Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VII-A. Demand for Proof of Insurance from Motorists.


§ 5–114.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Accident” means an untoward and unforeseen occurrence out of the maintenance or use of:

(A) A motor vehicle;

(B) A vehicle operated or designed for operation upon a highway by power other than muscular power with respect only to any pedestrian or any occupant of that vehicle other than the owner or operator of that vehicle; or

(C) Any other vehicle covered by the insurance coverage required by § 31-2406.

(2) “Insurance Identification Card” means a current document issued by an insurer as proof of insurance for a motor vehicle that lists the name of the insurer, the policy number, the name of the insured, the period of coverage for the insurance, and the make, model, and vehicle identification number.

(3) “Insurer” means any person, company, or professional association licensed in the District of Columbia that provides motor vehicle liability protection or any self-insurer.

(4) “Law enforcement officer” means any officer of the Metropolitan Police Department, whether salaried or reserve, or of any other law enforcement agency operating in the District of Columbia with which the Metropolitan Police Department has an agreement authorizing its officers to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

(5) “Motor vehicle” means any device propelled by an internal-combustion engine, electricity, or steam, including any non-operational vehicle that is being restored or repaired. The term “motor vehicle” does not include traction engines used exclusively for drawing vehicles in fields, road rollers, vehicles propelled only upon rails and tracks, electric personal assistive mobility devices, as defined by § 50-2201.02(12), and battery-operated wheelchairs when operated by a person with a disability at speeds not exceeding 10 miles per hour.

(6) “Operator” means a person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle or who is exercising control over or steering a motor vehicle being pushed or towed by a motor vehicle.

(7) “Owner” means any person, corporation, firm, agency, association, organization, or federal, state, or local government agency or other authority or other entity having the property or title to a vehicle or bicycle used or operated in the District; any registrant of a vehicle used or operated in the District; or any person, corporation, firm, agency, association, organization, or federal, state, or local government agency or authority or other entity in business or renting or leasing vehicles or bicycles to be used or operated in the District.

(8) “Proof of insurance” means a valid Insurance Identification Card for a District of Columbia resident or its equivalent for the resident of another state. Other documentation from an insurance company that constitutes reasonable proof of valid insurance being in effect shall be adequate evidence of proof of insurance.

(9) “Self-insurer” means any person having received a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Mayor pursuant to § 50-1301.79.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-117, § 101, 53 DCR 2548; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 12, 59 DCR 5567.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “person with a disability” for “handicapped person” in the second sentence of (5).

Editor's Notes

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


§ 5–114.02. Demand for proof of motor vehicle insurance.

(a) Except when circumstances related to safety, law enforcement, or emergency medical care make it impracticable to do so, a law enforcement officer shall demand proof of insurance from the operator of any motor vehicle that:

(1) Has been involved in a traffic accident to which the law enforcement officer has responded; or

(2) Has been lawfully stopped by the law enforcement officer.

(b)(1) The failure of the operator of a motor vehicle to present proof of insurance upon demand, in violation of § 31-2413(a)(7), shall create a rebuttable presumption that the motor vehicle is being operated without required insurance being in effect, in violation of § 31-2413(a)(3).

(2) If the operator of a motor vehicle is unable to present proof of insurance upon demand, the law enforcement officer shall issue notices of infraction for violations of § 31-2413(a)(3) and (a)(7).

(b-1)(1) For the purposes of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the term "proof of insurance" includes an electronic image of proof of insurance that is displayed on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device.

(2)(A) The presentation of an electronic image of proof of insurance on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device shall not constitute consent for a law enforcement officer to access any other content on the cellular telephone or other portable electronic device.

(B) A law enforcement officer presented with an electronic image of proof of insurance on a cellular telephone or other portable electronic device shall be immune from liability for damage to or loss of the cellular telephone or other portable electronic device; provided, that no immunity shall extend to recklessness or intentional misconduct.

(c) A law enforcement officer may not stop a motor vehicle solely for the purpose of demanding proof of insurance.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-117, § 102, 53 DCR 2548; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-239, § 3, 66 DCR 597.)


§ 5–114.03. Inclusion of insurance information on traffic accident reports.

(a) A law enforcement officer responding to the scene of a motor vehicle accident and completing a traffic accident report shall note the following information on the traffic accident report:

(1) The insurer or provider of insurance for the operator of each motor vehicle involved in the accident; and

(2) The insurer or provider of insurance for each motor vehicle involved in the accident.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, within 90 days of June 8, 2006, the Metropolitan Police Department shall utilize traffic accident report forms that contain adequate space on the form to identify the name of the insurer or provider of insurance for each motorist and motor vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident. The word “Insurance” shall appear adjacent to the space on the form provided for the required insurance information.

(2) Until the Metropolitan Police Department makes the form specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection available to officers, officers shall enter the insurance information required by subsection (a) of this section in the narrative section of the existing traffic accident report form known as a PD-10. Until the supply of existing PD-10 forms in the inventory of the Metropolitan Police Department are depleted, officers may enter the required insurance information in the narrative section of the PD-10.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-117, § 103, 53 DCR 2548.)


§ 5–114.04. Report on enforcement of compulsory insurance requirements.

(a) The Metropolitan Police Department shall annually publish and submit to the Council and to the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking a report on the effectiveness of enforcement of the requirements of compulsory motor vehicle insurance. The Mayor shall direct the appropriate agencies to provide the Metropolitan Police Department with the information needed to compile the report. The report shall include:

(1) Statistics regarding:

(A) The number of notices of infraction (“NOI”) issued for failure to produce proof of insurance upon demand, and the number of such NOls subsequently dismissed; and

(B) The number of NOls for failure to maintain the required insurance, and the number of such NOls subsequently dismissed; and

(2) An evaluation of the effectiveness of enforcement, including any recommendations for improvements to enforcement of compliance with compulsory insurance requirements.

(b) The report shall be on a calendar-year basis and shall be transmitted to the Council and the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking by January 31st, with the first report due January 31, 2007.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-117, § 104, 53 DCR 2548.)