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Noise Regulations

Every person living in the District is entitled to reasonable noise levels that do not threaten life,   health, and enjoyment of his or her property.

Excessive or unnecessary noises within the District pose a menace to the welfare and prosperity of the residents and businesses of the District. It is the declared public policy of the District to reduce the ambient noise level in the District to promote public health, safety, welfare, and the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the District, and to facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attraction of the District (DCMR 20, Sec. 2700.1).

DOB is one of several agencies that enforce noise regulations.  DOB's primary responsibility is for noise related to activity under its regulatory authority. Roles and responsibilities for the various engaged DC government agencies will be found in the Noise Regulations Handbook, which includes Title 20 District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Chapter 27, Noise Control and Chapter 28, Maximum Noise Levels, and Chapter 29, Noise Measuring Test Procedures. To file a complaint with DOB, please use our complaint webform.

Trash Truck Noise
Trash collection by private haulers is prohibited between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am in residential, special purpose, or waterfront zones, or within 300 feet of any of these zones. These rules do not apply to Department of Public Works vehicles, only private trash collection companies.

Trash truck noise is enforced by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP). To file a complaint concerning trash truck noise, visit

Learn more about reporting a violation.
Legal Construction Hours

Construction is allowed Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm without any special permits. Customers must apply for an after-hours permit to work beyond these legal construction hours. If you believe work is being done after legal hours without a permit, please report it to DOB. Please visit this page to see a list of holidays where no construction is allowed in the District.

Learn more about reporting a violation.
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
Complaints about noise at establishments licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration should be directed to ABRA.

Metropolitan Police Department
Other noise complaints in public space should be directed to the Metropolitan Police Department.


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