Code of the District of Columbia

Part B. Pawnbrokers.


§ 47–2884.01. Definitions.

As used in this part:

(1) The term “person” means an individual, firm, voluntary association, joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation.

(2) The term “District” means the District of Columbia.

(3) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District or the agent or agents designated by him to perform any function vested in the Mayor by this part; provided, that for the purposes of subsection (e) of § 47-2884.07 no such agent shall, by way of appeal, review his own action, decision, or ruling.

(4) The term “pawnbroker” means any person who shall in any manner lend or advance money or other things for profit on pledge and possession of personal property or other valuable thing, other than securities or written or printed evidences of indebtedness or who deals in the purchasing of personal property or other valuable thing on condition of selling the same back again at a stipulated price, and shall include all pawnbrokers referred to in §§ 5-117.01, 5-117.02, and 5-117.03.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1036, ch. 970, § 1; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1901.

1973 Ed., § 2-2001.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.02. License required; display of sign or emblem.

(a) No person shall engage in business as a pawnbroker except as authorized in this part and without first obtaining a license from the Mayor as hereinafter provided.

(b) No person, other than a licensee under this part, shall display any sign or other device in or about any business premises, or in any advertising matter, which in any manner resembles the emblem or sign commonly used by pawnbrokers nor display any sign which is calculated to deceive, nor use the word ‘pawnbroker’ in or about any business premises or in any advertising matter, nor shall any such person hold himself out to the public to be a pawnbroker either by advertising, soliciting, signs, or otherwise.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1036, ch. 970, § 2; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1902.

1973 Ed., § 2-2002.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

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 Government Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.03. Appointment of Mayor as attorney; application for license; cash capital; application fee; endorsement to master business license.

(a) No license shall be issued to any person unless and until such person shall, in writing and in the form prescribed by the Mayor, appoint the Mayor as his true and lawful attorney upon whom all judicial and other process or legal notice directed to such person may be served. A copy of any such process or notice so served upon the Mayor shall be forthwith sent by registered mail by the plaintiff or his attorney to the defendant at his residence or his place of business.

(b) Each application for a license under this part shall be in writing, under oath or affirmation, to the Mayor in such form as he may prescribe. Such application shall contain:

(1) In the case of an individual, his name and the address of his residence and place of business;

(2) In the case of a firm or voluntary association, the name and address of every member thereof and the address of the place where such business is to be conducted;

(3) In the case of a joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation, the names and addresses of the officers and directors thereof and the address of the place where such business is to be conducted; and

(4) Such additional information as the Council of the District of Columbia may prescribe.

(c) Each applicant shall prove to the satisfaction of the Mayor that he has available, for use in the business of making loans authorized by this part at the location specified in his application, cash capital of at least $20,000.

(d) Upon the filing of any such application the applicant shall pay to the Mayor the sum of $50 as a fee for investigating the application, which sum shall be retained by the District whether such application is approved or disapproved.

(e) Any license issued pursuant to this part 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 this chapter.

(f) No license shall be issued to any person unless:

(1) At least 30 days before the issuance of a license, all affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have been provided notice that a pawnbroker license application has been submitted to the Mayor; provided, that this paragraph shall not apply to applications for a renewal of a pawnbroker license; and

(2) The opinions of all affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have been accorded great weight during deliberations to approve or deny the license application.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1036, ch. 970, § 3; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261,§ 2003(c), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(hh)(4)(Y), 50 DCR 6913; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-315, § 4(a), 57 DCR 12412; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7158(a), 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1903.

1973 Ed., § 2-2003.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2884.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (e), 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”.

D.C. Law 18-315 added subsec. (f).

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 substituted “30 days before” for “30 days prior to” in (f)(1); and substituted “opinions” for “opinion” in (f)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(hh)(4)(Y) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7158(a) 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 § 7158(a) 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).

Short Title

Section 7151 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle O of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2013”.

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.

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(70) 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.


§ 47–2884.04. Bond.

(a) Each applicant shall file with his application a bond running to the District in the sum of $5,000 with 2 or more sufficient sureties, whose liability as such securities shall not exceed the said sum in the aggregate; except that the execution of any such bond by a fidelity or surety company authorized by the laws of the United States to transact business in the District shall be equivalent to the execution thereof by 2 sureties, but such company, if excepted to, shall justify in the manner required by law of fidelity and surety companies. Such bond shall be approved by the Mayor and conditioned upon the compliance by the applicant with all the provisions of this part and all rules and regulations lawfully made pursuant thereto. Any person injured by the noncompliance with any such provision, rule, or regulation by any licensee under this part may maintain a suit in his own name in any court of competent jurisdiction and recover on the bond such damages as shall be adjudged by such court together with costs of such suit. Recovery upon any such bond shall not preclude recovery against such licensee for any liability in excess of the amount recovered upon the bond, and such recovery shall not be held to extinguish any remedy under other law.

(b) The bond or bonds which the licensee is required to file hereunder shall be renewed and refiled annually at the time of making payment of the annual license fee. If the Mayor shall find that any such bond has for any reason become insecure or exhausted, an additional bond in the sum of not more than $5,000 shall be filed by the licensee within 10 days after written demand therefor by the Mayor.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1037, ch. 970, § 4; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1904.

1973 Ed., § 2-2004.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.05. License—Issuance; fee; contents; display; transferability; change of place or business.

(a) If the Mayor approves the bond filed by the applicant and the form of the application, and finds after investigation: (1) that the financial responsibility, experience, character, and general fitness of such applicant, and of the members thereof if the applicant is a firm or voluntary association, and of the officers and directors thereof if the applicant is a joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation are such as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant the belief that the business of the applicant will be operated honestly, fairly, and efficiently in accordance with the purposes of this part; (2) that permitting such applicant to engage in such business will promote the convenience and advantage of the community; and (3) that the applicant has available for use in such business at the location specified in the application cash capital of at least $20,000, the Mayor shall, upon payment by the applicant of a license fee of $800, issue to the applicant a license to make such loans in accordance with the provisions of this part at the location specified in such application; except that if any such license is issued after the 30th day of April of any year the fee for such license shall be $250. If the Mayor does not so find after investigation he shall notify the applicant thereof and return the bond filed with the application. Within 60 days from the date of filing the application for license, accompanied by the investigation fee and bond required by this part, the Mayor shall either issue or refuse to issue such license, but no applicant shall be denied a license until after a due hearing by the Mayor, at which the applicant shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to produce evidence in support of his application. If the application be denied, the Mayor shall within 20 days thereafter prepare a written decision and findings with respect thereto containing a summary of the evidence and the reasons supporting the denial and forthwith serve upon the applicant a copy thereof.

(b) Each license issued under this part shall state fully the name of the licensee and the place at which the business is to be conducted under such license. Such license shall be kept conspicuously posted in such place of business. No such license shall be transferable or assignable. Not more than 1 place of business shall be maintained under the same license, but the Mayor may issue more than 1 license to the same licensee upon compliance for each such license with all the provisions of this part applicable to the original issuance of licenses. Whenever a licensee shall desire to change his place of business to another location within the District he shall file an application for a new license in accordance with the provisions of § 47-2884.03.

(c) No licensee shall transact such business or make any loan provided for by this part under any other name or at any other place of business than that named in the license.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1037, ch. 970, § 5; Sept. 14, 1976, D.C. Law 1-82, title I, § 101(a), 23 DCR 2461; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-315, § 4(b), 57 DCR 12412; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7158(b), 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1905.

1973 Ed., § 2-2005.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-315, in subsec. (b), substituted “file an application for a new license in accordance with the provisions of § 47-2884.03” for “immediately give written notice thereof to the Mayor. Upon receipt of such notice the Mayor shall attach to the license a statement of the change of location and the date thereof, which shall be authority for the operation of such business under such license at the new location.”

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 purported to substitute “file an application for a new license in accordance with the provisions of § 47-2884.03” for “immediately give written notice thereof to the Mayor. Upon receipt of such notice the Mayor shall attach to the license a statement of the change of location and the date thereof, which shall be authority for the operation of such business under such license at the new location” in (b), a substitution that had already been made by D.C. Law 18-315.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation and Community Notification Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-385, April 29, 2010, 57 DCR 3838).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7158(b) 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 § 7158(b) 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).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(a) of D.C. Law 18-200 added subsec. (a-1) to read as follows:

“(a-1)(1) A license shall not be issued to an applicant unless:

“(A) At least 30 days prior to the issuance of a license, all Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in the ward where the pawnbroker will be located shall be provided notice that a pawnbroker license application has been submitted to the Mayor; and

“(B) All affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have been accorded great weight during deliberations to approve or deny the license application.

“(2) This subsection shall not apply to applications for licensure renewal submitted by any pawnbroker licensed in accordance with this part as of April 1, 2010.”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-200 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Section 7151 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle O of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2013”.

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.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.06. License—Revocation; suspension; renewal; renewal fee; procedure; surrender.

(a) Each license shall remain in full force and effect until the 1st day of November following the date of issuance unless sooner surrendered by the licensee or suspended or revoked as hereinafter provided. Application for license for the following year may be made by any licensee within 20 days prior to the 1st day of November. If the Mayor is satisfied that no fact or condition then exists which clearly would warrant the Mayor in refusing to issue a license on an original application the Mayor is authorized to issue license for the year commencing on the 1st day of November following the date of such application, upon payment of license fee of $550.

(b) The Mayor shall, upon 10 days notice to the licensee stating that he contemplates the revocation or suspension of his license, and, in general, the grounds therefor, revoke or suspend such license, after reasonable opportunity has been afforded to the licensee to be heard, if the Mayor finds: (1) that the licensee has failed to maintain in effect the bond or bonds required under this part; or (2) that the licensee has either, knowingly or without the exercise of due care to prevent the same, violated any provision of this part or has failed to comply with any rule or regulation lawfully made pursuant thereto; or (3) that any fact or condition then exists which clearly would warrant the Mayor in refusing to issue a license on an original application. If the license be revoked or suspended the Mayor shall, within 20 days thereafter, prepare a written decision and findings with respect thereto containing a summary of the evidence and the reasons supporting the revocation or suspension and forthwith serve upon the licensee a copy thereof.

(c) The Mayor may revoke or suspend only the particular license with respect to which there are grounds for revocation or suspension, but if the Mayor finds that such grounds for revocation or suspension apply or extend to more than 1 license issued to any person under this part, he shall revoke or suspend all the licenses affected thereby.

(d) The licensee may at any time surrender any license issued to him under this part upon filing written notice to that effect with the Mayor.

(e) No revocation, suspension, or surrender of any such license shall impair or affect the obligation of any preexisting lawful contract between the licensee and any borrower, or any bond given by such licensee.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1038, ch. 970, § 6; Sept. 14, 1976, D.C. Law 1-82, title I, § 101(b), 23 DCR 2461; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1906.

1973 Ed., § 2-2006.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Cross References

Judicial review, see § 11-722.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.07. License—Enforcement of part; annual report; records of licensee; appeal of action, decision, or ruling of Mayor.

(a) The provisions of this part shall be enforced by the Mayor, and the Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to make such rules and regulations in addition hereto and not inconsistent herewith, as may be necessary for the enforcement of this part. The Mayor shall make such examination and investigations of the affairs, business, office, and records of every licensee, and such further examinations or investigations as he shall deem necessary for the purpose of discovering violations of this part or of securing information necessary for its proper enforcement. For the purpose of making such examinations or investigations, the Mayor and his duly designated representatives shall have authority to require by subpoena the production of books, papers, and records and the attendance, and examination under oath, of all persons whomsoever whose testimony they may require relative to the loans or business of any such licensee, and shall have free access to the accounts, papers, records, files, safes, vaults, offices, and places of business used in connection with any business conducted under any license issued in accordance with this part. In the event of contumacy or refusal to obey any such subpoena or requirement under this section, the Mayor may make application to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for an order requiring obedience thereto. Thereupon the Court, with or without notice and hearing, as it in its discretion may decide, may make such order as is proper and may punish as a contempt any failure to comply with such order.

(b) Each licensee shall annually, on or before the 15th day of March, file with the Mayor a report giving such information as the Mayor may require, relevant to the business and operations during the preceding calendar year of each licensed place of business conducted by such licensee in the District. Such report shall be made under oath and in the form prescribed by the Mayor. The Mayor shall make and publish annually an analysis and recapitulation of such reports.

(c) Each licensee shall keep and use in his business and shall preserve, for at least 3 years after making the final entry on any loan recorded therein, such books, accounts, records, or card systems as will enable the Mayor to determine whether such licensee is complying with the provisions of this part and with the rules and regulations made pursuant thereto.

(d) The Mayor is authorized to appoint such assistants, clerks, or other employees as may be required for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part.

(e) Any person aggrieved by any action, decision, or ruling of the Mayor under this part may, within 20 days thereafter, or within 20 days after the service upon such person of any written decision and findings required by this part, appeal to the Mayor for a review thereof. Upon any such review, the Mayor may affirm, set aside, or modify such action, decision, or ruling. In any such case the Mayor shall, within 10 days thereafter, prepare a written decision and findings with respect thereto, containing a summary of the evidence and the reasons supporting the affirmance, setting aside, or modification, and forthwith serve upon the aggrieved person a copy thereof.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1039, ch. 970, § 7; 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), 164(m); Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1907.

1973 Ed., § 2-2007.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2884.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

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(71) 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.


§ 47–2884.08. Advertising; statement of rates.

(a) No licensee or other person, firm, voluntary association, joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation shall advertise, print, display, publish, distribute, or broadcast, or cause or permit to be advertised, printed, displayed, published, distributed, or broadcast, in any manner whatsoever, any statement or representation with regard to the rates, terms, or conditions for the lending of money, credit, goods, or things in action in the amount or of the value of $1,000 or less, which is false, misleading, or deceptive, or, in the case of a licensee, which refers to the supervision of such business by the District of Columbia, or any department or official thereof. The Mayor may order any licensee to desist from any conduct which he shall find to be a violation of the foregoing provisions.

(b) The Mayor may require that rates of charge, if stated by a licensee, be stated fully and clearly in such manner as he may deem necessary to prevent misunderstanding thereof by prospective borrowers.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1040, ch. 970, § 8; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1908.

1973 Ed., § 2-2008.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.09. Maximum rate of interest permitted; repayment of loan.

(a) Beginning January 1, 2011, the maximum rate of interest which a pawnbroker may contract for, and receive, including fees, shall not exceed 5% per month, or fraction of the month, for the first 6 months of a loan, and 3% per month, or fraction of the month, thereafter; provided, that a pawnbroker may contract for, and receive, a minimum charge of $2 per month, or fraction of the month, in lieu of interest.

(b) The borrower may pay all or any part of any loan made pursuant to this part at any time before the date of maturity thereof, but any such payment may first be applied by the licensee to all interest unpaid up to the date of such payment.

(c) Once during each calendar year, a borrower shall have the right to rescind any pawn loan by the end of the same business day of the transaction. A $2 fee may be assessed by the licensee to offset the administrative cost of the rescission.

(d) The Mayor shall investigate from time to time, but no more frequently than once every 3 years, the economic conditions and other factors relating to and affecting the business of making pawnbroker loans under this part and shall ascertain and report to the Council all pertinent facts necessary to determine what maximum rate of interest should be permitted.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1040, ch. 970, § 9; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-315,§ 4(c), 57 DCR 12412; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7158(c), 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1909.

1973 Ed., § 2-2009.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-315 rewrote subsec. (a); and added subsecs. (c) and (d).

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 purported to rewrite (a) and add (c) and (d); a substitution that had already been made by D.C. Law 18-315.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation and Community Notification Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-385, April 29, 2010, 57 DCR 3838).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7158(c) 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 § 7158(c) 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).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 18-200 amended subsec. (a) to read as follows:

“(a)(1) The maximum rate of interest which a pawnbroker may contract for, and receive, including fees, shall not exceed 24% per annum; provided, that this subsection shall not apply to any pawnbroker licensed in accordance with this part as of April 1, 2010.

“(2) The maximum rate of interest which a pawnbroker licensed in accordance with this part as of April 1, 2010 may contract for and receive shall be the same as permitted by section 8 of Article 41 of the Police Regulations, effective August 22, 1957 (C.O. 57-1638; 16 DCMR § 910).”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-200 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Section 7151 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle O of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2013”.

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.

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(72) 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.


§ 47–2884.10. Excessive consideration prohibited; instruments for loans made in violation of part invalid; loans made outside of District.

(a) No person, except as authorized by this part, shall directly or indirectly, by any device, subterfuge, or pretense, whatsoever, ask, demand, charge, contract for, or receive, or participate, as agent, broker, procurer, intermediary, or volunteer, or in any other capacity, in asking, demanding, charging, contracting for, or receiving any interest, discount, fee, charge, or other consideration which in the aggregate is greater than the interest which is permitted by §§ 28-3301 to 28-3303, upon any loan or application for loan in the amount or of the value of $1,000, or less, whether or not such loan is made.

(b) No person engaged in the business regulated by this part shall pay, directly or indirectly, to any person, any money, service, or thing of value for the doing of any of the acts prohibited in subsection (a) of this section; provided, that this subsection shall apply only to acts done or performed with reference to loan transactions or applications for loans in sums of $1,000 or less, or in inducing or seeking to induce any person to borrow in sums of $1,000 or less.

(c) No instrument evidencing a loan made within the District in violation of the provisions of this part shall be valid or enforceable in the District by the lender or by any other holder thereof who acquired the same with actual knowledge that said loan was made in violation of the provisions of this part or with knowledge of such facts that his action in taking such instrument amounted to bad faith.

(d) Any loan made by any person not licensed under this part for which there has been charged, contracted for, or received a greater rate of interest, discount, or consideration than the interest which is permitted by §§ 28-3301 to 28-3303, and any loan made by a licensee under this part for which there has been charged, contracted for, or received a greater rate of interest, discount, or consideration than licensees are permitted to charge, contract for, or receive under this part is hereby declared to be against the public policy of the District. No such loan made outside the District shall be enforced in the District and every person in anywise participating therein in the District shall be subject to the provisions of this part, except that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a loan legally made in any state under and in accordance with the provisions of a duly enacted pawnbroker law.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1041, ch. 970, § 10; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1910.

1973 Ed., § 2-2010.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Editor's Notes

Police regulations amended: Section 3 of D.C. Law 5-137 amended § 2 of Commissioners’ Order No. 57-1638 (Article 41 of the Police Regulations of the District of Columbia) concerning pawnbrokers’ maximum rates of interest, monthly charges instead of interest, and computation of interest and of the 6-month period after which a pledge may be sold.


§ 47–2884.11. Book containing loan transactions required; inspection of books; police to be admitted to premises; daily transcript.

(a) Every pawnbroker shall keep a book in which shall be fairly written, at the time of each loan, an accurate account and description of the goods, article, or thing pawned or pledged, the amount of money loaned thereon, the time of pledging the same, the rate of interest to be paid on such loan, and the name and residence of the person pawning or pledging the said goods, article, or thing, together with a particular description of such person, including complexion, color of eyes and hair, and his or her height and general appearances.

(b) The said book shall at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of the Mayor. It shall be the duty of every pawnbroker, and of every person in his employ, to admit to his premises during business hours any member of the Metropolitan Police force of the District of Columbia as aforesaid to examine any pledge or pawnbook or other record on the premises, as well as the articles pledged, purchased, or received, and to search for and take possession of any article known by him to be missing or known or believed by him to have been stolen, without the formality of the writ of search warrant or any other process, which search or seizure is hereby authorized.

(c) Except as to any judicial or other official of the District, having a right thereto in his official capacity, it shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the District to divulge or make known in any manner the contents of such book.

(d) Every pawnbroker shall, every day, except Sunday, before the hour of 11:00 a.m., deliver to the Chief of Police, or his representative, on forms or via electronic means in a format prescribed by the Mayor, a legible and correct transcript from the book or books provided for in subsection (a) of this section, showing an accurate and complete description of every article or thing received by him, in pawn or pledge, and giving all numbers, marks, monograms, trademarks, manufacturers’ names, and other marks of identification appearing on the same, on the business day next preceding, together with the numbers of the pawn ticket issued therefor, the amount of the loan thereon, and the name, residence, and physical description of the person pawning or pledging the said goods, article or thing.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1041, ch. 970, § 11; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-315, § 4(d), 57 DCR 12412; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7158(d), 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1911.

1973 Ed., § 2-2011.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2884.12.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-315, in subsec. (d), substituted “on forms or via electronic means in a format prescribed by the Mayor” for “on forms to be prescribed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia”.

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 purported to substitute “on forms or via electronic means in a format prescribed by the Mayor” for “on forms to be prescribed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia” in (d), a substitution that had already been made by D.C. Law 18-315.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7158(d) 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 § 7158(d) 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).

Short Title

Section 7151 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle O of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2013”.

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.

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 401 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 a single Commissioner. 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.


§ 47–2884.12. Borrower to receive memorandum of loan transaction.

Every pawnbroker shall, at the time of each loan, deliver to the person pawning or pledging any goods, article, or thing a memorandum or note, signed by him, containing the substance of the entry required to be made in his or her book by § 47-2884.11, excepting as to the description of the person and no charge shall be made or received by any pawnbroker for any such entry, memorandum, or note.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1042, ch. 970, § 12; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1912.

1973 Ed., § 2-2012.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.


§ 47–2884.13. Sale of pawn or pledge—Required time of possession.

No pawnbroker shall sell a pawn or a pledge until the pawn or the pledge has remained 6 months in the pawnbroker’s possession, unless by consent in writing by the pawner.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1042, ch. 970, § 13; Mar. 13, 1985, D.C. Law 5-137,§ 2(a), 31 DCR 5743; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1913.

1973 Ed., § 2-2013.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.


§ 47–2884.14. Sale of pawn or pledge—Notice.

At least 30 days before selling a pawn or a pledge, the pawnbroker shall send notice of the sale to the pawner by certified mail. Certificates of mailing of the notice shall be part of the pawnbroker business records required by this part to be kept.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1042, ch. 970, § 14; Mar. 13, 1985, D.C. Law 5-137,§ 2(b), 31 DCR 5743; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1914.

1973 Ed., § 2-2014.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.


§ 47–2884.15. Sale of pawn or pledge—Disposition of surplus moneys.

The surplus money from the sale, after deducting the amount of the loan, the interest then due on the loan, and the expenses of the notice and sale, shall be paid over by the pawnbroker to the person who would have been entitled to redeem the pledge had the sale not taken place.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1042, ch. 970, § 15; Mar. 13, 1985, D.C. Law 5-137,§ 2(c), 31 DCR 5743; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1915.

1973 Ed., § 2-2015.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.


§ 47–2884.16. Penalties for violation of part; loan declared void; pledge returned.

(a) Any individual or any member, officer, director, agent, or employee of any firm, voluntary association, joint-stock company, incorporated society, or corporation who shall violate or participate in the violation of any of the provisions of this part shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

(b) Any contract of loan in the making or collection of which any act shall have been done which constitutes a violation of any of the provisions of this part shall be void and the lender shall have no right to collect or receive any principal, interest, or charges whatsoever on account thereof. Any person pledging any goods, article, or other thing as security for a loan which is void shall be entitled to the return of such goods, article, or thing without being required to pay any principal, interest, or other charge on account of such void loan.

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


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1042, ch. 970, § 16; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 439, 32 DCR 4450; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 286(v), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1916.

1973 Ed., § 2-2016.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “of not more than $300” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 286(v) 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.


§ 47–2884.17. Rules and regulations.

The Mayor, pursuant to [Chapter 5 of Title 2, § 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this part.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1043, ch. 970, § 17; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-315, § 4(e), 57 DCR 12412; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, §§ 122, 302, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 7158(e), 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1917.

1973 Ed., § 2-2017.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-315 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to make, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to enforce, such rules and regulations as the Council deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.”

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law; and substituted “this part” for “this act.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 substituted “this part” for “this act”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7158(e) 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 § 7158(e) 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).

Short Title

Section 7151 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle O of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Tax Clarification Amendment Act of 2013”.

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.

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(73) 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.


§ 47–2884.18. Exceptions to application of part.

Nothing in this part shall apply to any person, firm, joint-stock company, incorporated society, credit union, or corporation doing business in the District of Columbia under the supervision of the Federal Reserve System, or the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or the Department of Health and Human Services or to loans made by them.


(Aug. 6, 1956, 70 Stat. 1043, ch. 970, § 18; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1918.

1973 Ed., § 2-2018.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

References in Text

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, referred to in this section, was substituted for the Home Loan Bank Board pursuant to the Act of August 11, 1955, 69 Stat. 340, ch. 783, § 109.

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation referred to in this section have been abolished. For provisions relating to the abolition of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the transfer of functions, personnel and property of such agencies, see § 401 to 406 of Pub. L. 101-73, set out as notes under 12 U.S.C. § 1437.

The Department of Health and Human Services, referred to near the end of this section, was substituted for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare pursuant to the Act of October 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 695, Pub. L. 96-88, § 509.


§ 47–2884.19. Severability.

If any provision of this part or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the part, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.


(Aug. 16, 1956, 70 Stat. 1043, ch. 970, § 20; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-1919.

1973 Ed., § 2-2019.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.