DLCP NEWS | November 2022

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November 2022

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A Message From The Interim Director

Shirley Kwan-Hui

Dear DLCP Customers,

On October 1, 2022, the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) began operation as one of the District’s newest agencies. 

At DLCP, our mission is to protect the economic interests of residents, businesses, and visitors in the District of Columbia by licensing and regulating businesses and investigating and enforcing the Consumer Protection Procedures Act.  

We challenge ourselves every day to create more innovative ways to be of service to the needs of consumers, to improve the customer experience, and to support the advancement of the District’s business interests.

  Our team works tirelessly to accomplish this by:

  • actively listening and incorporating your feedback;
  • using technology to streamline processes;
  • educating and servicing our customers;
  • and increasing access to both information and services.

In commemoration of National Women’s Business Month in October, DLCP hosted a successful webinar themed “Women in Business Surviving and Thriving." This webinar focused on the unique challenges that are often experienced by women in business. A question-and-answer session allowed attendees to discuss lessons learned and best practices with the well-versed panel. This type of activity is a great example of our ongoing commitment to provide useful and relevant information in service of our mission to the District.

As we enter the holiday season, many use this time to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and set goals for the future. Please visit our website regularly and follow us on social media as we’ll continue to provide relevant content to support you and your future goals.

We look forward to serving you and sharing our progress with you. Please revisit our first newsletter as it introduces you to our new agency website and provides an overview of our agency’s structure and program areas.

Best Regards.

Shirley Kwan-Hui

Shirley Kwan-Hui
Interim Director

We Are Open For Business | Serving The District

new agencies chart

With the establishment of DLCP and the Department of Buildings (DOB) last month, we want to ensure that customers are informed and knowledgeable about each agency’s mission and services.

DLCP is responsible for regulating business activity in the District of Columbia. The agency protects consumers, issues business and professional licenses, registers corporations, inspects weighing and measuring devices used for monetary profit, and issues special events permits.

DOB is responsible for regulating construction activity in the District of Columbia. The agency operates a consolidated permit operations division; reviews all construction documents to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations; and has inspection and oversight authority through which construction activity, building systems, and rental housing establishments are inspected, with violations cited and, if necessary, abatement pursued within the limits of the law.

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Flavored Tobacco Ban And Restrictions On Electronic Smoking Devices

On October 1, 2022, the Flavored Tobacco Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2021 took effect in DC. This law:

  • Prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco—including flavored synthetic nicotine products.
  • Prohibits the sale of all electronic smoking devices within a quarter mile of any District middle or high school. This DLCP E-Cigarette Enforcement Map shows the spatial relationship between these middle and high schools and licensed e-tobacco businesses in the District.

The prohibition on flavored tobacco includes any flavor other than tobacco, including “menthol.” The law presumes that a tobacco product is a flavored tobacco product if there are any texts, images, statements, or actions by the manufacturer suggesting a product has a flavor other than tobacco.

Electronic smoking devices include any device that uses a heating element to deliver a vapor or aerosol with nicotine or any other substance in it for human consumption. It includes “vapes,” “vape pens,” “e-cigarettes,” “e-cigars,” “e-hookahs,” or any other product with that function, regardless of what it is called.

Penalties for violations begin at $25 for individuals and range up to $10,000 for businesses. In addition, violations may be prosecuted as unfair or deceptive trade practices and may result in the suspension or revocation of any applicable business license.

Violations may be reported to the DLCP Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) form.

Contact DLCP at dlcp@dc.gov or 202-671-4500 if you have questions or for more information.

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Reminder: Leaf Blowers Are Illegal In DC

Effective January 1, 2022, the Leaf Blower Regulation Amendment Act of 2018 prohibited the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in the District of Columbia.

Landscapers that continue to use gasoline-powered leaf blowers are subject to fines of up to $500 for each offense issued by the DLCP.

Violations of the law can be reported by any person who observes a gas-powered leaf blower being used in the District, which can then result in an enforcement proceeding against the violator. For your awareness, DLCP accepts photographic and recorded (video and audio) evidence in support of these citations. 

Landscapers should make sure their equipment complies with this new law. 

New Short-Term Rental One-Stop Shop And Application Portal

On Monday, November 14, 2022, DLCP launched the Short-Term Rental (STR) Licensure Portal.

The Short-Term Rental Portal streamlines and provides more convenient options for customers to submit and make payments securely. In addition, it increases automation by providing more transparency throughout the application. Applicants can easily check their application status, monitor their account, respond to inquiries and keep track of license information using one system.

Included in this portal are system enhancements such as real-time verification of the Office and Tax and Revenue's Homestead and Certificate of Clean Hands status, automated application status e-mail notifications, and the ability for District Residents to report and upload evidence regarding Short Term Rental Complaints, and more.

Important Things To Know:

  • What if I have an STR application that is currently pending? Applicants who have submitted a completed application and are currently in pending review status prior to November 14, 2022, are not impacted.
  • What if I submitted a new STR application prior to November 14? New applications that were submitted prior to November 14 were reviewed within one business day; however, applicants will be required to resolve all deficiencies by logging into their account at dcra.munirevs.com.
  • What should I do If I start an STR application but haven’t yet submitted it?  Applicants who have initiated an STR application but did not submit the application for review prior to Monday, November 14, 2022, will be required to submit a new application via the new Short Term Rental Portal by visiting accessdc.dcra.dc.gov.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Short-Term Rental Program via e-mail at shorttermrentals@dc.gov.

Contact DLCP

Contact DLCP via email, through our online inquiry form or during normal business hours using the live chat available on dlcp.dc.gov or by phone at 202.671-4500, and we will get back to you in three business days or less.