Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1108. “Motor vehicle” defined.

As used in this subchapter, the term “motor vehicle” means a vehicle propelled by an internal-combustion engine, electricity, or steam. The term “motor vehicle” shall not include a traction engine, road roller, vehicle propelled only upon rails or tracks, personal assistive mobility device, as defined by § 50-2201.02(12), a battery-operated wheelchair when operated by a person with a disability, or a motorized bicycle.


(Feb. 18, 1938, 52 Stat. 78, ch. 31, § 8; as added Mar. 15, 1985, D.C. Law 5-176, § 10, 32 DCR 748; Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-235, § 4, 49 DCR 9788; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 90(a), 51 DCR 881; Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-224, § 203, 53 DCR 10225; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-290, § 3, 60 DCR 2343.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-208.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-235 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “As used in this chapter the term ‘motor vehicle’ means all vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines, electricity, or steam. The term ‘motor vehicle’ shall not include traction engines, road rollers, vehicles propelled only upon rails or tracks, and battery-operated wheelchairs when operated by a handicapped person at speeds not exceeding 10 miles per hour.”

D.C. Law 15-105 validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 16-224 revived the provisions of D.C. Law 14-235 that expired on October 1, 2005, and substituted “personal assistive mobility devices, as defined by § 50-2201.02(12), or a battery-operated wheelchair when operated by a person with a disability” for “electric personal assistive mobility devices, as defined by § 50-2201.02(12), and battery-operated wheelchairs when operated by a handicapped person at speeds not exceeding 10 miles per hour”.

D.C. Law 16-305 purported to substitute “person with a disability” for “handicapped person”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-290 rewrote the section.

Expiration of Law

Expiration of Law 14-235

Section 14 of D.C. Law 14-235 provided that the act shall expire on October 1, 2005.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Motor Vehicle Definition Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device Exemption Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-237, December 22, 2005, 53 DCR 249).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Motor Vehicle Definition Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device Exemption Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-323, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2567).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 203 of Personal Mobility Device Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-528, December 4, 2006, 53 DCR 9826).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Motor Vehicle Definition Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device Exemption Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-85, April 4, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 3344).