Frequent Questions

Frequent Questions

FAQs


LICENSE FEES


See the 2019–2020 License Renewal timeline


**DEADLINES FOR 2019–2020 FISCAL YEAR** 

In compliance with Article III, Section 8, D.C. Bar License renewals for fiscal year 2019–2020 are due and payable on Monday, July 1.  Members must remit their completed registration and payment by Monday, July 15 to avoid a late fee. If your license renewal is not postmarked and/or received by Monday, September 30, your membership will automatically be administratively suspended for nonpayment.

How and when are the Bar’s annual license renewal notices mailed?

The D.C.  Bar sends out License Renewal Forms by first-class mail in early June in advance of its upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Each renewal form includes the amount of annual license fees the member must remit.

What is the D.C. Bar’s fiscal year?

The D.C. Bar’s fiscal year is July 1 – June 30 each year.  

When must my license renewal fee be remitted?

License renewal fees for the fiscal year are due and payable on July 1. Members must remit their payments by July 15 to avoid a late fee.

How can I pay my license fee?

Payment may be submitted online, over the phone, or by mail. We accept checks, electronic check (ACH), and all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We do not accept cash. When submitting payment, members may also update their member profiles, join a Community, and/or contribute to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center.

Payment over the phone: (202) 626-3475

Mail payment to:

D.C. Bar 

P.O. Box 79834

Baltimore, MD 21279-0834

Who do I make my check payable to?

Checks should be made payable to the D.C. Bar.

When is my license fee considered late?

License renewal fees are late if postmarked and/or received after July 15. Members who pay after that date must include a $50 late fee. 

What happens if my license fees are unpaid by July 15?

Members whose license fees are unpaid by July 15 are sent a license renewal statement by first-class mail that includes the amount of license fees and late fee to be paid along with instructions. Payments must be postmarked by September 30 to avoid automatic suspension of membership. Individuals administratively suspended for nonpayment of license fees and/or late fee shall not be entitled to practice law in the District of Columbia during the period of such suspension. 

If I am suspended for nonpayment of the license fee or late fee, how can I secure reinstatement?

If your license fee is not postmarked and/or received by September 30, your membership will automatically be suspended administratively for nonpayment. If you wish to be reinstated, you must submit the Reinstatement Request Form to D.C. Bar Member Services that includes payment of the current year license fees for your desired status and a $280 reinstatement fee. The form includes a statement that you are not suspended, temporarily suspended, or disbarred by any disciplinary authority.  If you are suspended for five years or more and seek reinstatement into the Bar you will be required to complete the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice. 

Suspension procedures are described in D.C. Bar Rule II, Section 6 and D.C. Bar Bylaw Article III, Section 2(a). The names of all suspended members are transmitted to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Is there a reduced rate for government employees?

There is not a reduced rate for government employees.

Are there special rates for those in the military?

There are no special rates for those serving in the military.

Does the Bar waive license fees or late fees for financial hardship?

Currently, the Bar does not have a waiver program in place for financial hardships. If you are unable to pay your active status license fees and are not actively practicing law within the District of Columbia, you may consider changing your membership status to inactive.  Otherwise, retired-inactive status and resignation are available to those that qualify. Click for an explanation of the membership classes available. To further discuss your options, please contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475.

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D.C. BAR MEMBERSHIP


Pre/Post Admission and Accreditation

How do I become a D.C. Bar Member?

To become a member, whether by exam, motion, or special legal consultant, visit the Committee on Admissions of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for application information. The Law School Certification form must be filled out and signed by your law school's dean or registrar.

Learn more about the different classes of membership at the D.C. Bar.

Do you have reciprocity with my state? Where can I find information?

The Committee on Admissions reviews all applications for admission to the District of Columbia Bar. See D.C. App. Rule 46. For further information, please contact the Committee on Admissions, by phone (202) 879-2710 or by e-mail at [email protected] or visit their office at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001.

How can I check on the status of my application?

Please contact the Committee on Admissions by phone at (202) 879-2710, or by e-mail at [email protected]. They are located at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001. 

How do I obtain a duplicate copy of my original application?

Please contact the Committee on Admissions, by phone at (202) 879-2710, or by e-mail at [email protected]. They are located at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001.

Can I get my course or event CLE-accredited for the District of Columbia?

The District of Columbia Bar has no mandatory continuing legal education requirements at this time, which also means that we have no CLE accreditation body and do not accredit courses. We do not certify CLE providers or keep records of our members’ attendance at other providers’ CLE courses for the same reason. While the D.C. Bar requires members to maintain their legal competence, we do not specify the means and do not require that attorneys submit attendance documentation from any courses they attend.

How do I receive a certificate of attendance for a past CLE event that I attended at the D.C. Bar?

To obtain a certificate of attendance, please contact our Continuing Legal Education Department by phone at (202) 626-3488 or email at [email protected].

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Newly Admitted Members

How can I create an online account?

The D.C. Bar creates a member account on your behalf when we receive your registration statement from the District Court of Appeals. Click here to retrieve the password, enter the username (primary e-mail address) and an e-mail will be sent to your address on file. If you do not have an e-mail address associated with your member account, please contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or email at [email protected] for log-in assistance. We will ask for member information as a security verification measure.

I created an account online. Why can’t I pay my license fees?

If you are a D.C. Bar member and create a new account, your membership will not be connected to the self-created account. Click here to retrieve your password, enter the username (primary e-mail address) and an e-mail will be sent to your address on file. If you are unsure which e-mail address is tied to your member record, contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or e-mail at [email protected] for log-in assistance. We will ask for membership information as a security verification measure.

I was recently sworn into the D.C. Bar. When can I expect to receive my Bar number?

You will receive a Bar number no more than 30 days after the submission of your initial registration statement. Your Bar number is listed on the main page of your D.C. Bar online account once logged in. You will also receive an invoice to your primary address on record as specified on the registration statement, that lists your Bar number under “Member Number.” Additionally, you will receive a Bar card with your Bar number. If you provided an e-mail address on your registration statement, you should receive an e-mail from the D.C. Bar with your Bar number and information on your new member account.

I was recently sworn into the D.C. Bar and paid my license fees for the year. So, why am I receiving another invoice? 

As a new member, you received your first annual license fee invoice within a month of your admission, which were payable upon receipt. Annual license fees are based on a fiscal year, July 1 to June 30, not a calendar year. Therefore, it is possible for a member to receive two different invoices in one calendar year for two separate fiscal years depending upon when you were admitted to D.C. Bar.

Members are invoiced by the D.C. Bar for annual license fees, according to Bylaw, Article III Section 1, which states: Any person who is sworn into the Bar between July 1 and December 31 inclusive shall pay a full year's license fees; those members who are sworn in between January 1 and April 30 inclusive shall pay one-half the annual license fees. Any member who is sworn in after April 30 shall not be required to pay any license fees until the following fiscal year.

To further discuss this matter, please contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475 or email [email protected].

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Membership Information

The registration statement has three member types: active, inactive, and judicial. What are the differences?

Active membership is required for members who practice or hold themselves out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. Only active members are eligible to vote in Bar elections. Click here to review annual license fees requirements. Inactive membership is available for members who are eligible for membership but do not hold themselves out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. It maintains your record on file with the Bar should you decide in the future to practice law in the District of Columbia.  View annual license fees requirements.

Judicial membership is available to judges of courts of record; full-time court commissioners; U.S. bankruptcy judges; U.S. magistrate judges; other persons who perform a judicial function on an exclusive basis, in an official capacity created by federal or state statute, or by administrative agency rule; and retired judges who are eligible for temporary judicial assignments and are not engaged in the practice of law. If a member’s terms and conditions of employment require that he or she be eligible to practice law, the member may choose to be an active member. View annual license fees requirements.

Does the D.C. Bar offer a disabled status?

Yes. The Bar does offer a disabled member status as a retired-inactive member. To qualify for this status, you must submit proof of a disability from a physician, along with the completed Retired-Inactive Request Form.

Mail your request to:

District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Services

901 4th Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20001

How do I change my status?

You may change your D.C. Bar membership status at any time.

If you have already paid license fees for the current fiscal year, you must complete the Status Change Request Form and remit payment of any additional amounts due as indicated on the form. The form may be requested of and submitted to Member Services via email to [email protected], fax 866-550-9331 or mail to D.C. Bar Member Services, 901 4th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 20001.

If you have not paid your annual license fees for the current fiscal year, you may select your desired status on your annual license fees invoice and remitting payment for the changed status or by contacting our Member Services Center by phone at 202-626-3475. Annual license fees invoice along with payment should be mailed to D.C. Bar, PO Box 79834, Baltimore, MD 21279.

Members wishing to return to Active status after being in any other status for five years or more are also required to completed the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice before the change can take effect.  Members who decide to change status from Active to Inactive or Judicial after having paid their annual license fees do not receive a refund.

What status should I choose? Can you advise me?

Although the Bar staff cannot advise you on what status to elect, we recommend you consult the appropriate D.C. Court of Appeals rules, particularly Rule 49 and commentary on the practice of law in the District of Columbia.

I am retired but would like to continue receiving D.C. Bar materials. How do I switch to retired-inactive status?

The D.C. Bar offers a retired-inactive status for two categories of members: members who have been active for at least five years or inactive/judicial for 10 years, engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia or elsewhere for a total of 25 years, and retired from the practice of law; and members who are totally disabled and are thus unable to practice. A member may avoid payment of the license fee for the current fiscal year by submitting the retired-inactive status form on or before September 30 of the fiscal year. Download the Retired-Inactive Request Form.

If I elect retired-inactive status, may I later elect to return to active, inactive, or judicial status?

Yes, but you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $100 plus current year license fees to return to active status.

How do I resign from the D.C. Bar?

You may voluntarily resign or withdraw your membership by submitting the official Resignation Request Form. In order to resign, you must currently be in good standing with the D.C. Bar (i.e. not suspended). If you intended to resign during the renewal period, your resignation form must be received by August 30 to avoid suspension. Under the Rules Governing the Bar, a resignation cannot take effect until it is accepted by the Secretary of the Bar and after consultation with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. The review process takes a minimum of 30 days.  All members resigning after this date are responsible for payment of the license fee associated with their license renewal. Once the form has been received by our office, please allow a minimum of 30 days before the result is delivered to you. The completed form may be submitted either by email at [email protected], standard mail to 901 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, or fax to 866-550-9331. License fees are not refunded upon resignation. 

How do I report the death of a member of the D.C. Bar?

The D.C. Bar sympathizes with the family, friends, and colleagues of our members who have passed. To report the death of a member, please contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or e-mail to [email protected]. In order to appropriately update the member profile, we request you to provide the member’s date of passing. In some instances, you may also be asked to provide a copy of the death certificate or where the obituary is located.

How will I get my license renewal form if I have relocated?

Members are required by Rule II, Section 2, of the D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the District of Columbia Bar to update their address information within 30 days of any change. A U.S. Postal Service forwarding notice sent to the Bar is not a substitute for the member’s explicit written notice.

Can I give you my change of address over the phone?

Yes, by contacting Member Services at (202) 626-3475. Changes also can be sent to D.C. Bar Member Services, 901 4th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 20001, submitted online, or via email at [email protected]

How do I change my name in the District of Columbia Bar records?

In order to change your name on our official Bar records, you must complete the Change of Name Request Form. Mail your notarized request to: 

District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Services

901 4th Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20001

Any updates to your contact information should be included with this request. A new Bar card will be mailed to reflect the name change.     

How do I get my Bar membership card replaced?

Members who need their D.C. Bar membership card replaced should contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475 or at [email protected] with a request and the preferred mailing address. There is no fee for the replacement of D.C. Bar membership cards.

How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?

The D.C. Bar now offers online order and fulfillment of Certificates of Good Standing. Click here to order your Certificate (login required). Members can receive their certificates immediately via email or select from a variety of processing times for hard-copy certificates. View frequent questions about the Certificate of Good Standing process. 

How do I obtain a Certificate Concerning Discipline?

You can request a Certificate Concerning Discipline in writing from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which is located at 515 Fifth Street, N.W., Building A, Room 117, Washington, D.C. 20001. Their phone number is (202) 638-1501. You may submit the completed form and enclose a check or money order (NO CASH) payable to “D.C. Bar” in the amount of $25.00 and a self-addressed, postage-prepaid envelope. You must provide your D.C. Bar number and your request affirmed before a Notary Public.

How do I obtain an Engraved Wall Certificate?

You can request an Engraved Wall Certificate by completing the D.C. Courts of Appeals Application for Engraved Wall Certificate Form. This application must be typewritten and include a $40 cashier’s check, certified check or money order payable to “Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals.” This application may be submitted at any time after you receive your Bar number. Please mail form and fee to:

Engraved Certificate Office

D.C. Courts of Appeals/Committee on Admissions

430 E Street, NW – Room 123

Washington, DC 20001

 

If I am a member of the D.C. Bar, does this automatically mean that I am a member of the U.S. District Court?

No. If you want to become a member of the U.S. District Court, information on the requirements for admission to the US District Court for the District of Columbia may be found here or by contacting their offices at (202) 354-3100. 

Am I required to maintain an office in the District of Columbia?

No. There is no residency requirement for the District of Columbia

Is it possible to reserve a meeting room at the Bar?

Yes. Please contact the D.C. Bar at (202) 737-4700 and request to speak with a Facilities staff member.

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Membership Information Privacy Policy

Can the public see my home address and phone number on record?

The District of Columbia Bar’s policy on personal information only allows the public to see or receive information on your listed business address and phone number. Addresses and phone numbers labeled as “home” do not display in our directory and are not given out to any third party without the authorized consent of the attorney. 

What information is publicly available?

D.C. Bar members are reminded that certain membership information required as part of the Bar’s annual registration process is available to the public. 

Upon request of any person, the Bar will verify if a specific individual is a member and will release specific information. The information available to the public is whether an attorney is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, an attorney’s membership status, an attorney’s date of admission, and an attorney’s business address and phone number. The Bar also will provide member e–mail and fax numbers unless the member elects to restrict the use of that information to official Bar communications. To restrict that use, please click "unlisted" next to your contact information inside your member account. 

All unrestricted information is available on the Bar’s Find a Member search. All other information is confidential unless a signed authorization form is received from the attorney.

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D.C. BAR COMMUNITIES (FORMERLY SECTIONS)

How can I learn more about the D.C. Bar’s new Bar Communities?

To learn more about the new D.C. Bar Communities, please visit www.dcbar.org/communities or contact [email protected].

How do I join the D.C. Bar Communities?

You may join online today or by phone at (202) 626-3475.   

Do you have to be a D.C. Bar member in order to join a D.C. Bar Community?

You do not have to be a D.C. Bar member to join Communities. There is a slightly higher fee for those who are not Bar members who wish to join D.C. Bar Communities. The membership license fees for D.C. Bar members is $79; the subscriber fee for other individuals is $119.  

How do I cancel my D.C. Bar Communities membership?

To cancel your D.C. Bar Communities membership, please contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475 or by email at [email protected].

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WASHINGTON LAWYER MAGAZINE

I am not receiving issues of the Washington Lawyer magazines. Who should I report this to?

Please check your account contact information to ensue your current address is on record. You may update Manage Communication Preferences through your online D.C. Bar account or by contacting Member Services by phone (202) 626-3475 or by email at [email protected]

I no longer wish to receive the Washington Lawyer magazine via mail. Who should I report this to?

You may Mange Communication Preferences by logging into your D.C. Bar account online or by contacting Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or email to [email protected]

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WEBSITE

How do I change my username and password?

The username is the primary e-mail address on record. In order to update your username, please click on "My Full Contact Info" and either enter or select the desired email address as the primary. 

In order to change your password, please follow the steps below. 

1. Login to the D.C. Bar's website through My Account.

2. Click on the link "Change My Password" on the right hand side. 

3. Enter a new password and then click "Save".