District of Columbia

Top Policies

How old do I need to be to take the test?

You must be 18 years old to test in the District of Columbia.

In the District of Columbia, you can be 16 or 17 and take the GED® test if you apply for and receive an age waiver. You need to provide the following:

  • A notarized letter of permission to test from parent/guardian saying that you have not been enrolled in a traditional high school program for at least 6 months and have submitted a Notice of Intent to Homeschool with OSSE; or
  • Have not been enrolled in a traditional high school program for at least 6 months, and are enrolled in a DCPS or DC Public Charter School-based educational program that provides academic preparation toward GED® completion; or,
  • You are incarcerated or in an out-of-home secure placement within the juvenile justice system and could not reasonably be able to complete a traditional high school diploma program based on his/her current level of academic credits and time remaining for compulsory education; or
  • Are enrolled in a program established by federal law to provide GED® test preparation to youth under the age of 18.


For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • A parent or guardian must be present at the pre-test check-in to give consent and authorize the underage tester to be recorded during testing. If the parent or guardian is not present, the exam session will be revoked.

Yes, to take the GED® test in the District of Columbia you’re required to be a resident, enrolled in Job Corps, or court-ordered to test. You can prove your residency at the testing center with a valid driver’s license and other proof of residency.

If you have more questions about proof of residency, please contact the DC GED® Program Office at (202) 274-7173.

Some states allow people who don’t live there to take the GED® test and others don’t. You’ll need to check the residency requirement for the state that you’re interested to test in.

No, you are not required to take a GED® class before taking the official GED® test.

Yes, you are required to take the GED Ready® practice test and score “Likely to Pass” or “Too Close to Call” before taking the official test.

Or, if you are first time student a preparation program may provide you with a letter of endorsement indicating you are ready to test based on other testing and/or their professional opinion.

Price & Payment

What is my cost if I test at a Test Center? 

  • DC subsidizes $36 for the first attempt of each module at a test center; the promo code may be used a total of four times.
  • DC charges $3.75 for the first attempt of each GED® test taken at a test center.

NOTE: You must apply the Discount Code DCSAVE36 at checkout in order to pay $3.75 for the first attempt.


What is my cost if I test Online?

  • The District of Columbia charges $36 per subject for the GED® test taken online

You will pay for the test online with a debit or credit card when you schedule your test.

Test Retake Policies

In the District of Columbia, there is waiting period of 30 days for the first 2 retakes of any subject. After taking a test subject 3 three times, you'll have to wait 60 calendar days before each retake. There's no limit to how many times you can test in a year.

In addition to the waiting period, you are required to take the GED Ready® and score “likely to pass” or “too close to call” in the subject you are seeking to retake.

If you have questions call District of Columbia’s GED® Program Office at (202) 274-7173.

  • Starting July 1, 2023: You will receive one discounted* retake for every GED® test subject you purchase but don’t pass. You have 365 days after your full price test to use this retake. This retake offer (1 full price:1 discount) repeats until you pass the test. GED Testing Service waives its $26 testing fee, however additional testing fees may still apply in your state.
*District of Columbia does not charge an additional fee.
Note: We have extended the limited-time offer of up to 2 discounted retakes for exams taken in test centers, as long as both retakes are completed by June 30, 2024.  


For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • The Online Proctored Exam costs $36 for a retake in the District of Columbia. Discounted retakes are not offered on the Online Proctored Exam. 

Transcripts & Diploma

The District of Columbia GED® Program has partnered with GED Testing Service for fulfillment of requests for GED® transcripts and diplomas.

After passing the GED® test, you will automatically receive one free electronic diploma, one free electronic transcript. You must take action to receive one free printed diploma.

Electronic Diploma and Transcript

The electronic diploma and transcript download links will be e-mailed to the e-mail address associated with your GED®account once you have passed all GED® test subjects and earned your diploma.

  • Links are only available for a limited time, so be sure to download your electronic documents right away.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the e-mail. These PDF documents are very valuable since they can be forwarded to employers and colleges that accept electronic credentials.
  • The PDF documents are verified by GED Testing Service/Parchment each time they are opened using Blue Ribbon Security. The blue ribbon symbol displayed in the PDF is assurance that the digital credential is valid, the document is authentic, and the contents of the credential have not been altered.

Printed Diploma

The printed diploma can be ordered in your GED® account at GED.com.   After logging in, go to My Scores and select Order Duplicates. Select Diploma option and then select the Printed Diploma – Free option.

  • You will then be asked who and what address you want the diploma to be mailed to.
  • The free diploma link will only be available until it has been used and can only be used one time.
  • Carefully follow the instructions presented during the ordering process.

You can request your transcript and diploma here.

In the District of Columbia, the credential is called the District of Columbia State Diploma.


Yes, in the District of Columbia you can take all test subjects in the same day, if you can find a testing center with hours that accommodate it.

Yes, in the District of Columbia you can take the test in English or Spanish, however, you cannot combine two different languages to earn your credential.

It depends on whether or not that state has a residency requirement. Check the residency requirements in that state and don’t hesitate to contact the GED Administrator™ in that state with questions.

To take the GED® test in the District of Columbia, you must be a resident, have a court order or be in enrolled in the Job Corps.

Philip PremDas
State GED Administrator/Chief Examiner for the District of Columbia
GED Program Office
Postsecondary and Career Education

Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Government of the District of Columbia
One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street NW, Suite 370N
Washington, DC 20001
Direct: 202.741.5093
Main: 202.481.3950