• FAQs

    1. Will my endorsement transfer from out of state?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Motorcycle licenses endorsements will transfer from other states, but not other countries. To transfer your endorsement to your new Washington State driver license, simply request that the endorsement gets transferred over and pay the endorsement fee. If there is an oversight on either party (DOL or the customer) we allow a 365 day (1-year) timeframe from the date their Washington driver license is issued to get the endorsement added. Once that timeframe has expired, you are required to successfully complete the knowledge and skills tests or a motorcycle safety course.
    2. Am I required to have insurance for my motorcycle?
      No. Insurance is not required for motorcycles in the state of Washington, however if something happens (ex: a crash) without insurance you could still be held financially responsible per RCW 46.29.250. When riding outside the state of Washington always remember to check the laws in the state you’re riding in since it is your responsibilty to follow the laws of that state. Even though Washington State does not require motorcycle insurance our surrounding states including: Oregon, Idaho, and Canada do. If you don’t have insurance and are stopped, you may be ticketed for it.
    3. Do I need a motorcycle endorsement to ride my motorcycle?
      A motorcycle endorsement is required for motorcycles that are 50cc and over and/or the speedometer reads faster than 30mph.
    4. Does my teenager need a driver license to ride our moped?
      Yes. A driver license is required for all mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and sidecars/trikes.
    5. Moped…Scooter…Motorcycle… What’s the difference?
      The major difference in all three is the size. A moped does not exceed 50cc’s and is not capable of going faster than 30mph on level ground. Mopeds do not require an endorsement. A scooter is a smaller version of a motorcycle and, more often than not, requires an endorsement. A motorcycle has not more than three wheels, where the driver rides on a seat or saddle and is steered with a handlebar. Motorcycles require an endorsement.
    6. I’m in the military and stationed out-of-state,can I still add my motorcycle endorsement to my Washington State driver license?
      We offer a way for active duty military personnel and their dependents to get their endorsement add to their Washington State driver license while stationed out of Washington. You must complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) certified course, state certified, or a military course and mail in documents within 180 days to get your endorsement. The following documents are required:

      • Letter of request that includes your current Washington resident address, and your current out-of-state mailing address
      • Copies of the front and back of your Washington State driver license,  course completion card, and documentation showing active military status
      • Check or money order for $25 to cover the endorsement fee
    7. Is a 3-wheel (sidecar/trike) endorsement required for my Can-Am and Piaggio MP3?
      Yes. The Can-Am has two wheels in the front and one in the back, but it still has three wheels. The Piaggio MP3 has handling characteristics just like a 2-wheel motorcycle; however, it still has three wheels.
    8. The speedometer on my motorcycle reads up to 60mph but I never ride faster than 30mph. So I don’t need an endorsement, right?
      No. Just because you don’t go as fast as your motorcycle is capable of, doesn’t make you exempt from the endorsement requirement. If your speedometer reads faster than 30mph, you need a motorcycle endorsement to ride legally.
    9. Can my child be a passenger on my motorcycle?
      A child must be at least five years old and able to reach the foot pegs to be able to ride on a motorcycle.
    10. Can my three year old ride in my sidecar?
      No. A sidecar follows the same rules as a two-wheel motorcycle (with the exception of the height requirement); a passenger must be at least five years old.
    11. Can you give me information on a motorcycle safety course?
      There are three types of safety courses: Basic Rider Course (BRC), Intermediate Rider Training (IRT), Experienced Rider Course (ERC),  a basic S/TEP Course and an advanced S/TEP Course.

      • BRC – This course is designed for students with little or no riding experience, and lasts no more than 16 hours. Training bikes are provided to you by the training school.
      • IRT – This course is designed for riders with some experience, and lasts eight hours. Training bikes are provided to you by the training school or you may provide your own.
      • ERC – This course is designed for experienced riders, and lasts eight hours. This course is taken on your own bike.
      • S/TEP – This course is provided as a basic or advanced course. The basic course lasts no more than 16 hours and training bikes are provided to you by the training school. The advance course lasts eight hours and is taken on your own sidecar or trike.

      For further training information, please see: Types of Motorcycle Training Courses

    12. How old do I need to be to take a motorcycle safety course?
      To attend a subsidized safety course, a student must be at least 15 years and 10 months old.
    13. Can my license plate be vertically positioned on my motorcycle?
      No. License plates must be placed on your motorcycle in a horizontal position and visible at all times. This is one of the top ten reason riders are stopped by law endforcement.
    14. I have an Ignition Interlock License (IIL); can I get my motorcycle endorsement?
      A motorcycle endorsement cannot be added to your license if there is an IIL requirement currently attached. The endorsement can be added once the IIL until requirement is dropped.
    15. Can an Ignition Interlock Device (IIL) be added to my motorcycle?
      The device can be added to your motorcycle; however, you can only ride your motorcycle if you had an endorsement prior to receiving the IIL requirement.
    16. Does Washington State have a separate motorcycle license?
      No. Washington State does not have a separate motorcycle license. Washington State has motorcycle endorsements which are added to a driver license.
    17. I really like novelty helmets, are they legal to wear?
      A “novelty” helmet is not legal. All helmets must be Department of Transportation (DOT) certified. To make sure a helmet is DOT certified, there is a DOT sticker located on the outside of the helmet and a DOT label on the inside. A DOT approved label will consist of the manufacturers name or identification, model designation, size, month and year of manufacture and instructions to the purchaser regarding construction and other safety related information.
    18. How long is my written test valid?
      Your motorcycle knowledge test is valid for two years. Within that timeframe, you may renew your permit one time without needing to re-take the knowledge test. If the two year timeframe has expired and you have not renewed your permit, you will need to re-take the test to get  another permit or endorsement.
    19. How do I renew my permit?
      To renew your permit, simply visit a DOL office and request that your permit be renewed. The renewal fee is $15 and your permit will be valid an additional 90 days. Remember that a permit can only be renewed one time.
    20. How long is my endorsement valid?
      An endorsement is valid for the length of time that a driver license is valid. For example, if you have had your current driver license for two years, and you add your endorsement, the endorsement will be valid the remaining three years. Once you renew your license and endorsement, both will be valid for five years.