Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Virginia
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Virginia residents must assume financial responsibility for registered motorcycles they plan to operate on state roads. Having financial responsibility for your motorcycle means you’re covered in the event your motorcycle causes property or personal damages.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
There is only one way to establish financial responsibility for your motorcycle in this state, and it’s to purchase liability coverage from a carrier licensed to sell insurance in Virginia.
If purchasing coverage is not an option right now, Virginia also allows owners to pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee when they register their motorcycles. The fee is $500 and is valid for 12 months, but it doesn’t offer any kind of coverage. So, if you’re involved in an accident, you won’t get in trouble for not having insurance but you will be personally liable for costs associated with the accident.
Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined
Every resident must register and purchase insurance for any motorcycle that hits state roads. If you’re not sure whether your two-wheeled vehicle is a motorcycle―or you’re confused about registering and covering it with insurance―the helpful folks working the Department of Motor Vehicle’s customer service line, (866) DMV-LINE, are available to help you.
Virginia defines the following two-wheeled vehicles:
- Motorcycles―A motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle with a motor of 50 cc or more and a maximum speed of over 30 mph.
- Mopeds/Scooters―Similar to some other states, Virginia often uses “moped” and “scooter” interchangeably. These vehicles usually don’t need insurance. Your two-wheeled vehicle is a moped or a scooter if:
- The seat is no less than 24 inches in height.
- The motor is gasoline, electric, or hybrid and is less than 50 cc.
- The maximum speed is less than 30 mph.
NOTE: Some mopeds and scooters meet certain criteria that makes the state require owners to register them as motorcycles, which means they might also need insurance. If you own a moped or scooter, please check our Other Types section to see if this affects to you.
If you decide to purchase liability coverage instead of pay the UMV fee, your policy must meet the following state liability insurance requirements:
- $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 for property damage
Some motorcycle owners also opt to purchase additional types of coverage to make sure their motorcycles are as protected as possible.
How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements
In some states, purchasing a certain amount of insurance means you can skip out on helmet laws. This isn’t the case in Virginia. All motorcyclists and passengers must wear approved helmets.
The DMV states these helmets should line up with the standards and specifications of the federal Department of Transportation, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American National Standards Institute, Inc.
Using an electronic reporting method, the DMV keeps track of the insurance policies of all owners of registered motorcycles. Your insurance carrier will notify the DMV when you purchase a new policy, or when you make changes to or cancel your existing policy.
If you purchased liability coverage with an insurance carrier, the DMV has an electronic record of your policy; however, you must still carry proof of insurance with you and be able to show it in the even law enforcement pulls you over or you’re involved in an accident. Generally, this proof will be in the form of the valid insurance card your carrier issues you.
You must maintain financial responsibility for your motorcycle for as long as it’s registered. If the DMV or a police officer catches you with no proof of insurance:
- You could face suspension of your driver’s license, registration, and license plates.
- You will have to pay a statutory fee of $500 in addition to any other associated fees to reinstate your license and registration.
- The DMV will require you to file a financial responsibility insurance certificate, also known as a Form SR-22, for three years.
If you need additional information about the state’s financial responsibility requirements for motorcycles, or help with what to do if your licenses and registration is suspended, you can contact the DMV at (866) DMV-LINE or (800) 435-5137.
In This Section
Other Topics in This Section
- Auto Insurance Requirements
Virginia car insurance information center. What insurance to buy in Virginia, how to decide, compare policies, purchase VA car insurance.
- Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements
VA financial responsibility requirements for your moped, atv, scooter or motorcycle. Protect your bike and your liability in Virginia by purchasing motorcycle insurance.
- Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements
Commercial vehicle insurance requirements in VA. Protect your rig or your fleet by maintaining proper financial responsibility on your commercial vehicles in Virginia.
- Penalties For Driving Without Insurance
Learn More On Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Your State. No Insurance Violations Vary By State. Avoid Allowing You Car Insurance Policy To Lapse.
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