You are required to complete a motorcycle license renewal in Virginia if you intend to operate a motorcycle in the state and your current license is nearing its expiration date. It is important to promptly complete the license renewal process because once your license expires, you can no longer legally operate your motorcycle in the state. If you are found illegally riding your motorcycle with an expired license, your driving privileges can be revoked or suspended and you may be subject to penalty fees.

In many cases, you can renew a motorcycle license conveniently online or by mail. However, in some instances, you may be required to visit a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office to complete the renewal process. It is important to understand your renewal options, the renewal fees you must pay and how to complete the process so you can efficiently and effectively renew your driving and motorcycle operation privileges.

When to Renew a Motorcycle License in Virginia

You can begin the process for renewing a motorcycle license in VA one year before the expiration date. When you are first issued a motorcycle license, it is valid for eight years and it is important to begin the renewal process before it expires. When you successfully complete the renewal of your license and endorsement, your privileges for driving a motor vehicle and operating a motorcycle will be valid for another eight years.

If you are 75 years or age or older or you are required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, your license is only valid for five years. At this time, you must renew it if you intend to continue driving or operating a motorcycle.

You must remember to complete the motorcycle endorsement renewal in addition to your regular driver’s license renewal. To renew these credentials, you must apply for the renewal and pay the endorsement renewal fee. The endorsement will also expire at the same time as your driver’s license. Upon renewal, its new expiration date will also be the same as your drivers license expiration date.

You should renew your motorcycle license before its expiration date because you can no longer legally operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle once your license expires. If you attempt to renew your license after it has been expired for one year or longer, you will be required to re-apply for driving privileges and your motorcycle endorsement.

Eligibility for Motorcycle License Renewal in Virginia

You must meet the Virginia motorcycle renewal requirements before you can successfully renew your driver’s license and motorcycle endorsement with the DMV. Your current license cannot be revoked or suspended for any reason. You must have a valid driver’s license and not a motorcycle permit to renew your driving privileges. Additionally, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Possess a license that is due to expire in one year or less and is not revoked or suspended.
  • Be mentally and physically capable of operating a motorcycle and driving a motor vehicle.
  • Be a Virginia resident.
  • Not owe any funds to DMV transactions.
  • Not have any unpaid tickets on record.

Required Documents

In some cases, there may be documents required to renew a motorcycle license in Virginia that you must present to the DMV. You may be asked to prove legal presence if your license was issued after January 1, 2004 and this is your first time renewing since you obtained driving privileges.

You may also be required to visit the DMV and provide documentation of legal presence if you are not a U.S. citizen but a lawful permanent resident. You must also show this proof if your license has been expired for more than one day.

The documents you may be asked to provide when applying for your renewal include:

  • Proof of your Social Security Number. This may include your Social Security card or birth certificate.
  • Primary proof of your Virginia residency. You may provide utility bills, deeds, mortgages or change of address forms, if applicable.
  • Secondary proof of your Virginia residency. Your secondary proof of residency may include official documents mailed to you from the government or billing statements from businesses.
  • Proof of identification and legal presence. If you are a U.S. citizen, this may include your birth certificate or passport. If you are not a citizen but a lawful permanent resident, you can present your Permanent Resident Card or Employment Authorization Document.

Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Motorcycle License in Virginia

You can only begin to renew a bike license in VA when your current license is set to expire in one year or less. If you attempt to renew your license too early, you may be denied. If your current license is revoked or suspended, you are not permitted to renew it. You must first complete the requirements to reinstate the license to active status.

If your license has been expired for one year or longer, you are required to re-apply for your credentials. This process includes taking the knowledge, vision and driving skills exams again.

If your license has a “6” restriction along with an M endorsement, it means you only have the credentials to operate a motorcycle in the state and not a motor vehicle. When you renew this motorcycle-only license, you cannot upgrade to a regular driver’s license unless you complete all the requirements to do so, including passing the required exams.

You also cannot complete a bike license renewal if you currently hold an ID card. Recent legislation prohibits you from holding both a driver’s license and ID card. You must surrender your ID card to the DMV before your license renewal can be processed.

You cannot renew a motorcycle permit in the state if you have yet to earn your license and motorcycle endorsement. Your learner’s permit will expire eight years after it is issued or when you turn 21 years of age, whichever comes first. By this time, you must have applied for a motorcycle license or driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.

How to Renew a Virginia Motorcycle License Online

If you are looking for a convenient way to renew your license, you may wonder “Can I renew my motorcycle license online in Virginia?” You may qualify to use the online system to renew your license and motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle-only license if you are 18 years or older. You are only eligible to renew online if you visited a DMV office in person to renew your license the last time it expired.

You will not qualify for an online renewal if:

  • You need to take an exam.
  • You have a license that is revoked or suspended.
  • Your current license does not expire for six months or more.
  • You need a vision restriction removed.
  • You failed the vision screening or you are restricted to daytime driving.
  • You need to provide proof of legal presence.
  • Your name needs to be changed or corrected.
  • You are under medical review.
  • You owe the DMV funds for a prior transaction.
  • You hold a learner’s permit or Virginia ID card.
  • Your Social Security Number does not match the one on file or you need to verify your customer number.
  • You do not have a Virginia address.
  • You are 75 years of age or older.

If you do qualify for an online motorcycle license renewal, follow these steps to complete the process:

  1. Visit the DMV Now online system website and create an account.
  2. Provide your driver’s license number or Social Security Number and date of birth.
  3. Sign in using your PIN, username and password.
  4. Verify your address and contact information.
  5. Answer all the questions on the next screens accurately.
  6. Choose renewal of the motorcycle endorsement, if applicable.
  7. Provide payment for the renewal fee in the form of a credit card, debit card or bank account information.
  8. Obtain and print your receipt.

A renewed motorcycle license or driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement is mailed to you within two weeks. You can check the status of your renewal by signing into your DMV Now online account.

How to Renew a Virginia Motorcycle License by Mail

To qualify to renew an M1 license in Virginia by mail, you must also meet the same qualifications that are required to renew online. Therefore, you must have renewed in person the last time your renewal was processed and you must be 18 years of age or older. Keep in mind, if you opt to renew by mail, the DMV will use the photo you currently have on file for your new license.

To complete the mail-in motorbike license renewal process, you must fill out the renewal form that was mailed to you by the DMV. You can correct your address, height, weight or organ donor status on the application. However, if you need to make additional changes, you must call the DMV at 804-497-7100 to discuss these changes and confirm you still qualify for a mail-in renewal.

Once you have signed and dated the renewal application form, mail it along with your payment to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 26506
Richmond, VA 23260-6506

Allow at least 15 days to receive your renewal license in the mail at the address you provided on the application.

How to Renew a Virginia Motorcycle License in Person

It is important to be familiar with where to renew a motorcycle license in VA if you do not qualify to renew online or by mail. You may be required to visit a DMV customer service center or mobile office to complete the renewal process if:

  • You renewed by mail or online last time.
  • You need to take an exam, such as a vision exam.
  • The DMV needs an updated photo of you.
  • You must present documents to prove legal presence.
  • You need to make additional changes to your license.

You can find a list of motorcycle endorsement renewal and license renewal customer service centers using the DMV website. You may also be able to visit mobile offices or DMV Select partner locations to complete your renewal. However, you should confirm these location hours and services before you visit.

While you cannot make an appointment online to complete the renewal process, you can view current wait times for different offices to plan your visit. To successfully complete the renewal process in person, you will be required to:

  • Take a new photo.
  • Complete a renewal application.
  • Pass the vision exam.
  • Provide payment for renewal fees, in the form of a check, money order, cash or credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover).

In addition to your motorcycle license renewal cost, you will be responsible for a $5 fee if you renew your license in person but are eligible to renew online or by mail. To avoid this fee, you should consider using the DMV Now online system or mailing in your renewal application and fee instead.

Virginia Motorcycle License Renewal Costs

You must pay the Virginia motorcycle license renewal fee when you attempt to renew your license with the DMV, no matter which method you choose. The fees you must pay depend on whether you have a motorcycle-only license or a driver’s license with an M endorsement.

The fees you may be responsible for paying include the following:

  • Driver’s License Renewal: $32
  • Motorcycle Endorsement: $2/year
  • Motorcycle-Only License Renewal: $6/year

To renew a motorcycle endorsement along with your driver’s license, you will owe $48. If you have a motorcycle-only license, you can renew it for eight years for a total fee of $48.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.