Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1505.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) The term “jurisdiction” means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, a foreign country or a state or province of a foreign country.

(2) The term “motor vehicle” means any device propelled by an internal-combustion engine, and designed to carry passengers. The term “motor vehicle” shall not include road rollers, farm tractors, trucks, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or more persons, vehicles propelled only upon rails and tracks, personal mobility devices, as defined by § 50-2201.02(12), or a battery-operated wheelchair when operated by a person with a disability.

(3) The term “owner” means the person, corporation or firm that holds the legal title to a motor vehicle or utility trailer, the registration of which is required in the District of Columbia. If a motor vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof to an operator of a rental fleet, with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, the conditional vendee or lessee of said vehicle shall be deemed the owner for the purposes of this subchapter. If a mortgagor of a motor vehicle is entitled to possession of said vehicle, such mortgagor shall be deemed to be the owner.

(4) The term “preceding year” means the period of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to September 1st of the year immediately preceding the commencement of the registration or license year for which allocation registration, as provided in § 50-1505.03, is sought.

(5) The term “rental fleet” or “fleet” means 5 or more rental vehicles or 5 or more utility trailers which a rental operator designates as a rental fleet.

(6) The term “rental operator” means an owner of 5 or more rental vehicles or utility trailers who is engaged in the business of renting or leasing, or of offering to rent or lease, to others, such vehicles or trailers without drivers.

(7) The term “rental transaction” means the renting or leasing of a rental vehicle or utility trailer and shall be deemed to occur in the jurisdiction where such vehicle or trailer first comes into possession of the person, firm or corporation renting or leasing said vehicle or trailer.

(8) The term “rental vehicle” means a motor vehicle owned by a rental operator and which is a part of a rental fleet. The term “rental vehicle” shall not include motor vehicles which are registered for commercial, livery, sightseeing or taxi purposes, nor shall the term include hearses.

(9) The term “utility trailer” means a vehicle without motor power intended or used for carrying property and drawn or intended to be drawn by a motor vehicle, whether such vehicle without motor power carries the weight of the property wholly on its own structure or whether a part of such weight rests upon or is carried by a motor vehicle. For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “utility trailer” shall be deemed to include only those vehicles which are owned by a rental operator and which are part of a rental fleet.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-157, § 2, 25 DCR 6995; Mar. 15, 1985, D.C. Law 5-176, § 3, 32 DCR 748; Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-235, § 8, 49 DCR 9788; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 90(a), 51 DCR 881; Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-224, § 207, 53 DCR 10225.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-111.

1973 Ed., § 40-111.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2002, § 47-2002.02, § 47-2202, and § 47-2202.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-235 rewrote par. (2) which had read as follows: “(2) The term ‘motor vehicle’ means any vehicle propelled by an internal-combustion engine and designed to carry passengers. The term ‘motor vehicle’ shall not include road rollers, farm tractors, trucks, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or more persons, vehicles propelled only upon stationary rails and tracks, and battery-operated wheelchairs when operated by a handicapped person at speeds not exceeding 10 miles per hour.”

D.C. Law 15-105, in par. (2), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 16-224, in par. (2), revived the provisions of D.C. Law 14-235 that expired on October 1, 2005, and substituted “personal 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, in par. (2), purported to substitute “person with a disability” for “handicapped person”.

Cross References

Certificates of title for motor vehicles and trailers, excise tax exemptions, “rental vehicle” and “utility trailer” defined, see § 50-2201.03.

Compensating-use tax, rental and lease of rental vehicles and utility trailers, see §§ 47-2202 and 47-2202.01.

Gross sales tax, rental and lease of rental vehicles and utility trailers, see §§ 47-2002 and 47-2002.02.

Expiration of Law

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

Expiration of Law 14-235

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 8 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 § 8 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 § 207 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 § 8 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).