All states in the US have their own rules regarding foreign drivers. If you are a resident in any state then you need that state's driving licenses. The rules to determine if you are a resident can be obtained from the respective state's DMV. Since you are on a short visit, I will assume you do not fulfill the resident criteria.
Talking specifically about District of Columbia (DC), USA
Non-US citizens on visitor visas are not eligible to obtain driver
licenses in the District of Columbia. source
If you are a visitor, you cannot apply for a DC drivers license. Period. However, in order to drive, you will need a valid driver's license issued by your home country and it should be in English. If it is not in English you can have it translated by your local embassy on an official embassy letterhead OR from a translation company.
If your valid, non-US driver license is not in English, you must
attach an English translation from your embassy or from a translation
company. The embassy translation must be on official embassy
letterhead. The date of the translation must be on or after the actual
date of the non-English language driver license. Translations from
companies must be certified with a translation stamp, or notarized by
preparing a notarized affidavit confirming the translation was
prepared by a qualified translator and that it is both accurate and
Some states require an IDP (international driving permit) along with your valid license. However, the DC DMV does not mention any IDP requirements. If you will drive over into another state e.g. Virginia, Maryland etc (which are really close by) you should check their DMV information. But it never hurts to have an IDP as an extra precaution, after all, it's not your own country.
Foreign Nationals Driving in the United States
People who drive in the
U.S. must have a valid driver's license. Some states require an
International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals, in addition
to a valid license from your own country. Contact the motor vehicle
department of each state you will drive in for its requirements.
Short-Term Visitors If you intend on getting an IDP, you must do so in
advance of your travel:
- The United States does not issue IDPs to foreign visitors. To get an IDP, contact the motor vehicle department of the country that
issued your driver's license.
- If you want to rent a car, you may need both your license and an IDP. Find out the rental company's policies and other requirements
All of the links that I have quoted are official US government websites. A google search also leads to a website: www.washington.org; please note that this is a marketing organization for DC and not a US government website.
I would suggest contacting the DC DMV for any additional/official details:
Phone: (202) 737-4404
Email: [email protected]
Live Chat: https://dmv.dc.gov/page/dmv-live-chat