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Motorcycle Endorsement

If you have a DC DMV driver license, you can get a motorcycle endorsement that allows you to operate a motorcycle as well if you are 18 years old or older. You must have a valid driver license with the motorcycle, or M endorsement to operate a motorcycle in the District.

You must have a valid, unexpired DC DMV driver license. 

NOTE: If your current valid DC DMV driver license is not a REAL ID license or a Limited Purpose license, you will have to bring additional documentation to the DC DMV service center when you go to get your motorcycle endorsement. Information on the documentation required for the different types of license is available at the links below:

You must pass the DC DMV motorcycle knowledge test. You can take the motorcycle knowledge test at any DC DMV service center without an appointment. More information on DC DMV service centers is available at the link below:

More information on DC DMV knowledge tests is available at the link below:

You may download a copy of the Motorcycle Operator Manual, available at a link below. Hardcopy manuals are no longer available.

DC DMV does not offer a motorcycle road skills test.  Instead, you must provide a certificate of completion of a motorcycle demonstration course within the last 6 months. The course you complete must be approved by any US state or other jurisdiction.

However, in many jurisdictions, you may take the motorcycle demonstration course either before or after your take the motorcycle knowledge test.  Therefore, please check the requirements of the course you plan to take.

To get your motorcycle endorsement, visit a DC DMV service center, and bring the following original documents:

  • Completed DC DMV driver license application, available at the link below:
  • Driver License or Identification Card Application
  • Your valid DC REAL ID or Limited Purpose driver license, or bring the additional documents required if your current driver license has not yet been converted to a REAL ID or Limited Purpose license
  • The printout proof that you passed the motorcycle knowledge test
  • Your original motorcycle demonstration course certificate of completion within the last 6 months from any US jurisdiction.

You will have to pay the appropriate fees for a new REAL ID or Limited Purpose license with a motorcycle endorsement. Information on DC DMV fees is available at the link below:

NOTE: There are many different types of motorcycles and motorbikes.

DC law defines motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, and motorized bicycles differently, as follows.

 A motorcycle:

  • Has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator
  • Has two (2) or three (3) wheels in contact with the ground

NOTE: The term “motorcycle” does not include a tractor, motor-driven cycle, motorized bicycle, or 3-wheeeld motor vehicle with a cab and windshield—however, any motor-driven cycle or motorized bicycle driven at speeds over 30 mph is considered a motorcycle.

A motor-driven cycle:

  • Has a seat or saddle for the use of the operator
  • Has 2 or 3 wheels in contact with the ground
  • Has a gas, electric, or hybrid motor with a maximum piston or rotor displacement of 50 cc, or its equivalent, which will propel the device unassisted at a maximum speed no greater 30 mph
  • Has a direct or automatic power drive system that requires no clutch or gear shift operation by the operator after the drive system is engaged with the power unit.

 NOTE: It 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 post-mounted seat or saddle for each person that the device is designed and equipped to carry
  • Has 2 or 3 wheels in contact with the ground, which are at least 16 in. in diameter
  • Has fully operative pedals for human propulsion
  • Has a motor incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 mph on level ground.

NOTE: It 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.

More information on types of motor vehicles DC DMV regulates is available at the link below:

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