCR 10163; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7192, 60 DCR 12472; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-157, § 5, 61 DCR 10157; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 501(f), 63 DCR 7076.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2862.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-223: Section 301(a) of D.C. Law 20-223 provided (1) that § 101 of the act shall apply for the tax year in which its fiscal effect has been included in an approved budget and financial plan; (2) that the Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification; and (3) that the Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register and that the date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of § 101.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-301, § 47-2863, § 47-2865, § 47-2866, and § 50-1501.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-183 added par. (5).

D.C. Law 13-289, in subsec. (a), added par. (6).

D.C. Law 15-307, in subsec. (a), added pars. (7), (8), and (9).

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (a), validated previously made technical corrections in pars. (5) to (7), and inserted “or” at the end of par. (8), and repealed par. (9) which had read as follows: “(9) Fines assessed to pursuant to the Taxicab and Limousine Commission Establishment Amendment Act of 2004, as approved by the Committee on Public Works and the Environment on December 6, 2004 (Committee print of Bill 15-1085).”

D.C. Law 16-192, in subsec. (a), substituted “Notwithstanding any other provision of law except § 25-301(b), the District government shall not issue or reissue any license or permit to any applicant for a license or permit if the applicant has failed to file required District tax returns or” for “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the District government shall not issue or reissue any license or permit to any applicant for a license or permit if the applicant”.

D.C. Law 16-279 rewrote subsec. (a), which formerly read:

“(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the District government shall not issue or reissue any license or permit to any applicant for a license or permit if the applicant owes more than $100 in outstanding debt to the District as a result of:

“(1) Fines, penalties, or interest assessed pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 8;

“(2) Fines or penalties assessed pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 8;

“(3) Fines, penalties, or interest assessed pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2;

“(4) Past due taxes;

“(5) Past due District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority service fees;

“(6) Fines or penalties assessed pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 50;

“(7) Parking fines or penalties assessed by another jurisdiction; provided, that a reciprocity agreement is in effect between the jurisdiction and the District;

“(8) Fines assessed to car dealers pursuant to § 50-1501.02(i) ;

“(9) Fines assessed to pursuant to the Taxicab and Limousine Commission Establishment Amendment Act of 2004, as approved by the Committee on Public Works and the Environment on December 6, 2004 (Committee print of Bill 15-1085).”

D.C. Law 17-303, in subsec. (a), deleted “or” from the end of par. (4), substituted “; or” for a period at the end of par. (5), and added par. (6).

D.C. Law 17-353, in subsec. (a)(1)(F), inserted a semicolon at the end.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 added (a)(7) and made related changes.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-190 added (d).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 added (a)(8) and made related changes.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-157 added (a)(9) and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 1011(c), 1013 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(c), 1013 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 13 and 20 of Finance and Revenue Technical Amendments Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-585, December 28, 2006, 54 DCR 340).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 1011(c), 1013 of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1054(b)(1) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1054(b)(1) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7192 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7192 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 2(c) of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-544, Dec. 29, 2014, 62 DCR 243, 20 STAT 4458).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-188, Oct. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 14224).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-293, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1215).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-240, March 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1332).

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-57, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15602).

Short Title

Section 7191 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle S of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Clean Hands Act of 2013”.

References in Text

The Taxicab and Limousine Commission Establishment Amendment Act of 2004 (Bill 15-1085), referred to in subsec. (a)(9), was never approved by the committee and after December 31, 2004, has no possibility of enactment.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-157: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-157 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014, and that the act shall apply to violations occurring after October 1, 2014.


§ 47–2863. Self-certification and enforcement (conditional).

(a)(1) This subchapter shall be enforced by self-certification by the applicant for a license or permit, provided that the veracity of the self-certification may be investigated upon the initiative of the District government at any time.

(2) At the time of application for a license or permit the applicant shall certify on a form provided by the District government that the applicant owes no outstanding debt over $100 to the District government as a result of any fine, fee, penalty, interest, or past due tax as set forth in § 47-2862.

(3) Upon receipt of the applicant’s certification that the issuance of the license or permit is not prohibited by this subchapter, the District government shall consider the application as otherwise provided by law, unless the government has information indicating that the applicant has not paid an outstanding debt under § 47-2862.

(b) Upon the implementation of the interagency computer system required by § 47-2866(a)(1), this section shall expire.


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 4, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, § 1011(d), 53 DCR 6899; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 209(c), 54 DCR 903; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 164(a)(2), 56 DCR 1117.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2863.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-402, § 25-405, § 47-2866, and § 50-1501.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-192 redesignated former subsecs. (a), (b), and (c) as pars. (1), (2), and (3) of subsec. (a); and added subsec. (b).

D.C. Law 16-279 rewrote subsec. (a)(3) redesignated from subsec. (c) by Law 16-192, which formerly read:

“(c) Upon receipt of the applicant’s certification that the issuance of the license or permit is not prohibited by this subchapter, the District government shall proceed to consider the application as otherwise provided by law.”

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a)(3).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(d) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(d) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(d) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).


§ 47–2864. Penalties.

(a) If the District government determines at any time that an applicant knowingly falsified the certification required by this subchapter, the District government shall:

(1) Proceed immediately to revoke each license or permit, the application for which contains such a falsified certification; and

(2) Fine the applicant $1,000 for each false certification.

(b) The penalties prescribed by this section shall be applicable only after the applicant is afforded an opportunity for a hearing by the agency which ordinarily would hold a hearing on a revocation of the affected license or permit, and these penalties shall be in addition to any other penalties available by law.

(c) Nothing in this subchapter shall preclude an applicant from submitting a new application for a license or permit.


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 5, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2864.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2865.


§ 47–2865. Remedies.

(a) A person whose license or permit is revoked pursuant to § 47-2864 shall have the same remedy for appeal as otherwise provided by law for the revocation of that license or permit.

(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as granting a new or separate right of appeal on the merits or validity of fines or penalties, or past due taxes, and any appeal of a denial or revocation pursuant to this subchapter shall not consider the merits or validity of the outstanding debt to the District.

(c) Any person whose application is denied pursuant to § 47-2862 may request a hearing within 10 days of the denial on the basis for that denial.


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 6, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-279, § 209(d), 54 DCR 903.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2865.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-279 rewrote subsec. (a); and added subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read:

“(a) An applicant whose application for a license or permit is either proposed for denial or revocation, or is denied or revoked, because of this subchapter, shall have the same remedy for appeal as otherwise provided by law for the denial or revocation of the affected license or permit.”


§ 47–2866. Interagency computer system and enforcement.

(a)(1) Consistent with the Delinquent Debt Recovery Act of 2012, effective September 20, 2012 (subtitle E of title I of D.C. Law 19-168; 59 DCR 8025), the Chief Financial Officer shall implement an interagency computer system to enable government agencies, including the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Tax and Revenue, and the Department of Public Works, to maintain and access up-to-date records of outstanding fines, fees, penalties, interest, taxes, or other charges that may be owed by applicants for licenses or permits from the District government.

(2) At least 30 days prior to the implementation of the interagency computer system, the Chief Financial Officer shall notify the Council of the date of implementation.

(b) Upon the implementation of the interagency computer system as required by subsection (a) of this section:

(1) All agencies responsible for issuing licenses or permits shall utilize the interagency computer system containing records of outstanding fines, fees, penalties, interest, taxes, or other charges owing to the District government to determine whether the application for a license or permit should be denied pursuant to § 47-2862(a);

(2) Self-certification authority shall no longer be authorized; and

(3) Section 47-2863 shall expire.

(c) For purposes of administering and enforcing any tax law in the District of Columbia, the Mayor may require any owner, occupant, or transferor of real property and any taxpayer to provide a social security number or other tax identification number on any return or in a form and manner as the Mayor prescribes. Any use or disclosure of these numbers shall be for tax administration and enforcement purposes only.

(d) The Chief Financial Officer may promulgate such rules as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out provisions of this subchapter.


(May 11, 1996, D.C. Law 11-118, § 7, 43 DCR 1191; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, § 1011(e), 53 DCR 6899; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1054(b)(2), 59 DCR 8025.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2866.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2863.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-192 rewrote the section.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “Consistent with the Delinquent Debt Recovery Act of 2012, passed on 2nd reading on June 5, 2012 (Enrolled version of Bill 19-743), the Chief Financial Officer shall implement” for “On or before June 1, 2007, the Mayor shall implement” in (a)(1); and substituted “the Chief Financial Officer” for “the Mayor” in (a)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(e) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(e) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1011(e) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1054(b)(2) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1054(b)(2) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.