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Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Washington DC

All motor vehicles registered in Washington DC―including motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds―must be insured to cover the costs of any damages or injuries they cause. This is called “financial responsibility.”

Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility

A motorcylce insurance policy covering your liability and protecting you against uninsured drivers is the only proof of financial responsibility accepted.

Nontraditional Vehicles Defined

Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, motorized bicycles, and low-speed vehicles (golf carts, etc.) are considered “nontraditional” vehicles. All of these vehicles have the same insurance requirements as cars and trucks.

  • Motorcycle: A motor vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels that has any of the following characteristics:
    • Piston displacement of more than 50 ccs.
    • Can travel over 30 MPH on level ground.
  • Motorized Bicycle: A vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels that has all of the following characteristics:
    • Wheels more than 16 inches in diameter
    • A post mounted seat for each person riding the bicycle.
    • Human propulsion using the pedals.
    • Motor can only propel the bicycle up to 20 MPH.

If you’re not sure whether your vehicle needs to be insured, dial 311 or (202) 737-4404 to reach the DC DMV.

Washington DC Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

The District of Columbia requires that all registered vehicles be covered against the damage you cause (liability) and damage you incur if you are hit by an uninsured motorist.

Your motorcycle insurance policy must include the following minimum coverage limits:

  • Liability
    • $25,000 per person for injury.
    • $50,000 per accident for injury.
    • $10,000 per accident for property damage.
  • Uninsured Motorist
    • $25,000 per person for injury.
    • $50,000 per accident for injury.
    • $5,000 per accident for property damage, subject to $200 deductible.

As you are getting motorcycle insurance quotes, keep in mind these are only the minimums. You may want to purchase higher limits to increase your financial protection.

How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements

Motorcycle insurance coverage has no effect on helmet requirements.

Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

All drivers in DC―even if their vehicle is registered in another state―must present proof of insurance when stopped by a police officer.

Proof of insurance must be issued by your motorcycle insurance company and have the name of the insurance company, the policy number, your name (or the name of the insured), and dates covered by the policy. Your insurance companies should send you a card with this information.

Penalties for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility

You will be fined $30 if you cannot show an officer proof of insurance when pulled over. If you are caught without motorcycle insurance or have no proof of insurance, you will be fined $150. If you still can’t present proof of insurance after 30 days, you will be charged $7 for each additional day until you can show you’re covered, up to $2,500.

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