DCDecoded.org is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan implementation of The State Decoded brought to you by the folks at the OpenGov Foundation. It is part of a broader initiative to bring the law - the most important information in any community - to the people in more accessible, modern formats that can be used and reused. DCDecoded.org provides a platform to display legal information in a friendly, accessible, modern fashion. It is a part of the America Decoded network of legal code sites.

Beta Testing

DCDecoded.org is currently in public beta, which is to say that the site is under active development, with known shortcomings, but it has reached a point where it would benefit from being used by the general public (who one hopes will likewise benefit from it). While every effort is made to ensure that the data provided on DCDecoded.org is accurate and up-to-date, it would be gravely unwise to rely on it for any matter of importance while it is in this beta testing phase.

Many more features are under development, including city council legislation, regulations, calculations of the importance of given laws, inclusion of city attorney’s opinions, court rulings, extensive explanatory text, social media integration, significant navigation enhancements, a vastly expanded built-in glossary of legal terms, scholarly article citations, and much more.

Data Sources

The data that powers DCDecoded.org is also available from the Council of the District of Columbia. The official code is maintained by the District of Columbia and should be the primary reference for any legal questions. Even then, it is always good to consult with a lawyer when interpreting the law.

The data is translated into the State Decoded format using a parser provided by Joshua Tauberer.

An alternative parser is made available by the OpenLawDC organization, and the results can be viewed at dccode.org.


The site has a RESTful, JSON-based API. Register for an API key and read the documentation for details.


DCDecoded.org wouldn't be possible without the contributions and years of work by Waldo Jaquith, and the many dozens of people who participated in 18 months of private alpha and beta testing of Virginia Decoded - the first Decoded site - beginning in 2010. The platform on which this site is based, The State Decoded, was expanded to function beyond Virginia thanks to a generous grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Special thanks to the awesome people working in DC, both inside and outside of government, to produce and maintain the laws of the city and open up government to citizens. You know who you are.


Hosted on CentOS, driven by Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Hosting by Rackspace. Search by Solr. Comments by Disqus.


This is not the official copy of the DC code. It is offered as a resource only, and any official reliance or citation must be made to the DC Official Code located on the Council of the District of Columbia website. The OpenGov Foundation offers open law data with no warranty as to accuracy or completeness.