What is Considered Part of the DMV

by MCS Staff

By Tom Merritt and Alicia Clanton

A few weeks back we wrote a piece that told “The Story Behind The DMV.” This led to a fun debate on what the area referred to as the DMV is actually made up of. We took all of your thoughts and opinions, threw in some of ours, and put together the map in our featured photo that shows a general opinion of what people think the DMV actually consists of. Below are some notes based on the feedback we received:

D.C. is the heart of the DMV. Almost everyone familiar with the term considered all of DC as being in the DMV.

Almost everyone feels that the areas immediately surrounding DC are part of the DMV:

• This includes places like Bethesda and Silver Spring in MoCo.
• Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, etc. in NoVa.
• Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, Suitland, Capital Heights, Hyattsville, College Park, etc. in Prince George’s County

Most feel that the DMV expands beyond the areas bordering D.C., including:

• As far as Rockville, Gaithersburg, etc. in MoCo.

• As far as Vienna, Springfield, etc. in NoVa

• As far as Upper Marlboro, Bowie, etc. in Prince George’s County.

Some think the DMV expands to include the entirety of the counties surrounding DC, plus some of the counties beyond that, this includes:

• All of MoCo

• Much of Loudoun County

• All of Fairfax County

• All of Prince William County

• All of Prince George’s County

• All of Howard County

• All of Anne Arundel County

• A small portion of Carroll County

• A small portion of Frederick County

• Places like Waldorf, MD, Annapolis, MD, and Woodbridge, VA

– “If your county has a metro station in it, it’s in the DMV” was a very popular response that many agreed with.

– A few people feel it expands to include all of the counties mentioned above and further. This include areas like Baltimore, MD, Fredericksburg, VA, and even places as far out as Harper’s Ferry, WV.

– A very small number feel that includes all of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

– A very small number believe it also includes the state of Delaware.

– Almost all people outside of the DMV agree the the DMV is the Department of Motor Vehicles.




You may also like


Christian December 19, 2020 - 3:18 pm

I feel you can say you are from DC if you:
A) Were born in DC
B) Grew up in DC
C) Born in MoCo or PG
D) Grew up in MoCo or PG

People who moved to the DC area as adults or anyone from NoVa are NOT I REPEAT NOT FROM DC! The one area that is tricky is Howard County since it converts from Burgundy and Gold to Purple and Black midway thru Columbia.

Plus DC was created from parts of MD and VA took theres back so they lost the right to say they are from DC in 1847!

Chico December 19, 2020 - 4:22 pm

Who cares? I’m from Baltimore. Big and strong enough to stand alone!!! Some of those spots are country and have no sidewalks. If you don’t have sidewalks you are not from a metropolitan area. Cmon Manassas or Frederick is not a part of anybody’s metro area

Tasha July 11, 2023 - 7:16 pm

But the post wasn’t about DC. It was about the DMV (Delaware, MD and VA). It is the collective of three areas. People keep trying to translate DMV into DC. And I don’t understand why. DC is just a sublocation in the DMV (not even identified in the acronym). DMV isn’t solely DC anymore than it is solely any of the individual states identified in the acronym.

Chico December 19, 2020 - 4:19 pm

Who cares? I’m from Baltimore. Big and strong enough to stand alone!!! Some of those spots are country and have no sidewalks. If you don’t have sidewalks you are not from a metropolitan area.

Chico December 19, 2020 - 4:25 pm

DMV actually started in DeMaVa..

Daniel Ward December 19, 2020 - 10:32 pm

Please exclude north and west of Montgomery County. We are independent of the DMV cesspool.
The next border wall should include southern Montgomery County. There should be a customs station at the MC/Frederick borders.

Yourmom November 3, 2022 - 6:44 pm

Frederick is GAR-BAGE so hush

Dude December 20, 2020 - 10:36 pm

Incorrect del mar va is stated as it’s said.. not dmv

Mike December 20, 2020 - 5:09 am

Baltimore isn’t “big & strong enough to stand alone” it’s more of a situation where no one wants to claim Baltimore. Sh*t Maryland doesn’t even consider Baltimore part of the state. MD would rather claim DC than Baltimore.

Ra May 1, 2023 - 11:19 am

The hate is as strong as the stupid is with this one.

Tasha July 11, 2023 - 7:10 pm

That’s absolutely your opinion but also not true. Im sorry for whatever horrible experience you had that led you to that thought pattern.

Tasha July 11, 2023 - 7:05 pm

This is so contradicting. Baltimore has a metro station in it. Further, it’s located in Maryland which represents the “M” in DMV. Sounds like people are redefining DMV as DC and surrounding areas. DC already has its own name.

Brian December 20, 2020 - 12:17 am

I feel there is a difference between the sort of “metro” DMV and “greater” DMV. The former probably ends around Gaithersberg, Olney, Laurel, Bowie. The later I would extend to Frederick, Baltimore and Annapolis. I’m not great with VA beyond Springfield, Alexandria and Arlington but I’m sure VA people would have equivalent boundaries. One thing I will say is you only get to say you’re from DC if you are actually born in the District or lived their for years. I never say I’m from DC… I feel like it’s disrespectful to Washingtonians. You can say “DC area” or “metro” but you can’t claim DC.

ra March 22, 2021 - 8:07 pm

The DMV is DC and its suburbs only. It’s not Baltimore, or Richmond, or the eastern Shore or Western Maryland or Norfolk or Roanoke.
Despite the one hateful poster, Baltimore is a beautiful, vibrant city and the pride of Maryland. Looking forward to DC becoming the 51st state.

Brandon October 8, 2021 - 8:31 pm

I agree with Brian above. There’s a metro DMV and then there’s the greater DMV. Metro DMV is basically WFT country (or whatever they’re going to name that franchise), while “greater” DMV encompasses a wider net. Baltimore would be included in that. It’s more about DC being a reasonable commute at that point. I’d say anything within about a 50 mile radius of DC or roughly a 60-90 minute drive is what I’d call the “greater DMV” area. Anything outside of that I probably wouldn’t count.

Danielle November 19, 2021 - 11:07 pm

this 100%

When I lived in Silver Spring I was for sure DMV, as I was always in the “city” all the way to work at the World Bank. When I moved to Sterling, I was Greater DMV. Now I’m looking at a house in Westminster. The easy descriptor would then just be Greater Baltimore/DC area, but not really DMV area anymore to me. If anything Baltimore would be what I would be claiming if anything.

NW DC Resident December 16, 2021 - 12:00 pm

As a native Washingtonian living in D.C., I can say I am from the District of Columbia. People living in Montgomery County, Maryland, Prince Georges County, Maryland, Arlington, County, Alexandria, etc should refer to themselves as living in the Washington Metropolitan Area. People from these jurisdictions tell people all the time as they travel outside the D.C. area, they’re from D.C. instead of saying there from Maryland or Virginia. Washington, D.C. laws and taxes are different from Virginia and Maryland. Maryland and Virginia residents cannot vote in D.C. for our mayor of D.C. City Council. I wonder if residents from Northern New Jersey say they’re from New York City living in the New York City Metro area.

Poe May 1, 2023 - 11:24 am


In Maryland, we have the MVA, Motor Vehicle Administration. Marylanders, including Baltimoreans, would disagree with the above assertion.

DC resident but i wanna go to VA Beach lmao August 7, 2023 - 3:30 pm

This is kinda a tough cookie. as far as virginia, I say the last stop of virginia railroad in Fredericksburg is where the DMV ends

Westwitch September 17, 2023 - 10:54 pm

Mindy Morgan I was not being smart, I was trying to provide information. I am sorry that my reply put your name in it. It was not intended to be at you directly. MDOT just started calling itself MDOT MVA versus just MVA. I have been doing historical research on St Mary’s County Maryland for a couple of years and have several sources that back up what I say. From one of my sources, “Delmarva is comprised of portions of Virginia and Maryland, and all of Delaware. It served as a major center of European immigration into North America. In colonial times, the Peninsula became home to residents whose origin included both Africa and Northern Europe.[1] The peninsula is bounded on the East Coast by the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River and Delaware Bay and the West Coast by the Chesapeake Bay.” from https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Delmarva_Peninsula#:~:text=County%20Courthouse-,History,both%20Africa%20and%20Northern%20Europe. More information can be found here about name changes of settlements and manors in the original colony that some were claiming to actually be part of Virginia but Maryland was determined well before the second Lord Calvert arrived. You can reference that information when you research the first Lord Calvert’s settlement at Avalon in New Foundland but you probably did not learn that in school. Proprietary Manors in Maryland https://usgenwebsites.org/MDStmarys/stmarysfamilies/articles_files/manors.html and the all important county formation maps that I have posted in here before explain how the Maryland counties, and Washington DC were named, moved, renamed and established from the original Saint Mary’s County in 1634 https://homepages.rootsweb.com/~george/countyformations/marylandformationmaps.html … if that does not agree with you then you might refer back to the book “The First Parishes of the Provinces of Maryland: Percy Granger Skirven” where it covers what I already said but in more depth. I will add the information tomorrow when exactly “MDOT MVA” changed from just “MVA” … I would remind everyone to be careful about believing everything you read online. Look for information with verifiable sources. The fact that DC wasn’t established until 1790 and Maryland, Delaware and Virginia predates it also points to the “D” being adopted by “DC” which with the naming conventions of the time would most like be “W” for Washington or “WDC” or just “DC” to not confuse it with the later identified Washington state. But what do I know. I just read books and look stuff up.


Leave a Comment


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy