Virginia Motorcycle Driver’s License
Are you planning to ride a motorcycle along Virginia’s Scenic highways? You will always feel a new kind of freedom riding a motorcycle. But before you hop into that motorcycle, be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and to have a valid motorcycle driver’s license that legally allows you to drive any motor driven vehicle.
Motorcycle Licenses in Virginia
In order to drive a motorcycle in Virginia, you have two options for licensing; adding a motorcycle designation to your existing driver’s license or to get a motorcycle-only license. Drivers with licenses that display both an “M” designation and a “6” listed under “Restriction” are allowed to operate motorcycle ONLY while licenses that have an “M” designation and no “6” listed under “Restriction” are allowed to operate both a standard motor vehicle and a motorcycle.
Class M License
Any drivers in Virginia who already have a valid driver’s license but without a motorcycle designation may add a Class M designation to their license that will allow them to drive a motorcycle. IF you are 19 years old and above, you must do the following things to get a Class M designation to your existing license:
- Pass the vision screening.
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge exam
- Have held a motorcycle learner’s permit for 30 days.
- Pass the motorcycle road skills test.
Note: If you were able to complete the motorcycle learner’s permit before July 1, 2007 the requirement to hold a learner’s permit for 30 days prior to getting your license will be waived. You are then not required to take the motorcycle road skills test. Once you passed the motorcycle knowledge test and taken the vision test you will be able to operate a motorcycle.
Applicants under the age of 19 must do the following to add the Class M designation to your current driver’s license:
- Pass the vision test.
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge test.
- Have held a motorcycle learner’s permit for 9 months.
- Pass the motorcycle road test.
Note: If you have a certificate of completion from Virginia Rider Training Programissued before July 1, 2007, you are exempted from taking the motorcycle road skills test for a period of two years.
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Motorcycle ONLY License
Aside from a motorcycle endorsement or Class M license, you can also get a driver’s license that will allow you to operate a motorcycle only. This is indicated by a “6” added to Restriction of your license. This kind of license will indicate that your driving privilege is restricted to a motorcycle only. To obtain a motorcycle only license, you must complete the requirements given above and pass the two-part driver’s license knowledge exam. However, if you decide later on that you want to have a regular driver’s license, you will only have to pass the driver road skills test.
If you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license and have completed the Virginia Rider Training Program, you are not eligible for a Virginia motorcycle license. Since the State of Virginia does not allow anyone to have both out-of-state license and any type of Virginia license, you may exchange your out of-state driver’s license for a Virginia license and then get the Class M designation.
However, if you have a valid out of-state driver’s license and posses an out of state motorcycle safety course certificate but do not have a motorcycle Class M designation on your license, you are not eligible for a Virginia Class M designation. Also, the state does not accept any out of state motorcycle safety course certificates. If you want to get a Class M designation in Virginia, you have to pass the motorcycle knowledge and road skills tests and hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for 30 days.