How to get your endorsement or permit: Motorcycles (2-wheel)

2W motorcycle instruction permits

To apply for a motorcycle instruction permit, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have a valid WA State driver license.
  • Pass the permit 2W motorcycle operation knowledge and riding skills tests.
    • You must apply within 180-days of completing the tests.
    • You must take these tests at an approved motorcycle safety training school.
    • You can take the permit knowledge and riding skills tests as part of an approved course. We recommend this method.
    • You must wait 3 business days for the school to enter the course/test results into our system.
  • If you're under 18, your parent or guardian must sign the consent form.

How to get your 2W motorcycle instruction permit

  • Apply online without creating an account.
  • or
  • Log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  • Select the Replace license option
    • You may choose the Renew option if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  • Follow the prompts to verify or update your information.
  • On the Card Information screen, your 2W motorcycle permit will show as an O - Endorsement with a J - Restriction in the New Card section.
    • The summary screen shows your permit details before completing the transaction.
  • Print a copy of your temporary driver license.
    • You must have your temporary driver license on you to ride until you get your updated driver license.
  • You can find your temporary driver license in your License eXpress account.

Permit rules

  • Your permit will be valid for a 180-day period.
  • You can renew your permit 1 time for another 180-days before your current permit expires.
  • You are only allowed 1 initial permit and 1 permit renewal within a 5-year period.
  • You must renew your permit before it expires to avoid having to retest.
  • While riding with an instruction permit on a public roadway:
    • You may not carry passengers.
    • You may not ride during the hours of darkness.

How to renew your permit

  • Apply online without creating an account.
  • or
  • Log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  • Select the Replace license option
    • You may choose the Renew option if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  • Follow the prompts to verify or update your information.
  • Follow the prompts to verify or update your information.
  • Pay the renewal fee.

2W motorcycle endorsement

To apply for a 2W motorcycle endorsement, you must:

How to get your 2W motorcycle endorsement

  • Apply online without creating an account.
  • or
  • Log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  • Select the Replace license option.
    • You may choose the Renew option if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  • Follow the prompts to verify or update your information.
  • On the Card Information screen, your 2W motorcycle endorsement will show as an L - Endorsement with a J - Restriction in the New Card section.
    • The summary screen shows your permit details before completing the transaction.
  • Print a copy of your temporary driver license.
    • You must have your temporary driver license on you to ride until you get your updated driver license.
  • You can find your temporary driver license in your License eXpress account.

You can get a ticket and/or have your 2W motorcycle impounded if you operate it without the proper permit/endorsement.

Additional requirements

If you're a rider under 18 years old
You must pass an approved rider course before you can apply for a motorcycle endorsement. You also need parental permission to take the course and apply for the endorsement.
If you have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement from another state
See Moving? Get WA license to learn how to get a Washington (WA) driver license. To transfer your motorcycle endorsement when you get your license, bring proof of your current motorcycle license or endorsement and payment. We can transfer valid endorsements from:
  • U.S. states.
  • U.S. territories
  • District of Columbia.
  • British Columbia.
  • Japan.
Note: If you don't transfer your endorsement when you apply for a license, you'll need to complete a motorcycle safety course or pass the knowledge and riding skills tests to get a motorcycle endorsement.
If you're a non-resident stationed in WA on military duty
  1. Successfully complete a state-approved safety course at a motorcycle training school or military base.
  2. Apply for a WA driver license. For details, see Moving? Get WA license.
  3. Bring your course completion card to any office within 180 days to get your motorcycle endorsement.
If you're a WA resident stationed out of state on military duty
  1. Complete and pass:
    • An approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course.
    • A Basic Rider Training course (Idaho and Oregon).
    • or
    • California Motorcyclist Safety Program Training.
  2. Send us all of the following:
    • A completed Testing Waiver Request form.
    • A copy of both sides of your WA driver license.
    • A copy of both sides of your course completion card. (Must be received within 180 days of completing the course)
    • Proof of your active military status (orders, letter from your commanding officer, earning statement, etc.)
    • A check or money order payable to Department of Licensing for fee.
    • If you have an Enhanced Driver License (EDL), you must surrender it to add the motorcycle endorsement. Complete the Notice of Surrender (English, Español, Русский, and more).

Fees

Knowledge and riding skills test fees are set by each training school. These fees are paid to the school in addition to the following application and licensing fees paid to the Department of Licensing:

  • Motorcycle instruction permit fee – paid when we issue your instruction permit.
  • Original motorcycle endorsement fee – includes the application and new driver license.
  • Motorcycle endorsement renewal fee – added to the regular driver license renewal fees.

Frequently asked questions

Am I required to have insurance for my motorcycle?

Yes, all motor vehicles are required to carry insurance.

My motorcycle speedometer reads up to 60 mph, but I never ride faster than 30 mph. Do I need an endorsement?

Yes. If your speedometer reads faster than 30 mph, you need a motorcycle endorsement.

Can my child be a passenger on my motorcycle?

Yes, if they're at least 5 years old and able to reach the foot pegs.

Can I put the license plates on my motorcycle vertically?

No they must be placed in a horizontal position and visible at all times. Not meeting these requirements is one of the top 10 reasons riders are stopped by law enforcement.

I have an Ignition Interlock License (IIL). Can I get a motorcycle endorsement?

No. You can't add a motorcycle endorsement until the IIL has been dropped from your license.

Are novelty helmets legal to wear?

No. All helmets must be certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT sticker should be on the outside and inside of the helmet. A sticker will have the manufacturer's name/ID, model, size, month/year of manufacture, and information about the construction and other safety-related information.

Related laws

Questions? Need help?

Email: motorcycle@dol.wa.gov.

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