Motorcycle License in Virginia
Virginia is for lovers, and from the state's gentle mountain slopes to its colonial cobbled streets, Virginia driving is for lovers of the open road.
You can navigate every environment VA has to offer up-close and personal from atop your motorcycle. To do so, of course, you'll have to earn a license from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
New to Virginia
Welcome to the Old Dominion State! You have 60 days after settling in to transfer your out-of-state license to Virginia.
If you have a motorcycle license or endorsement that you'd also like to transfer, the process is the same as switching over your driver's license. Just make sure to check off the box to transfer your motorcycle license to Virginia, too!
VA Motorcycle Endorsement Eligibility
To qualify for a motorcycle license in Virginia, you must:
- Be over 15 years old and 6 months to apply for a permit.
- Applicants under 18 years old must also complete a driver's education program.
- Pass a motorcycle knowledge exam.
- You'll earn your motorcycle permit at this point.
- Take a motorcycle skills test.
- Pay the applicable motorcycle licensing fee.
You can enroll in a Virginia Rider Training Program to skip out on the permit process and DMV testing as long as you are at least 19 years old.
Virginia also offers a motorcycle-only license, which prohibits you from driving any vehicle other than a motorcycle. To earn one, you'll need to follow the same steps listed above, but take a different knowledge exam.
Read below for more details on completing these steps.
Motorcycle Permits in Virginia
Before riding off into the sunset, you'll have to learn how to ride. That's where your motorcycle permit comes in.
You can skip this step by enrolling in a motorcycle rider training program, as long as you are at least 19 years old.
Otherwise, to earn your motorcycle permit, visit your local VA DMV office, and:
- Pass a vision exam.
- Complete a motorcycle knowledge test.
- Pay the $3 motorcycle permit fee.
The Department of Motor Vehicles also offers a knowledge exam that includes questions from BOTH the standard Virginia Driver's Manual and the Virginia Motorcycle Manual. Take this written exam if you:
- Do NOT currently have a regular driver's license or learner's permit.
- Are applying for a motorcycle-only license.
- This will restrict you from driving any type of vehicle besides a motorcycle.
After passing the exams and paying the fee, you'll receive your VA motorcycle permit. Congratulations!
Earning your permit is an important step toward getting your license, but there are certain rules in play during this part of the process.
While practicing with your permit, you must:
- Be under the supervision of someone who:
- Is at least 21 years old.*
- Has a motorcycle license holder.
- Accompanies you on a separate motorcycle.
- Wear an approved helmet.
- Have on the proper eye and face protection.
- Drive between 4 a.m. and 12 a.m. only.
You'll be able to take your VA motorcycle skills test after having your permit for:
- At least 30 days, if you're 18 years old or older.
- At least 9 months, if you're under 18 years old.
If you don't feel ready to move on at that point, it's okay! Your permit will be valid for 1 year.
*NOTE: Supervisor may be at least 18 years old if he/she:
- Is your parent or guardian.
- Has a Virginia motorcycle license.
VA Motorcycle Skills Test
One step remains between you and your motorcycle license: the skills test.
This step can be skipped by passing a motorcycle training course—provided you're at least 19 years old.
If you decide to take the DMV testing route, visit a Department of Motor Vehicles customer service center that offers on-road motorcycle testing.
Make sure to bring:
- Your Virginia motorcycle permit.
- An approved:
- Face shield.
- Pair of safety glasses/goggles.
- A motorcycle with:
- Valid license plates.
- A current inspection sticker.
- Payment for the appropriate motorcycle license fee (see below).
After all of the above is said and done, the VA DMV will issue your motorcycle license. Time to hit the road!
Motorcycle Rider Training Programs
Passing an approved motorcycle rider training course allows you to bypass DMV testing.
To enroll, you'll have to contact one of the programs listed on the Department of Motor Vehicles website. Prices vary by course.
After passing the course, you'll be given a certificate of completion. Don't lose it! You can use it to ride your motorcycle for 30 days without a permit, as long as you:
- Are at least 19 years old.
- Have a Virginia driver's license.
However, before that time period is up, you'll have to visit the DMV to get your motorcycle license. Make sure to bring:
- Your certificate of completion.
- Your VA driver's license.
- The proper motorcycle licensing fee (see below).
If you're under 18 years old, you'll have to get a motorcycle permit and hold it for at least 9 months before you'll be eligible for a VA motorcycle license, regardless of whether you pass the training course.
VA Motorcycle License Fees
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles charges the following for motorcycle licenses and related services:
- Motorcycle learner's permit: $3.
- Motorcycle endorsement: $2 for each 1 year the license is valid.
- Will be prorated for applicants who already have VA driver's licenses.
- Motorcycle-only license (prohibits holder from driving any other type of vehicle): $6 for each 1 year the license is valid.
- License is valid for 8 years.