Applying for a motorcycle license in Virginia can be simple for those who follow the steps outlined by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A motorbike license is mandatory for all drivers operating a two or three wheeled motorcycle. By obtaining an “M”, “M2”, or “M3” class on driver’s license, a driver can legally ride a motorbike on Virginia streets.

There are different restrictions when it comes to operating a two or three-wheeled motorcycle. For instance, the M2 endorsement allows restrictions to operating a two-wheeled motorcycle, while an M3 allows a restricted operation of a three-wheeled motorcycle. To learn more about choosing an endorsement and the requirements for a permit, motorists can continue reading below.

What is a Virginia motorcycle endorsement?

There are three types of Virginia motorcycle endorsement options that motorists can apply for. The M endorsement is added to a driver’s existing license in order to illustrate that the driver is legally able to operate a motorcycle in the state of Virginia.  Drivers must first have a legal driver’s license in order to pursue a DMV endorsement for a motorcycle. The types of DMV motorcycle endorsements in Virginia are:

  • M: for both two and three-wheeled motorcycles.
  • M2: restricted to the operation of two-wheeled motorcycles.
  • M3: restricted to the operation of three-wheeled motorcycles.

If a driver holds a valid Virginia driver’s license without a motorcycle designation, then he or she can add any of the three above-mentioned endorsements to his or her license to legally operate a motorcycle. To add an endorsement, motorists 18 years of age or older must:

  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass the motorcycle knowledge exam.
  • Have a motorcycle permit for at least 30 days.
  • Successfully complete the motorcycle road skills test.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Virginia

A Virginia motorcycle learner’s permit is necessary for all first-time riders. For riders who are younger than 18 years of age, they must obtain and hold a Virginia motorcycle learner’s permit for at least nine months. Applicants who are older than 18 years of age must obtain and hold a motorcycle permit for at least 30 days. The minimum motorcycle permit age in Virginia is 15 years and 6 months of age. The purpose of the motorcycle permit in Virginia is to prepare a rider for the license or endorsement. In order to obtain a motorcycle permit, riders must pass the motorcycle knowledge exam, wear an approved safety helmet and wear eye and face protection. When applying for a motorcycle permit in Virginia, identification and residency must be proven through acceptable documents. These documents include, but are not limited to:

  • A driver’s license.
  • A birth certificate.
  • A state-issued ID card.
  • A Social security card.
  • Federal documents.
  • Deed paperwork.
  • Mortgage documents.
  • Utility bills.

Virginia Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

Many new motorcycle drivers ask, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do in Virginia?” There are specific motorcycle permit restrictions that must be followed by all new riders. For instance, every motorcycle learner’s permit holder must be supervised by a person at least 21 years of age who is licensed to operate a motorbike. The license holder must be able to assist, be alert and supervise from a separate vehicle which accompanies the motorbike. Permit holders for a motorcycle are not able to carry passengers on their motorcycle either. Additionally, a permit holder can only drive a motorcycle between the hours of 4 a.m. and 12 a.m.

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Virginia

Obtaining the motorbike learners permit in Virginia requires an applicant to take the necessary steps outlined by the DMV. Any drivers who are at least 19 years of age can skip the DMV motorcycle permit by enrolling in the rider training program. Applicants can earn his or her permit by visiting the local Virginia DMV and passing the vision exam, completing the motorcycle knowledge test and paying the $3 permit fee. After a permit is issued, a driver will be able to take the motorcycle skills test 30 days later if he or she is 18 years of age or older. Permit holders younger than 18 years of age can take the skills test after they have had the permit for nine months. The permit will be valid for one year, so a driver can take his or her time before proceeding toward the license stage.

Virginia Motorcycle License Requirements

The DMV motorcycle license in Virginia is the next step after a driver completes the permit process or the rider training program. The VA motorcycle license age requirements allow riders younger than 18, but minors must meet the permit requirements to be eligible for the license. The DMV allows applicants as young as 15 years and six months of age to get driving permits, but they cannot obtain a license until they have held the permit for nine months. Drivers seeking a license for motorcycle operation that are 18 years of age or older will follow the same requirements as mentioned above, as well as obtaining and holding a motorcycle learner’s permit for 30 days. Applying for a motorcycle license will require an applicant to provide the same documentation of identity and residency as with the permit.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Virginia

Learning where to get a motorcycle license in Virginia is a common question asked by new riders. There are two types of license options available to applicants: a motorcycle endorsement or a motorcycle-only license. The motorcycle-only license allows the legal operation solely of a motorcycle, which will be indicated by a “6” restriction on a license with the appropriate endorsement. Drivers who seek an endorsement for an existing license will need to:

  • Pass the required vision screening.
  • Pass the motorcycle knowledge exam.
  • Obtain and holding a learner’s permit for either 30 days or nine months.
  • Pass the motorcycle road skills test.

The motorcycle skills test is an important step in the licensing process and requires an applicant to visit the DMV in person. The road test can be skipped by applicants who are at least 19 years of age if they complete a training course. Drivers who go to the DMV for the test will need to bring his or her motorcycle permit, an approved helmet, face shield, a pair of safety glasses or goggles, motorcycle with valid license plates and a current inspection sticker. For those asking, “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license?” drivers should note that the DMV no longer gives out license at the office. Instead, the DMV mails out licenses and permits to the addresses listed in the DMV database.

Getting a Virginia Motorcycle License as a New Resident

Any new resident to Virginia looking to transfer a motorcycle license will be able to make the transfer within 60 days after moving to the state. The process of switching over an M license is the same as switching over a driver’s license, which includes visiting the DMV in person and providing proof of identity, Social Security Number and Virginia residency. New Virginia residents will need to pass the vision exam and show a valid driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory. New state residents cannot hold an out-of-state license and a current Virginia motorcycle-only license at the same time. The Virginia DMV does not accept out-of-state motorcycle training certificates if the motorist does not already have a motorcycle endorsement on the out-of-state license.

Required Motorcycle Classes in Virginia

There are motorcycle safety classes that are available through the DMV, as well as through private programs. Passing an approved motorcycle training course will allow a driver to skip the DMV testing. Applicants who are seeking a motorcycle license class can view a list of programs offered through the DMV website. Prices for these courses will vary depending on the program. After a driver passes the course, he or she will be eligible to apply for a motorcycle license by bringing in the certificate of completion, a valid Virginia driver’s license and payment of the licensing fees.

Virginia DMV Motorcycle Test Details

Obtaining a motorcycle license in Virginia means passing the required tests. There are two tests which must be passed by every license applicant: the motorcycle written test and the motorcycle road test. Drivers must also take a vision exam. The license will reflect any vision restrictions as needed.

Motorcycle Written Test

For instance, the motorcycle knowledge exam is a critical test which consists of 25 questions based on information provided in the Motorcycle Operator Manual. This test must be completed before a driver can take the road skills test. The DMV offers this test in over 20 languages.

Motorcycle Road Test

The motorcycle road test is designed to test a rider’s driving skills on a motorcycle. All applicants for a motorcycle license in Virginia will need to take the road skills test on their own motorcycle. According to Virginia law, if an applicant fails the DMV road skills test twice, he or she must then pass a Virginia Rider Training Program before getting the motorcycle endorsement.

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Virginia?

Scooter drivers in Virginia do not need a license in order to legally operate a scooter. However, moped operators must still wear a helmet and cannot use a scooter on the highway.

Drivers must be 16 years of age or older to drive a moped.

Other Vehicles

Additionally, drivers operating all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) will not need to have a license in order to ride.

Virginia Motorcycle License Costs

The motorcycle license cost will vary, depending on a few different factors. A list of the most common costs for a motorcycle license include:

  • Motorcycle class (per year) – $2.00
  • Motorcycle learner’s permit – $3.00
  • Replacement motorcycle license – $20.00
  • Replacement motorcycle permit – $2.00
Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.