Getting Your Washington State Motorcycle License

Washington Motorcycle License Process

If you live in Washington and want to operate a motorcycle, you’ll need a Washington motorcycle license. Washington follows a slightly different motorcycle licensing process than many U.S. states, as the state requires two knowledge exams and two on-bike skills tests. Knowing the steps to obtain your license in advance can help you adequately prepare for these tests. 

Read on to learn more about getting your Washington State motorcycle license. 

License Requirements

Before you begin the motorcycle licensing process, you should ensure that you meet the basic requirements to operate a motorcycle in Washington. These requirements are as follows:

  • Have a Washington state driver’s license
  • Be at least 16 (and have consent from a parent if under 18)
  • Pass the permit and endorsement exams

Washington Motorcycle License Process

Washington has a lengthier licensing process than many states. In 2020, the state updated its licensing requirements to include four tests instead of two. This update encourages riders to undergo formal motorcycle training to gain the necessary skills before receiving their licenses. 

Here are the steps you must follow to receive your Washington motorcycle license:

1. Pass the Permit Knowledge and Skills Test 

First, you will need to apply for your motorcycle permit. This process includes two tests: a written knowledge test and an on-bike skills test. 

The written test contains questions about basic motorcycle safety and operations. Meanwhile, the on-bike test examines your basic riding skills. 

You can either take these tests at a Washington DMV or complete an approved motorcycle safety course. Your course will include a written and skills test that can give you a waiver to take to the DMV when you receive your permit. 

2. Obtain Your Permit

Once you pass the permit exams, you will be ready to add your motorcycle permit to your driver’s license. You can complete this entire process online. 

First, log in to your account on the Washington DOL system. Then select “Replace License” and follow the steps to add your Washington permit endorsement to your license. 

You can also print a copy of this permit. However, if you plan to obtain your full endorsement soon, you can just wait until you receive the new endorsement on your license.

3. Pass the Advanced Knowledge and Skills Test 

Next, you will need to take your advanced knowledge and skills test within 180 days of obtaining your permit. This process includes a written knowledge exam and an on-skills exam similar to the tests in the permitting process. However, these exams cover more advanced information. 

The knowledge test includes 50 questions, and you must answer at least 80% of them correctly to pass the exam. Once you complete this test, you can take the riding skills test to demonstrate advanced maneuvering skills, such as a timed figure eight and a fast stop. 

If you are under 18, you will need to complete a motorcycle safety course as part of this process. However, if you are 18 or older, you can choose to take the course or complete the exams at the DMV. 

4. Receive Your Motorcycle Endorsement

After you pass the advanced knowledge and skills tests, you will have everything you need to obtain your motorcycle endorsement. This endorsement will go on your existing driver’s license and show that you are legally allowed to operate a motorcycle. 

You can obtain your endorsement on the DOL website. Just click the “Replace License” option and follow the prompts. Then, you can print a copy of the new endorsement and receive an updated license in the mail. 

Now that you know all about getting your Washington State motorcycle license, you’re set to begin a lifelong motorcycling hobby.

We’ve Got Your Back

Whether you’re a seasoned rider, or fresh to the road on two wheels the team at Law Tigers is on your side. We are a network of attorneys who ride, and we are dedicated to protecting the rights of riders nationwide. Contact us at 1-888-863-7216 to find a motorcycle lawyer near you if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. You can also sign up for our free rider benefit kit here!