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How to Get a Motorcycle License in Virginia

Virginia motorcycle license applicants can choose to add a motorcycle endorsement to their current driver license or they may obtain a standalone restricted-use license. Motorbike driving license applicants must become familiar with the process and different steps to obtain a license or endorsement. Motorcycle drivers license applicants must also know about Rider Training Program requirements and Virginia safety regulations. As part of the Virginia DMV motorcycle license testing requirements, motorists must wear an approved motorcycle helmet and other protection when operating such vehicles.

Virginia Motorcycle License Requirements

Requirements for obtaining a motorbike license in VA vary depending on whether motorists wish to obtain a full bike license for strictly motorcycle use or add an endorsement/classification to a current driver license. If drivers wish to get motorcycle license credentials and do not hold a current Virginia driver license, then they may apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit, complete the state’s Rider Training Program and study the state’s Motorcycle Operator Manual before completing motorcycle knowledge and road skills tests, in addition to a drivers license knowledge exam. When drivers meet these motorcycle license requirements, they will receive a full license.

However, specific motorcycle drivers license requirements vary depending on the age of the applicant. To apply for a motorcycle permit, motorists must be at least 15 years and 6 months of age. If motorbike driving license applicants are younger than 18 years of age, then they must hold a learner’s permit for at least nine months before they may apply for a full Virginia motorbike license. They must also complete a state-approved driver education program, which is separate from the Virginia Rider Training Program. DMV motorcycle license applicants older than 18 years of age must hold a learner’s permit for at least 30 days before obtaining a full license. Alternately, motorcycle drivers license applicants 19 years of age and older do not need to obtain a learner’s permit if they complete a Virginia Rider Training Program. Upon completion of the VA motorbike driver license safety program, motorists may apply for a full motorcycle license within 30 days.

Motorbike driver license applicants who complete a rider safety course may be exempt from passing a knowledge exam or road test if they can provide the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with certification of completing the rider training program within a certain time frame. Exempt applicants must apply for a motorcycle drivers license in VA within one year of course completion if they are younger than 18 years of age.

As another option, motorists may add a motorbike endorsement to their current driver license. To obtain a motorcycle license endorsement in Virginia, applicants must complete a Rider Training Program, obtain a learner’s permit, pass a vision screening and pass a knowledge exam and road skills test. Motorbike driving license applicants over 19 years of age who pass an approved riders course receive an automatic exemption from completing the knowledge exam and skills test, as the course completion certificate acts as a temporary motorbike endorsement when carried with a driver license. However, these Virginia DMV motorcycle license applicants must visit a DMV customer service center within 30 days of course completion to add the motorcycle designation to their driver license.

Obtaining a license for motorcycle use requires motorists to wear safety gear such as a motorcycle helmet, face or eye protection and protective clothing. These VA motorbike license requirements are mandatory for all motorcycle operators in the state. Additionally, all helmets must be approved by the Virginia State Police.

Note: The motorcycle license cost for endorsements/classifications requires an annual fee. You must renew your VA motorbike endorsement when you renew your driver license. However, the cost of your motorcycle license is valid for eight years and requires a nominal renewal fee.

How can I get a motorcycle license in Virginia?

Drivers may get motorcycle license credentials regardless of whether they hold a Virginia driver license or not. However, the process of how and where to get motorcycle license credentials depends on several factors. While a motorcycle endorsement allows drivers to operate a motorcycle and an automobile, a motorcycle license is restricted to motorcycle use only. To obtain a restricted-use motorcycle driver license in Virginia, applicants must visit a DMV customer service center to present proof of completing the motorbike license requirements and complete a driver’s license knowledge exam. Even if motorists receive a motorcycle knowledge and road test exemption, they must complete the driver’s license knowledge exam.

While motorists cannot get a motorcycle license online in Virginia, they may register for training courses online. Courses for obtaining a license for a motorcycle are available at community colleges, motorcycle safety centers and other facilities throughout the state.

How to Get a Virginia Motorcycle Endorsement

If you prefer, instead of getting your motorcycle license, you may add an endorsement/classification to your current driver license. When adding a Virginia motorbike endorsement to your current license, you must obtain a classification for the type of motorcycle you wish to operate, such as a two-wheeled or three-wheeled bike. To operate a two-wheeled motorcycle, you must obtain an M2 classification, an M3 endorsement to operate a three-wheeled bike or an M classification to operate both types of bikes. After you meet all Virginia motorcycle endorsement requirements, such as the completion of a Rider Training Program and motorcycle learners permit requirements, you must visit a DMV customer service center to submit a certificate of rider safety completion (if applicable) or you must pass a knowledge and skills test before the DMV can add the motorcycle endorsement to your driver license. Additionally, you must pass a vision screening and meet safety equipment requirements, including the use of a motorcycle helmet, eye protection, durable gloves, footwear and additional riding gear.

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