FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims ID Is Required To Enter DC

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared over 1,000 times claims there is an identification check requirement to enter Washington, D.C.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence ID is required to enter Washington, D.C. Spokespeople for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and National Guard refuted the claim.

Fact Check: 

Thousands of National Guard troops were sent to the District of Columbia after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6, according to The Hill. The Feb. 26 Facebook post claims an ID check is required for entry into D.C.

“Checking ID’s to get into Washington DC,” reads the post. “If we had checked ID’s at the polls we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show Donald Trump Greeting National Guard Members In DC?)

Neither the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency nor MPD put out an announcement on its website about ID checks to enter the city around the time the claim was made. Spokespeople for MPD and the National Guard also refuted the post’s claim.

“There is no ID requirement or check taking place in the District of Columbia,” Alaina Gertz, an MPD public affairs specialist, said in an email to Check Your Fact. “I do not recall a time we ever had this requirement in the city.”

The National Guard “as an organization does not have any checkpoints for entering DC,” Maj. Matthew Murphy, a spokesperson for the National Guard, said via email. He also explained that “we do not check IDs unless it is a requirement of a requesting federal agency while staffing a checkpoint.”

D.C. did close some Metro stations and bridges on Jan. 20, the date of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, most of those reopened the next day, WTOP News reported.

The Facebook post also seemingly attempts to draw a connection between the supposed ID checks to enter the city and voter ID checks. 36 states require or request identification to cast a ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Registered voters in D.C. do not need to present ID to vote in-person, according to the D.C. Board of Elections website. People who register during the early voting period or on Election Day, as well as first-time voters who registered by mail and did not provide proof of residence while registering, must present proof of residence to cast a ballot in-person in D.C., the D.C. Board of Elections website states.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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