Know before you go! Check out our Wait Times and Webcams.
Obtain a Motorcycle Endorsement (M) on Your License
Effective May 1, 2014, the District of Columbia will begin issuing a REAL ID Credential and a Limited Purpose Credential. If you currently have DC DMV's existing driver license (which does not have a star in the upper right hand corner), then you must bring additional documents with you to obtain your motorcycle endorsement. Please refer to our document validation requirements. If you already have a REAL ID or a Limited Purpose driver license (which is marked "not for official federal purposes"), then you do not have to rebring in your source documents for the motorcycle endorsement.
You must have a valid driver license with motorcycle (M) endorsement to operate motorcycles in the District of Columbia.
DC law defines a motorcycle as a motor vehicle that has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator and has two (2) or three (3) wheels in contact with the ground. The term "motorcycle" does not include a tractor, motor driven cycle, or motorized bicycle unless operated at speeds in excess of thirty miles per hour (30 mph), or a three (3)-wheeled motor vehicle with a cab and windshield.
A motor-driven cycle is defined as a motor vehicle with:
a) A seat or saddle for the use of the operator and has:
(b) Two (2) or three (3) wheels in contact with the ground;
(c) A gas, electric, or hybrid motor with a maximum piston or rotor displacement of fifty cubic centimeters (50 cc), or its equivalent, which will propel the device unassisted at a maximum speed no greater than thirty miles per hour (30 mph).
(d) A direct or automatic power drive system which requires no clutch or gear shift operation by the operator after the drive system is engaged with the power unit.
The motor vehicle must meet all of the characteristics to be a motor-driven cycle. If it does not, it may be a motorcycle, and will require the operator to have a motorcycle endorsement.
A motorized bicycle has:
(a) A post mounted seat or saddle for each person that the device is designed and equipped to carry;
(b) A vehicle with two (2) or three (3) wheels in contact with the ground, which are at least sixteen inches (16 in.) in diameter;
(c) Fully operative pedals for human propulsion; and
(d) A motor incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than twenty miles per hour (20 mph) on level ground.
The vehicle must meet all of the characteristics to be a motorized bicycle. If it does not, it may be a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle.
- You are at least 18 years of age
- You have a valid DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license
- You pass the DC motorcycle knowledge test
- Effective April 14, 2015, DC DMV will no longer offer a motorcycle skills test. Instead, you must provide a motorcycle demonstration course certificate of completion, within the last 6 months, approved by any US jurisdiction.
To take the DC DMV motorcycle knowledge test, you may visit any DMV service center. Effective April 14, 2015, DC DMV will no longer issue motorcycle learner permits. After passing the motorcycle knowledge test, you will receive a printout verifying you have passed the motorcycle knowledge test. However, in many jurisdictions, the motorcycle demonstration course may be taken either before or after taking the motorcycle knowledge test. Therefore, please check the requirements with the course school you plan to take.
To submit the Motorcycle Demonstration Course Certificate of Completion, you may visit any DMV service center to obtain your DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license with motorcycle (M) endorsement.
Upon arriving at any DMV service center:
- Complete the DC driver license application [PDF].
- Bring your valid DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license and proof of passing the motorcycle knowledge test.
- Bring your original motorcycle demonstration course certificate of completion, within the last 6 months, from any US jurisdiction.
- Pay the appropriate fees for a new REAL ID or Limited Purpose license with a motorcycle endorsement.
- Obtain your DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license with a motorcycle (M) endorsement.