How to Obtain a Motorcycle License in Virginia

If you are seeking a motorcycle license in Virginia, it is important that you first understand all of the eligibility requirements set in place by the state, along with what vehicles require full bike license credentials and the restrictions you may need to have lifted. In Virginia, there are two paths that will lead you to a motorcycle drivers license: through traditional testing or through the Rider Training Program. Understanding the difference between these paths will help you choose the one that is right for you. For more information on the Virginia motorbike driving license, refer to the sections below.

What is a Virginia Class M motorcycle license?

In Virginia, you must have a motorcycle license in order to legally operate a motorcycle, but the definitions and restrictions of a Class M motorcycle license run further. A motorcycle drivers license can include the following types of motorcycles:

  • Class M – Both two- and three-wheeled motorcycles
  • Class M2 – Restricted to operating two-wheeled motorcycles
  • Class M3 – Restricted to operating three-wheeled motorcycles

If you meet the requirements for both the M2 and the M3, only then will a full Class M license be issued on your motorcycle license. Learn more about Class M licenses in our free, downloadable guide.

Eligibility Requirements for a License for Motorcycle in Virginia

The state of Virginia will only issue a motorcycle drivers license if you are not only a resident of Virginia, but either a United States citizen or if you have lawful presence within the United States. Additionally, if you do not already have a drivers license, you will need to pass a two-part drivers license knowledge exam and meet all drivers license requirements. In order to complete your DMV motorcycle license application, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Your Social Security card
  • One proof of identity
  • One proof of United States citizenship or legal presence
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency
  • The motorcycle license cost

It is important to know that all required documentation items must be original or certified copies, as temporary documents and photocopies of the documents will not be accepted by the Virginia DMV, nor will they accept any documentation that appears fake or tampered with in any way.

Where to Get Motorcycle License Credentials in Virginia

You are ready to apply for your Virginia motorcycle license once you meet all eligibility requirements and have gathered all of your appropriate documentation. While you cannot apply for a motorcycle license online, you can submit a motorcycle drivers license application at your local Virginia DMV. Proceeding to the Virginia DMV will require you to complete the motorcycle license knowledge exam in order to earn your permit. After all permit requirements have been satisfied, you will be able to take your road skills test and obtain your license. Alternatively, you can skip most of these steps by completing the Virginia Rider Training Program.

Getting Your Motorcycle License at the DMV in Virginia

After you have completed your motorcycle license application, you will need to successfully pass the motorcycle knowledge exam. This exam will consist of 25 questions that will cover basic safe driving and Virginia traffic laws. All of the information that is used for the exam can be found in the Motorcycle Operator Manual, which you should study thoroughly prior to your exam. The motorcycle drivers license exam is available in several languages, and upon the successful completion of your exam, you will be issued a motorcycle permit.

If you are under the age of 18, you must hold a Virginia motorcycle license learners permit for at least nine months while those 18 years and older are only required to hold their Class M permits for 30 days. During this time, you must be supervised by someone who is 21 years or older who is licensed to operate a motorcycle. This person may supervise you from a separate, accompanying motorcycle, as you are not permitted to carry passengers while you hold a motorbike permit.

During this time, it is crucial that you maintain the state’s mandatory protective gear. In Virginia, motorcycle drivers license and permit holders must wear approved protective helmets, along with either face shields or safety goggles, unless the motorcycle is equipped with an approved windshield. Additionally, you will not be permitted to operate your motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.

Once you have successfully satisfied these motorbike driver license permit requirements, you can schedule a road skills test with your local Virginia DMV. Prior to arriving to the VA motorbike license test, ensure that you have all the required safety gear that has been outlined above, you can provide proof of motorcycle insurance and your motorcycle has a valid license plate, registration and inspection sticker. Additionally, you are required to wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt or a jacket, riding gloves and boots or shoes that cover the ankles.

The road skills test is the last step you will need to complete in order to obtain your motorcycle license, so it is vital that you are prepared and ready for the skills test. The Class M license road skills test will include riding exercises that are designed to measure your ability to handle your motorcycle safely, and will include accelerating, shifting, braking, swerving and turning exercises. If you do not pass, be sure to ask the instructor about your VA motorcycle license test failing marks so that you can work on your areas of improvement. If you fail the motorcycle road skills test twice, you will be required to complete a Virginia Rider Training Program before you can be issued your motorcycle drivers license, so it is crucial that you are prepared and follow the instructions provided to you to the best of your ability. Learn more about motorcycle license requirements in our comprehensive guide.