Having financial responsibility for your motorcycle means that you will be able to pay in case your ride causes damages/injuries in the case of an accident. That is why Virginia residents must establish financial responsibility before they can legally operate their motorcycles on state roads.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles

Let’s see how Virginia defines two-wheeled vehicles:

  • Motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle with a motor of 50 cc or more and a maximum speed of over 30 mph.
  • A two-wheeled vehicle is a moped or a scooter if:
    • The seat is no less than 24 inches in height.
    • The motor is gasoline, electric, or hybrid and is less than 50 cc.
    • The maximum speed is less than 30 mph.

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicle’s at (804) 497-7100 if you’re not sure whether your ride needs registration and insurance.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

If you decide to purchase liability coverage instead of pay the UMV (Uninsured Motor Vehicle) fee, your policy must meet the following state liability insurance requirements:

  • $20,000 for property damage.
  • $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death of one person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people.

You can get insurance for your ride by using the form at the top of this page. The form can also help you save money on motorcycle insurance for the future as well.

Helmet Requirements

In the state of Virginia, all motorcyclists and passengers are obligated to wear approved helmets. As stated by the DMV, these helmets should meet the standards and specifications of the federal Department of Transportation, the Snell Memorial Foundation or the National Standards Institute, Inc.

Electronic Reporting

The DMV keeps track of all insurance policies holders by using an electronic reporting method. Your insurance company will notify the DMV when you purchase new coverage, or when you make changes to or cancel your existing coverage.

Establishing Financial Responsibility

The only way to establish financial responsibility for your ride in Virginia is to purchase liability coverage from a licensed insurance provider. If you are not able to buy coverage at the moment, the state allows owners to pay the UMV fee when they register their motorcycles. The fee is $500 and is valid for 12 months.

However, it doesn’t offer any kind of coverage. In other words, if you’re involved in an accident you will be personally liable for costs associated with the accident.

Proof of Insurance

You must carry proof of insurance with you at all times. You will have to show the proof if law enforcement requests that, or if you’re involved in an accident.


See what can happen if the DMV or a police officer catches you riding without proof of insurance:

  • Suspension of your driver’s license, registration, and license plates.
  • Pay a statutory fee of $500 in addition to any other associated fees to reinstate your license and registration.
  • File a financial responsibility insurance certificate, also known as a form SR-22, for three years.

For more information regarding penalties, contact the DMV at (804) 497-7100.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.