Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

District of Columbia In-Depth

This State Guide provides an in-depth look at sources of law within the District of Columbia.

Administrative Law

I. Regulations

In 1978, D.C. Law 2-153 mandated the publication and compilation of the District of Columbia Rules and Regulations, to be called D.C. Municipal Regulations (DCMR). Before they are compiled in the DCMR, regulations appear in the weekly D.C. Register (DCR). The DCMR is organized by subject and is the official code of current D.C. regulations.

There are three types of rules:

  • Mayor's rules - administrative rules issued by the mayor to carry out the duties of the mayor;
  • Agency rules - rules adopted by agencies exercising authority delegated to the agency by the Council; and
  • Emergency rules - rules adopted without public notice or pre-publication in the DCMR that are allowed in narrow instances. These rules are valid for 120 days.

All rules are published in the DCR first and then compiled into the DCMR. The DCR is similar to theFederal Register (FR) in that it publishes rules and regulations in chronological order. DCMR is similar to Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Subject Compilation

District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR). The subject compilation of current D.C. regulations and rules is called the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR). TheDCMR, however, does not have an official index. A commercial publication called the DCMR Deskbook provides a subject index and an "Authority Section." Use the D.C. Register to update the information in the DCMR. The D.C. Register contains "List of Sections Amended of D.C. Municipal Regulations" in the first issue of each month. If the List of Sections Amended is not published for the month, check the Final Rulemaking section of the Table of Contents of each weekly edition of the DCR published since the last update of the DCMR.

Code of D.C. Municipal Regulations (Weil's Code) is an unofficial version of the DCMR. It includes a subject index, a regulation number index, and a table of authorities. Use the D.C. Registerto update the information in Weil's Code. The D.C. Register contains "List of Sections Amended of D.C. Municipal Regulations" in the first issue of each month. If the List of Sections Amended is not published for the month, check the Final Rulemaking section of the Table of Contents of each weekly edition of the DCR published since the last update of the DCMR.

Where to find DC Regulations?

  • District of Columbia Municipal Regulations
    This is the official version of the current regulations. There is no index to the 31-title print set. There is a commercial publication called the DCMR Deskbook (KFD1240 .H3 1989 (updated annually)). Use the D.C. Register to update the information in the DCMR. The D.C. Register contains "List of Sections Amended of D.C. Municipal Regulations" in the first issue of each month. If the List of Sections Amended is not published for the month, check the Final Rulemaking section of the Table of Contents of each weekly edition of the DCR published since the last update of the DCMR.

    It is available:
     
    • Print: KFD1235 1981 .A23 (print version is out-of-date)
    • Electronic:
      • DCMR Online (official)
        Searchable by Rule Number, Agency, Chapter Number, and full text
        Note: The official, online version was recently revised and contains the most accurate, official, up-to-date information. Other versions of D.C. municipal regulations may contain errors.
         
  • West's District of Columbia Municipal Regulations
    "[O]fficial regulations issued by agencies in the District of Columbia, as updated by West."

Code of D.C. Municipal Regulations (Weil's Code) 
The unofficial but up-to-date compilation of the DC administrative code. Updated every month, well-indexed. Use the D.C. Register to update the information in the DCMR. The D.C. Register contains "List of Sections Amended of D.C. Municipal Regulations" in the first issue of each month. If the List of Sections Amended is not published for the month, check the Final Rulemaking section of the Table of Contents of each weekly edition of the DCR published since the last update of the DCMR.

It is available:

  • District of Columbia Register (DCR) gives brief information of actions of the Council of the District of Columbia (such as resolutions and notices of council hearings), and Actions of the Executive Branch and Independent Agencies (such as proposed rulemaking and emergency rulemaking). It also publishes all resolutions and enacted Acts. It comes out every week during Council Period (mid-September to mid-July). It has an annual index.

    It is available:

II. Administrative Orders, Decisions, and Opinions

  • Administrative orders, decisions, and opinions can often be obtained by contacting the agency. Agency contact information can be found in
  • The D.C. Register publishes orders of a number of administrative agencies.
  • Lexis: The D.C. Administrative Materials category includes
    • District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings Decisions (2000 - )
    • District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints (April 2003 - )
    • District of Columbia Contract Appeals Board Decisions (September 30, 1988 - )
    • DC Off. of Emp. Serv. Director's Decisions/Compensation Review Board (1996 - )
    • District of Columbia, Office of Employment Services, Hearings & Adjudication Section (July 11, 1982 - )
    • DC Attorney General Opinions (April 1976-August 1999, no longer updated)
    • DC Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation (no longer updated)
    • DC Public Service Commission Decisions (September 30, 1999 - )
    • DC Environmental Decisions (May 26, 2000 - )
    • DC - District of Columbia Insurance Notices and Bulletins (December 24, 1990 - )
    • D.C. Rental Housing Commission Decisions (January 1985 - )
    • DC Worker's Compensation Decisions (1982 - )
    • National Reporter on Legal Ethics & Prof. Responsibility - DC Opinions (Selected opinions from 1990 - 2007, no longer updated)
  • Westlaw's D.C. Administrative & Executive Materials folder includes
    • District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings (2000 - )
    • District of Columbia Insurance Bulletins (1989 - )
    • District of Columbia Police Complaints Administrative Decisions (April 2003 - )
    • District of Columbia Public Employee Relations Board Decisions and Attorney General Opinions (dates vary by source)
    • Federal Government Contracts - District of Columbia Contract Appeals Board Decisions (1988 - )
    • District of Columbia Public Utilities Reports (dates vary by source)
    • District of Columbia Environmental Records (current)
    • State Finance Commission Decisions - District of Columbia (June 2003 - )
  • You can also search by keyword in GULLiver to see if the information is available in print.
  • D.C. Mayor's Agent for Historic Preservation Decisions (1978-present) are available on the law library's website which also includes D.C. historic preservation law.