How To Get a D.C. Motorcycle License

If you want a motorcycle endorsement in Washington, D.C., you’ll need to be at least 18, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a course and exam.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you want to ride a motorcycle in Washington, D.C., you’ll need to be 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and prove that you’re able to safely operate a motorcycle.
Using a motorcycle to get around a crowded and busy city like Washington, D.C. can be a practical decision, but you want to make sure you’re on the right side of the law before you try it. That means getting a proper motorcycle endorsement.
Washington D.C.’s Department of Motor Vehicles has established a simple, but somewhat rigorous, process to attain your endorsement. To help you manage your way through it, the
car insurance
comparison shopping app Jerry put together this guide to getting a D.C. motorcycle license.
Besides walking you through the criteria you’ll need to meet, we’ll also cover the fees you’ll pay. At the end, you’ll also find out how to find cheap car insurance quotes in Washington DC!

Do you need a license to operate a motorcycle in Washington, D.C.?

Yes, you need a license to operate a motorcycle in Washington, D.C. But what, exactly, constitutes a motorcycle? The definition of “motorcycle” varies from state to state, but in D.C., a motorcycle is a vehicle that:
  • Has an operator’s seat or saddle
  • Rides on two or three wheels touching the ground
  • Travels at 30 mph or faster
That means that even motorized bicycles or motor-driven cycles can be considered motorcycles in D.C., even if they’re powered by engines with as little as 50cc of displacement. If it’s on fewer than four wheels and can travel as fast as 30 mph, D.C. will consider it a motorcycle.
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How to add a motorcycle endorsement to your Washington, D.C. driver’s license

If you’re ready to start riding in Washington, D.C., you’ll need to get a Class M motorcycle endorsement added to your driver’s license, and you’re only eligible for that if you’re 18 or older. But there’s more to it than just being the right age.
First, you’ll need to pass the D.C. DMV Motorcycle Knowledge Test. This is a proctored exam that evaluates what you know about safely operating a motorcycle. The
knowledge tests
required by D.C. DMV are given on a first-come, first-served schedule at DMV locations. The motorcycle test is limited to 60 minutes.
If you fail the knowledge test, you can retake it, but you must wait at least three business days before you’re eligible to try again.
Once you pass your motorcycle knowledge test, you’ll receive a certificate and can move on to the motorcycle demonstration course, also through D.C. DMV.
The demonstration course can be achieved in one of two ways:
  • Pass the motorcycle skills test administered by D.C. DMV.
  • Provide a certificate showing your successful completion of a motorcycle demonstration course approved and administered in Virginia or Maryland.
When you’ve successfully completed these criteria, you’ll get an email notification of your updated status. Then, you can visit the DMV online services site to apply for a new or duplicate driver’s license that reflects your Class M motorcycle endorsement. A duplicate license costs $20 and a new license will be $47.

How to save on car and motorcycle insurance in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is a notoriously expensive city to live in with high insurance costs. Riding a motorcycle is a great way to save on gasoline costs, but you can also easily find savings on your car insurance policy with
Jerry
.
And if you plan to solely ride your motorcycle? Washington, D.C. requires motorcycles to be inspected, registered, and insured just like traditional cars. Not to worry, though. If you sign up with the Jerry app, we can help with your
motorcycle insurance
, too!
Jerry is the
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It only takes about 45 seconds to get started with Jerry, and it pays off. The average Jerry user saves more than $800 a year on car insurance! Plus, you won’t have to worry about any paperwork, salespeople, or unwanted phone calls. It’s entirely hassle-free.
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FAQs

You must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years old to legally operate a motorcycle in Washington, D.C. Smaller motor-driven cycles, like scooters that aren’t capable of going 30 mph or faster, can legally be operated on public roads by licensed drivers aged 16 or older.
That depends on which motorcycle demonstration course you take. Washington, D.C. accepts state-approved motorcycle course certificates from
Virginia
and
Maryland
. A demonstration course administered by the city of Washington, D.C. can satisfy this requirement as well. These courses will take anywhere from two to six weeks to complete. You’ll also have to take a one-hour motorcycle knowledge test, apply for your endorsement online, and wait for your license to arrive via mail.
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