How To Get a Motorcycle License in Virginia
Driving a motorcycle currently requires a license in all US states and Virginia is no exception.
If you’re interested in learning how to obtain your Virginia motorcycle license, keep reading for all the pertinent information you need to get started. You’ll be revving your engine in no time after you begin this simple, incredibly inexpensive process.
Motorcycle Licensing Requirements
Assuming an individual already has a Virginia driver’s license to operate a standard automobile within the state, a class M, M2, or M3 classification can be added after a few simple steps are followed.
A full M class designation means you can legally drive any motorcycle, while M2 means you may only legally drive two-wheeled motorcycles and M3 indicates you may only legally drive three-wheeled motorcycles.
Motorcycle learner permits are required for those under the age of 19 years old and for those who want to learn to ride a motorcycle but who do not have a regular driver’s license. The permit requirements include passing the motorcycle knowledge test.
If you pass the test and earn your permit, you may practice for the licensing road test only when supervised by a licensed motorcycle driver at least 21 years of age. Minors under 19 must hold their permit for nine months before taking the road test.
Applicants must pass a vision screening. This may be required even if you have an existing driver’s license for which you may have undergone a vision screening. According to the Virginia DMV website, “To screen your vision, you will be asked to look into a machine and read lines of letters or numbers to the DMV representative.”
Restrictions may apply with uncorrected vision of 20/70 or worse. These can include being restricted to daylight driving only or denial of license issuance.
Testing and Available – But Not Mandatory – Safety Training Courses
Applicants must also pass a written motorcycle knowledge test and a hands-on road skills test. While taking a basic riding and safety skills course is not required, it is encouraged. There are approved classes available through the Virginia Rider Training Program at facilities throughout the state that motorcycle operators can participate in for a fee.
Successful completion of one of these approved courses will exempt an individual from needing to take and pass the written test and the road test. Again, these courses are not required in Virginia; that isn’t the case in some other states. As long as you can pass the knowledge and skills tests, you will be able to obtain your Virginia motorcycle license.
However, especially for new riders, safety training from experienced riders and instructors is highly recommended.
Motorcycle Licensing Costs
Whether you obtain an M, M2 or M3 designation on your license, the annual fee is a mere $2 per year. That is one of the lowest, if not the lowest, fee structures for this type of license in the country.
Recommended but optional motorcycle safety courses approved by the Virginia Rider Training Program cost an average of $150 and are given at locations such as community colleges and reputable bike dealerships throughout the state.
In summation, the Virginia motorcycle license process is pretty straightforward. As always, consult your local Virginia DMV online or in-person for further details and to obtain knowledge test study guides, forms, and assistance.
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