All students enrolled in public schools in the District of Columbia (DCPS and charter) must provide proof of residency in the District. Residency verification usually takes place upon enrollment at the school. In addition, students who are matched through the My School DC lottery or offered a space off a waitlist to a DCPS school because of an address-based preference (in-boundary or proximity) must prove residency at the specific address used to determine the preference. In some cases, non-residents may attend DC public schools, but they must pay tuition after meeting established criteria. In addition, in order for non-residents to attend a public school, that school may not have any residents on its waiting list. Residency requirements are established by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and are processed by schools, not by My School DC. Click HERE for more information regarding Enrollment and Residency.
A bona fide DC resident is defined as a person that has established a physical presence in the District of Columbia. To verify residency, the student’s parent/guardian completes a DC Residency Verification Form and presents documents showing their address. The parent/guardian must enroll that student in person, at the school, and the parent/guardian must be the individual listed on the residency documents. Below are the SY 2020–21 guidelines for verifying residency.
If you are re-enrolling at your current school, you can electronically verify residency using one of the methods listed:*
- If you are receiving Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF your residency can be confirmed directly by the school and you do not need to provide additional documentation
- You can visit the OSSE webpage to allow the Office of Tax and Revenue to confirm your bona fide DC residency status: www.ossedctax.com
*Exception: Any student enrolling in PK3 or PK4 (even if a returning student) cannot use electronic verification. See below for required documentation.
If you are enrolling at a new school or are re-enrolling in grades PK3 or PK4, you can use any one (1) of the following documents to prove residency:
- A pay stub issued within the past 45 days showing only DC tax withholdings, displaying the name and current address;
- Proof of financial assistance from the Government of the District of Columbia (i.e., TANF, Medicaid, SCHIP, Housing, etc.) issued within the past 12 months, displaying your name and current address;
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income) annual benefits notification issued within the past 12 months, displaying your name and current address;
- A certified copy of Form D40 certified by the DC Office of Tax and Revenue displaying your name;
- Official military housing orders, displaying your name and residency or home address in DC including but not limited to the DEERS statement;
- Proof that the child is a ward of the District of Columbia in the form of a court order or official documentation from DC Child and Family Services Agency; or
- Embassy letter dated April 1, 2020 or later, showing the name of the caregiver enrolling the student, a statement indicating that the caregiver and the student currently live on embassy property in the District of Columbia or reside on DC property approved by the embassy during the relevant school year, and an unofficial seal.
If you do not have any of the documents listed above, you can use any two (2) of the following documents. (The address and name on each of the below items must be the same.)
- District of Columbia-issued Driver's License or non-driver’s identification, displaying your name and current address;
- Unexpired lease or rental agreement, displaying your name and current address, with a payment receipt for a period within 2 months;
- Utility (gas, electric, water) bill, displaying your name and current address, with a separate payment receipt or cancelled check for payment of the bill for a period within 2 months; and/or
- DC Vehicle Registration, displaying your name and current address.
Or none of the items listed above because one of the following applies:
- The student is currently homeless and the school’s homeless liaison has provided the appropriate homeless referral documentation to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education;
- The person enrolling the student has consented to a home visit. The school can come to your home to verify your child lives at the address.
In some cases, a student resides with an “other primary caregiver.” An “other primary caregiver” is a person other than a parent or court-appointed custodian/ guardian who is the primary provider of care to a child who resides with him or her, and whose parent, custodian, or guardian is unable to supply such care and support. If an “other primary caregiver” is enrolling a student, the “other primary caregiver” must complete an Other Primary Caregiver form and provide documentation verifying “Other Primary Caregiver” status in addition to the required residency verification documentation.
Note: if you have questions about your particular situation, please email [email protected].