How To Get a Motorcycle License in Washington
Motorcycle owners quickly learn that the process for attaining a license in Washington for their vehicle is different than the standard licensing procedures for any other conventional automobile. The testing tends to be a little more rigorous, and the fees and regulations differ as well. However, the following guide for getting the motorcycle license WA has to offer can make things go a little more smoothly. Familiarizing yourself with the process ahead of time will take the stress out of getting out on the road with your bike at your side.
The first step of the process is designed to test your knowledge of laws and regulations concerning motorcycles. This exam will also test your knowledge regarding how to react in certain dangerous conditions on the road that include adverse weather and emergency situations. The written exam is given at the DMV. There is no appointment needed in order to take this exam. However, riders will also need to take a road test in which they must demonstrate their skills as a rider. This exam must be scheduled prior to arrival so that an evaluator can be reserved to administer the test.
License Requirements and Fees
There are some legal requirements that all riders must meet in order to qualify for a motorcycle license WA provides through the DMV. In addition to first passing the written test, the rider must be at least 16 years of age and already possess a Washington driver’s license. All potential riders must pay their licensing fee prior to taking the written exam as well. While operating with only the permit, riders will not be allowed to carry passengers or operate their motorcycle at night. After passing the road test, the license of the applicant will then be upgraded to include an endorsement that allows for motorcycle use. The fee for this upgrade can vary in price according to the amount of time between the date of application and the next renewal date for the license being upgraded. Fees for rider can range between $17 and $27.
Although 16 years of age is the minimum requirement for licensing, riders under the age of 18 will require parental consent in order to attain a motorcycle license. The motorcycle license WA gives to riders does not require full insurance on the motorcycle itself, unlike many states. However, there are minimum insurance requirements for the rider that are meant to cover any damages that may be caused in the event of an accident. It is recommended that riders who take the written and road exam through the DMV prepare ahead of time using the study materials that are provided by the DMV. The rider’s manual is available for free online or in hardback form at any Washington DMV offices. These manuals cover all of the information that will potentially appear on the exam.
Rider Course and Training
Washington does give riders some unique options when it comes to these examinations, however. Riders can complete a third-party rider course that is approved by the DMV. Completing this course will exempt them from any requirements related to the knowledge and skills test. Once this course is completed and the proper paperwork is submitted to the DMV, it is considered to be equivalent to the written exam and the road test that the DMV administers. Riders must complete the course and have the paperwork properly filed with DMV offices within 180 days of completion in order for the class to be valid. The option for traditional licensing requires passing the knowledge test in order to receive an operator’s permit. Once riders have this operator’s permit in their possession, they can then safely and legally practice for the road-skills test that they schedule for a later date.
Riders who wish to take the independent riding courses have many different options open to them. Motorcycle training schools offer a wealth of different courses that are suited for riders at all skill levels. These offerings range from beginner’s courses that cover all of the basic skills required by the DMV to advanced courses. There are some minimal qualifications required for these courses as well prior to enrollment. Students must possess a current registration and plates for the motorcycle that they plan to operate throughout training. They must also possess a permit that they attained through the written exam provided by DMV services. Riders will also be required to wear the minimum protective gear as required of riders by the state. This safety equipment includes eye protection should the motorcycle possess no shielding. Qualifying protection includes goggles, glasses, or a face shield that is build into a helmet. A helmet of some kind must also be worn by by riders. The equipment must meet regulations outlined by the US Department of Transportation standards as well. The classes take place in both rain and shine, preparing riders for traditional hazards that one encounters on the road.
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