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Register Devices With Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures - Investigation

District businesses must register all Universal Product Code (UPC) scanners, pharmaceutical balances, scales used in dialysis clinics, and commercially used weighing and measuring devices including gas pumps, produce scales and many other devices. DCRA inspects thousands of devices twice every year to validate that the devices are properly calibrated and display accurately.

Select from the links below for the Weights and Measures registration application and fact sheet:

Information For Businesses

If you’re a new business or if you have new weighing or measuring devices, you must have your devices inspected before you use them.

You must register your device(s) every year. The registration cycle runs from October 1 to September 30. There’s a $2000 fine if you use a device before it’s inspected or before it’s registered; and a late fee of $250 if you don’t renew by the October 1 deadline.

DCRA mails all renewal notices to the address provided in Box 5 of the registration form. You must notify DCRA, in writing, of any change in address, ownership, or contact information. Even if you don’t get a renewal notice, you’re responsible for renewing on time.

Certificates and device registration are not transferable: if you move your business or add a new device, you must register for the new location and/or the additional device.

Fees

Class Device Type Fee(per device)
A Scales 0 - 100 lbs (maximum per location $900) $75
B Scales 101 – 2,000 lbs $200
C 2,001– 20,000 lbs $500
D Vehicle Scales $1500
E Hopper Scales $250
F Jewelers Balances $75
G Prescription Balances (Electronic/Mechanical) $75
H Bulk Petroleum Fuel Meters $250
I Compressed Natural Gas (per meter) $250
J Liquefied Petroleum Gas Meters ¾ inch diameter or less $250
K Liquefied Petroleum Gas Meters greater than ¾ inch $375
L Retail Engine Fuel Meters $60
M Universal Product Code (UPC) Scanners (per unit) $25
N Yard Sticks / Tape Measures $25
O Wire / Cordage Measures $50

How Does DCRA's Weights and Measures Section Help Resident?

  • Our inspections of retail engine fuel meters ensure that you get what shows on the pump.
  • We also check storage tanks to be sure there’s no water in the gas. 
  • When you buy foods by weight, like meat, fruit, and vegetables, the grocer uses scales we’ve checked for accuracy. 
  • We inspect packages to make sure they weigh what their labels say they weigh.
  • Stores that use price or UPC scanners must pass our inspections: their shelf prices must match their scanned prices.
  • By inspecting jewelers' balances, we ensure that gems and precious metals are weighed accurately.
  • We inspect prescription balances, so pharmacists can weigh medicine mixtures accurately
  • We inspect compressed natural gas meters to make sure you get what you pay for.
  • We help ensure safe health care by inspecting the dialysis clinic scales used to check patient weights before and after treatment. 
  • We inspect hopper scales, so concrete, sand, gravel, and asphalt mixtures are measured correctly – before they go into streets, sidewalks, and buildings.
  • Our vehicle scale inspections help businesses comply with highway load restrictions – and assure accurate pricing of sand, gravel, asphalt, and scrap metal.
  • We inspect commercially-used yard sticks and tape measurers – used to measure fabric, building materials (screening, glass, piping) and other products sold by the inch, yard, and foot.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

To make sure what you buy is measured and weighed correctly:

  • Read the package label.
  • Pay only for the product, not the package it comes in: for example, make sure the scale doesn’t count the weight of the box from the salad bar as part of your salad.
  • Check the unit price of the item.
  • Check your receipt to see if it matches what you bought.
  • Look for a seal from your Weights & Measures Office.
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 442-4400
Contact TTY: 
711