How to Apply for a Virginia Motorcycle License
A Virginia DMV motorcycle license is a document issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to applicants who want to operate their motorcycles on public roads within the state. The VA DMV issues different types of the same Class M license, which may vary based on the type of motorcycle you intend to ride. The license for motorcycle may be display an M, M2 or an M3 designation. The DMV offers a VA motorcycle endorsement that may be attached to a standard VA driver’s license, as well as a license issued exclusively for operating a motorcycle. Note that the license application procedures may differ and applicants may need to take certain drivers tests or complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course. Virginia allows drivers younger than 18 years of age to apply for a license to operate a motorcycle, but they must meet certain requirements and obtain the appropriate permit. To learn more information about each type of license in Virginia, you can continue reading the sections below.
Motorcycle License Requirements in Virginia
A motorcycle drivers license from the VA DMV has certain conditions for applicants to meet before they are allowed to operate a motorbike on VA roads. In order to receive a VA motorcycle endorsement or a license, riders must be physically and mentally prepared for riding a motorcycle. When necessary, drivers may need to complete an approved driver’s education course if they have not already met Virginia DMV requirements. Young drivers are also required to hold a motorcycle learners permit for a period of nine months before upgrading to a higher motorcycle credential. To become eligible for a full license or a Class M endorsement, riders must pass the appropriate written knowledge and practical driving tests. Additionally, those who license credentials must complete a vision screening that meets DMV standards.
Note: If riders hold an out-of-state license, they must first surrender their credentials from another state to the VA DMV and meet all the requirements to obtain a new one. According to Virginia laws, riders are not allowed to hold two licenses from different states at the same time. Some motorcyclists may be able to transfer their existing out-of-state license and obtain a valid Virginia credential to which they can add the appropriate endorsement.
Motorcycle riders who want to apply for a Virginia motorcycle drivers license or a Class M endorsement may enroll in state-approved safety courses, such as the Virginia Rider Training Program. The courses are intended for riders who need additional education about safety measures when operating a motorcycle, along with driving techniques and road behavior. Parts of the the safety course curriculum for motorcycle licenses include a written knowledge and a practical driving test. Thus, if motorcyclists present a Certificate of Completion when applying for an endorsement or license, they will be able to waive both the written exam and the practical test.
Virginia Motorcycle License Tests
Riders who begin the license application process will be required to take and pass several VA DMV exams. One of the requirements is to pass the following tests:
- Vision screening test
- Motorcycle knowledge exam
- Motorcycle road skills test
Motorists who want to apply for motorcycle license in Virginia and who have completed a motorbike safety course may have the option to waive their written and skills tests.
The Virginia Motorcycle License Application Process
The procedure for getting a motorcycle license in Virginia depends on the type of credential motorists apply for. Individuals who hold a standard VA driver’s license and want to add an endorsement must be at least 18 years of age and complete the following steps:
- Apply for a motorcycle learners permit and hold it for 30 days.
- Pass an eye examination.
- Pass a motorcycle written knowledge exam.
- Pass a practical motorcycle riding test.
- Pay the applicable fees.
Motorcycle license applicants who choose to enroll in a motorcycle safety course and present a certificate of completion to the VA DMV may waive both the knowledge and practical tests. For applicants 19 years of age or older, the certificate has the validity of an M2 or M3 license class for 30 days when it is attached to a regular driver’s license. After 30 days, riders must add the appropriate endorsement on their license at a DMV office.
Individuals younger than 18 years of age can apply for a Class M motorcycle license if they pass vision, written and skills tests and if they have held a motorcycle permit for nine months. Riders who present a certificate of completion of a motorcycle safety course will be exempt from the knowledge exam and skills test. Apart from meeting the requirements for a VA motorcycle endorsement, riders must also pass a two-part driver’s license knowledge exam at a nearby VA DMV office. Applicants younger than 18 must complete an approved driver education program before being issued any kind of driver license, including a motorcycle-only one. Residents cannot apply for a motorcycle license online, although they may be able to renew credentials and review necessary testing materials or providers.
Note: The full license which has a designation for “motorcycle only” is restricted to operating only motorbikes and the license class will indicate the type of motorcycle.
Virginia Motorcycle License Fees
The Virginia motorcycle license cost may vary based on the license class and type that motorists apply for. For instance, an endorsement requires payment of a $2 fee on a yearly basis. The price for a motorcycle learners permit is $3. If you need only a license, it will cost $6 per year and will be valid for eight years. Note that motorists may need to pay additional fees for drivers tests or state-approved safety courses. Also, applicants for Virginia endorsement may have to pay additional fees if they need to obtain a standard driver’s license first. When you renew driving license credentials, you can renew your endorsement.