District of Columbia Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current District of Columbia laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion and Infrastructure Tax Credit

Businesses and individuals are eligible for an income tax credit of 50% of the equipment and labor costs for the conversion of qualified AFVs, up to $19,000 per vehicle. A tax credit is also available for 50% of the equipment and labor costs for the purchase and installation of alternative fuel infrastructure on qualified AFV fueling property. The maximum credit is $1,000 per residential electric vehicle charging station, and $10,000 per publicly accessible AFV fueling station. Qualified alternative fuels include, ethanol blends of at least 85%, natural gas, propane, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen. This incentive expires December 31, 2026. For more information, see the Office of Tax and Revenue website. (Reference District of Columbia Code 47-1806.12 through 47-1806.13, 47-1807.10 through 47-1807.11, and 47-1808.10 through 47-1808.11)

Reduced Registration Fee for Alternative Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

A new motor vehicle with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated average city fuel economy of at least 40 miles per gallon is eligible for a reduced vehicle registration fee of $36. This reduced rate applies to the first two years of registration and only the original purchaser, as denoted by the Manufacturer Certificate of Origin, is eligible. For more information, see the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles website. (Reference District of Columbia Code 50-1501.03)

Alternative Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Title Tax Exemption

Qualified alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and motor vehicles with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated average city fuel economy of at least 40 miles per gallon are exempt from the excise tax imposed on an original certificate of title. The original purchaser and subsequent purchasers of the same vehicle are eligible for the excise tax exemption. The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines which AFVs qualify. For more information, see the District of Columbia DMV website. (Reference District of Columbia Code 50-2201.03(j))

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Exemption from Driving Restrictions

Certified clean fuel vehicles are exempt from time-of-day and day-of-week restrictions and commercial vehicle bans if the vehicles are part of a fleet that operates at least 10 vehicles in the District of Columbia. This exemption does not permit unrestricted access to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, except for covered fleet vehicles that have been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEV) and continue to be in compliance with applicable ILEV emission standards. (Reference District of Columbia Code 50-702 and 50-714)

Utility/Private Incentives

All-Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate - Pepco

Pepco customers are eligible for a $5,000 rebate for the purchase of a new 2018 Nissan Leaf. Rebates are available through January 2, 2019. To receive the rebate, applicants must show the flyer and a recent Pepco utility bill to a participating Nissan dealer. For more information, visit the Pepco EV website.

Laws and Regulations

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Pilot Program

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) administers the EVSE Pilot Program to install at least 15 EVSE, including one EVSE in every ward, by January 1, 2019. Each EVSE must be able to charge more than one plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) at a time and be able to collect and transmit data to DDOT. DDOT will publish a map of EVSE locations on its website. Beginning January 1, 2020, DDOT must submit to the Council of the District of Columbia a report that analyzes charging data and provides recommendations on access, siting, and other policies to encourage the use of PEVs. (Reference District of Columbia Law 22-78, 2018)

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Study

By July 1, 2019, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and other District of Columbia (DC) agencies must make publicly available a study that evaluates and makes recommendations regarding the effects of AVs on DC's economy, revenue, infrastructure, environment and public health, public safety, disability community, and transportation. The study must also evaluate the need for and use of AV data. (Reference District of Columbia Act 22-442, 2018 and District of Columbia Code 50-2353.01)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Infrastructure Support

The Green Finance Authority (Authority) increases private investment in clean transportation projects, including alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. The Authority Board will manage and authorize the Authority to issue bonds, establish the Authority Fund, and require the Authority to publish an annual report. (Reference District of Columbia Law 22-155, 2018)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

Fleets that operate at least 10 vehicles in the District of Columbia must ensure that 70% of newly purchased vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds (lbs.) or less and 50% of vehicles with a GVWR between 8,500 lbs. and 26,000 lbs. are clean fuel vehicles. For the purpose of this requirement, a clean fuel is any fuel, including diesel, ethanol (including E85), hydrogen, propane, natural gas, reformulated gasoline, or other power source (including electricity) used in a clean fuel vehicle that complies with standards and requirements applicable to such vehicles. Certain exemptions apply. (Reference District of Columbia Code 50-702 through 50-703)

Idle Reduction Requirement

A diesel- or gasoline-powered motor vehicle may not idle for more than three consecutive minutes, except under the following conditions: 1) to operate power takeoff equipment including, but not limited to, cement mixers, refrigeration systems, and delivery vehicles; 2) if it is a private passenger vehicle; or 3) to operate heating equipment for five minutes when the ambient temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. (Reference District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Title 20, Chapter 9, Section 900.1)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

The Mayor of the District of Columbia adopted the California motor vehicle emissions standards and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The Mayor:

  • May adopt, by rule, motor vehicle programs for emissions inspection, recall, and warranty requirements;
  • May work in cooperation, and enter into agreements with, other states to administer requirements of the program;
  • Must work in conjunction with other states to promote and facilitate the regional adoption of similar LEV programs; and
  • Must educate District residents on the requirements of any adopted LEV program.

(Reference Mayor's Order 2018-044, 2018 and District of Columbia Code 50-731)

Passenger Vehicle Procurement Requirements

All passenger vehicles the District of Columbia government purchases or leases must have a minimum U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated average fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon and may not be a sport utility vehicle. Exemptions apply to security, emergency rescue, snow removal, and armored vehicles. (Reference District of Columbia Code 50-203)