What is a motorcycle endorsement? Motorcycle License

What is a motorcycle endorsement? Motorcyclists are required to have a motorcycle endorsement to ride legally in Washington State. Getting that endorsement may be a hassle, but motorcyclists who ride without the endorsement put themselves at risk both on the road and off.

What Is a Motorcycle Endorsement?

A motorcycle endorsement is a special designation added to a Washington State driver’s license to certify that an individual has proven they understand how the rules of the road apply to motorcycle riders and that they are competent to ride their motorcycle on Washington’s roads and highways.

The motorcycle endorsement, also referred to as the 2W endorsement, requires a cyclist to pass four tests: two written exams covering motorcycle knowledge and two evaluations of motorcycle driving skills.

What is a motorcycle endorsement

If a motorcycle rider wants to use a side-car attachment, a stabilizing conversion kit, or a motorized trike, that rider needs to earn their 3W endorsement, which includes a single written exam followed by a single driving test.

Motorcyclists under the age of 18 must earn their endorsement by completing an approved motorcycle safety course and passing the tests at the end of that class. Riders who are older than 18 do not have to take the course and may sign up to take the test at any approved motorcycle training school.

What Are the Penalties for Riding Without an Endorsement?

It is illegal to operate most two- and three-wheeled cycles without an endorsement. Some mopeds do not require one, but it is the cyclist’s responsibility to check whether their vehicle requires an endorsement: any bike or trike with an engine larger than 50cc OR which can travel at speeds above 30 m.p.h. requires the proper 2W or 3W endorsement to operate on the road.

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Motorcyclists who are pulled over on vehicles like this without the proper endorsement face a fine of $386 or more; in addition, their scooter, motorcycle, or motor-tricycle can be impounded by law enforcement. Washington State also requires all motorcycle drivers and their riders, even those on vehicles with engines smaller than 50cc, to wear a helmet every time they get on the road.

How Does a Lack of an Endorsement Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

It is important to remember that Washington is a comparative negligence state, which means that the fault or blame for an accident can be shared between the motorists involved in an accident if it can be shown that the actions of each rider contributed to the accident.

Because it is illegal to operate a two- or three-wheeled vehicle without the proper endorsement, investigators could interpret that behavior as negligent. This means that the motorcyclist may be considered partially at fault for the accident because they were driving without proof that they understood motorcycle laws and regulations or evidence of driving competency for their vehicle.

This is especially worrisome for motorcycle riders who were injured in an accident that was caused by another driver, because the lawyers for that other driver will argue in court that their client should not be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries because that rider was not properly licensed.

Even if the court determines that the motorcyclist was not the primary cause of the accident, opposing lawyers may attempt to use comparative negligence to decrease or eliminate the amount of compensation their client must pay the injured motorcyclist.

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In addition, because the injuries sustained by motorcyclists are frequently severe, and therefore expensive to treat, insurance companies may attempt to deny payment to an injured motorcyclist by arguing that driving without a motorcycle endorsement shifts responsibility for the injuries to the motorcycle rider.

How Is This Different From A Motorcycle Insurance Policy?

A motorcycle insurance policy is standalone coverage for your motorcycle, with restrictions and limits specifically detailed for the coverage of your motorcycle. A motorcycle insurance endorsement means that you have an existing car insurance policy and you are just adding your motorcycle on for coverage.

What is a motorcycle endorsement

Any existing limitations such as maximum payout amounts will usually be taken straight from your existing car insurance policy.

Motorcycle insurance endorsements seem to be phasing out at present, and guidelines do vary between companies. It is worth discussing in detail with your insurance provider the differences between these two options before deciding which one is right for you.

Example: Judy has an existing car insurance policy with company XYZ. Judy then purchases a motorcycle and calls XYZ and asks them to add a motorcycle endorsement onto her existing car insurance policy. In most cases Judy will receive a single bill which covers her car and motorcycle.

How To Get A Motorcycle Permit?

While requirements vary by state, it’s important to obtain a permit before getting a motorcycle license.

First, you must pass a written test and eye exam at your local motor vehicle office. Most DMVs require a 70% passing grade. (You may improve your chances of passing by taking a practice test online).

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The written test includes questions about basic motorcycle techniques, rules of the road, motorcycle terminology, safety best practices and state laws. Once you pass, you can legally ride a motorcycle on the street with some limitations that vary per state.

A permit typically lasts 6 to 18 months. Once you receive your permit, it’s important to practice as much as possible for your own safety and to prepare for the license exam. Get comfortable with starting, stopping and using the clutch without wearing it out; and practice using turn signals as well as hand signals.

The practice time required before taking the motorcycle license exam varies from state to state. For example, in New York, it’s recommended you practice for 30 hours at your own pace, whereas in California, it’s recommended you practice for 6 months before taking the exam.


If I dropped my motorcycle endorsement, can I add it back?

If you previously had a motorcycle endorsement that was dropped within the last four years and proof of the endorsement can be established, the endorsement can be reissued (the knowledge and skills tests are waived).

If the motorcycle endorsement was dropped more than four years ago, you must pass a motorcycle rider safety course, or pass a motorcycle knowledge test, obtain a motorcycle TIP, and pass a rider skills test.

Do I need a motorcycle endorsement to operate a moped or a scooter?

Only if the moped or scooter meets the legal definition of a motorcycle. Otherwise, to operate a moped on public roads, you must have either a moped license or a standard, enhanced or chauffeur’s license, a GDL Level 1 license with a moped privilege added, or a GDL Level 2 or Level 3 license.

What happens if you get pulled over without a motorcycle endorsement in Washington?

If you ride without the proper endorsement or permit, you may be: Fined $386 and. Your motorcycle, scooter, or trike may be impounded.

Above is information about What is a motorcycle endorsement? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of What are the penalties for riding without an endorsement? Thank you for reading our post.

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