Riding a motorcycle in Washington DC is a great way to get around if you know the basics of Washington DC motorcycle law. You need a DC DMV driver’s license and to be 18 years or older in order to get a motorcycle endorsement that allows you to operate a motorcycle. To legally operate a motorized bike that goes over 30 mph in Washington DC, the operator must have a valid driver license with the motorcycle (M) endorsement.
One of the requirements for getting an M endorsement to operate a motorcycle in DC is the operator must pass the DC DMV Motorcycle Knowledge Test. This can be taken at any DC DMV service center (and usually does not require an appointment to take). This test tests basic road laws and information required to have a driver’s license. There is a fee to take the test. If an applicant fails the test, they must weight three days before they are allowed to take it to try to pass it again.
In addition to the above, to validate a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement the applicant must provide a certificate of completion of a motorcycle demonstration course within the last six months of applying for the endorsement. The course does not need to be taken in DC. It can be taken and approved in any U.S. state or jurisdiction.
To apply for the motorcycle endorsement in Washington DC, bring the following to a DC DMV center:
- Completed DC DMV driver license application
- Your valid DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver’s license
- The original printout that you received when you passed the Motorcycle Knowledge Test
- Your original motorcycle demonstration course certificate of completion from within the
last 6 months from any U.S. jurisdiction.
There are fees that go with different individual’s needs that a visit to the DC DMV website will help you to find out more about.
DC law categorizes motorized cycles as one of the three following classifications of vehicles with two or three wheels on the ground: motorcycles, motor-driven cycle, and motorized bicycles.
Motorcycle A motorcycle has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator. It can be driven at
speeds over 30 mph. This does not include tractors, motor-driven cycles, motorized bicycles, or 3-wheeled motor vehicles with a cabs and windshields
Motor-Driven Cycle Is similar to a a motorcycle where it has a seat or saddle and two or three
wheels on the ground. It has a gas, electric, or hybrid motor with a maximum piston or rotor
displacement of 50cc or its equivalent, and goes no faster than 30 mph. They have a direct or
automatic power drive system that requires no clutch or gear shift operation by the operator.
Motorized Bicycle A motorized bicycle has a post-mounted seat or saddle for each person that
the device is designed to carry. Has fully operative human powered pedals. Has a motor
incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 mph on level ground.
Motorcycles are a fun and economical way to get around the city but if you have been in an accident while riding one, you may find it helpful to discuss your situation with a reputable Washington DC motorcycle law firm.
The dedicated team of Cohen & Cohen has been protecting the rights of injured people and their families for over 30 years. Call Cohen & Cohen today for a free case evaluation.