WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

After Incident, Granite State Liquor Regulators Say D.C. License Is Valid

Yes, everyone else in the U.S., this is a valid driver's license.
D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
Yes, everyone else in the U.S., this is a valid driver's license.

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission took the unusual step yesterday of telling retailers in the Granite State that yes, a driver's license from Washington, D.C. would serve as acceptable identification for the purchase of alcohol.

The issue arose last week, when the Concord Monitor reported that a group of D.C. residents were denied the opportunity to buy alcohol at a store in New Hampshire because their licenses did not technically meet the state's rules that a passport, military card or driver's license from any of the 50 states or Canada needs to be presented as proof of age.

D.C. is not a state, but rather a federal enclave. Though it has had an elected mayor and legislature for four decades, it does not have a voting representative in Congress. Still, the city produces its own driver's licenses.

On Monday, the liquor commission sent out a circular to all retailers to clarify the law, stating that D.C. licenses would suffice as evidence of a person's age.

"Although the language of [the statute] does not specifically reference Washington D.C. it is understood that the District of Columbia is the capitol [sic] of the United States. The Division of Enforcement and Licensing does not believe the legislative intent of the statute was to omit and thereby exclude the documents as acceptable forms of identification," it said.

This isn't the first time this week that a D.C. license was singled out over concerns that it wasn't legitimate. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a D.C.-based reporter was stopped in Orlando's airport by a TSA officer who said that his D.C. driver's license wasn't valid for boarding a flight. After informing the officer of the city's status, he was allowed to proceed through security.

Much the same happened in February, when another D.C. resident was stopped at a security checkpoint by an officer who said the city's driver's license was not valid. That incident prompted complaints to TSA from D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire House passed a bill calling on D.C. to be granted voting representation in Congress. In 2012, Mayor Vincent Gray and members of the D.C. Council traveled the Granite State to testify in support of a bill calling for statehood for the city, though the bill never passed.

Industry Circular 2014 1

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.