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Mayor Bowser and The Lab @ DC Release Updated DC Government Forms

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Five High-Profile Forms Updated Based on Input from Form-a-Palooza

(WASHINGTON, DC) – This past summer, District residents and government staff came together to rework several high-profile DC Government forms with design and behavioral science experts at Form-a-Palooza. Today, the Bowser Administration revealed the finished products at TransFORMed, an exhibition hosted by The Lab @ DC that featured the five reenvisioned forms. 

“At Form-a-Palooza, we took government forms that were notoriously and unnecessarily difficult to use and worked with residents and experts to make them more accessible. Today, we are proud to reveal the results of such a tremendous community effort,” said Mayor Bowser. “We want residents to use the programs and services available to them and we will continue using The Lab to find innovative ways to make DC Government work better for District residents.”

During Form-a-Palooza, researchers, agency experts, and residents workshopped revisions to commonly used DC Government forms. At TransFORMed, stakeholders returned for a first look at the new versions with updates focused on improved usability and plain language. Agencies will begin using the new forms over the coming weeks, with four of the five being rolled out today. 

The forms included:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles’ Driver License and Identification Card Application, used to obtain or renew a driver’s license or identification; 
  • Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ Basic Business License, used to certify a business as authorized to operate legally in the District; 
  • Department of Human Services’ TANF Job Search Log, used to allow Temporary Assistance for Needy Families customers to document their job searching activities; 
  • Department of Disability Services’ Service Request Form, used to access intellectual disability support services; and 
  • Department of Energy and Environment’s Lead Disclosure Form, used by landlords to acknowledge potential presence of lead-based paint to their tenants.

At TransFORMed, stakeholders heard from City Administrator Rashad Young and Director of the Lab @ DC David Yokum about the significance of customer service and the importance of providing residents with the resources they need to more easily access supports and services.

“Confusing forms can cause annoyance, waste time, and prompt errors,” said Director Yokum. “Today we’ve coupled the feedback we received during Form-a-Palooza with the scientific insights from The Lab to produce forms that support an improved service delivery experience for residents.”

To see the before and after of each form, visit

In July, Mayor Bowser launched The Lab @ DC, a first-of-its-kind in-house data science team in the DC Government. The Lab uses data and evidence to inform decision making across DC Government and is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a national non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of individuals by strengthening social, governmental, and economic systems.

TransFORMed is part of Back to Basics DC, an effort to highlight the day-to-day work that keeps the District moving forward. Follow Back to Basics DC on social media using #backtobasicsDC