What Do You Need to Get Your Washington DC Motorcycle License

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Before you get on your motorcycle, you’ll need a valid motorcycle license, also known as a class m license or motorcycle endorsement. A motorcycle license allows you to legally operate a motorcycle in Washington D.C. and shows that you are a responsible rider. It also allows you to take advantage of the many benefits of riding a bike, such as saving money on gas, enjoying the open road, and feeling the wind in your face.

You do not have to go through it alone if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we help you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Washington DC motorcycle accident lawyer. We’ll fight for the justice you deserve.

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Motorcycles Under Washington DC Law

In Washington DC, motorcycles are defined as two or three-wheel motor vehicles with a seat or saddle for use by the operator, an attached motor, and the ability to travel over 35 mph. A tractor, motorized bicycle, and motor-driven cycle are not considered motorcycles under DC law unless their maximum speed is over 30 mph.

Motorcycle Operation Requirements

If you plan to ride a motorcycle in DC, you will need a class m motorcycle license. To apply for a motorcycle endorsement, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid DC driver’s license (if your current license is not a Real ID, there are additional requirements)
  • Pass a motorcycle knowledge test
  • Complete an approved motorcycle demonstration course
  • Pay a motorcycle licensing fee

Preparing for the Motorcycle Knowledge Test

motorcycle, learner, permit

The DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administers the motorcycle knowledge exam. You should study the DC DMV’s Motorcycle Operator Manual to prepare for the test. The manual covers motorcycle safety education. You can also take a practice permit test online to familiarize yourself with the test format.

D.C. Motorcycle Demonstration Course

The DC DMV doesn’t conduct motorcycle skills exams. All applicants are required to complete a motorcycle demonstration course. You can choose any skills course approved by the state/jurisdiction where you take it.

Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll receive a course completion certificate. Within six months of completing the course, you must visit a DC DMV to apply for your endorsement.

Getting Your Endorsement

Once you have all the requirements, you can get your motorcycle endorsement from the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Visit your local DMV and bring your:

Registering Your Motorcycle in Washington DC

DC law requires all vehicles housed in the District to be registered and insured.

To register and title your motorcycle, you will need:

  • Proof of insurance
  • Registration and title fees
  • Bill of sale
  • Signed title
  • Title application

If you want to register your motorcycle without a title, before the sale is complete, you’ll need to ask the owner for a duplicate title and fill out a duplicate title application.

Out-of-State Motorcycle Requirements

Out-of-State Motorcycle Requirements in DC

If you’re new to Washington DC, you can ride your motorcycle without a DC license for a limited time. You will need to visit a DC DMV within 60 days of moving and submit your valid out-of-state motorcycle license or a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. You’ll also need proof of identity, social security number, and your Washington, D.C. residency.

Other requirements include:

  • Filling out a DC Driver License or Identification Card Application
  • Pass a vision test
  • Have your photo taken
  • Pay a motorcycle licensing fee

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in DC

Washington DC law requires all registered vehicles to be covered under insurance. The legal minimums in Washington, DC are the following:


  • $25,000 per person for injury.
    • $50,000 per accident for injury.
    • $10,000 per accident for property damage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 per person for injury.
    • $50,000 per accident for injury.
    • $5,000 per accident for property damage, subject to a $200 deductible.

Most insurance companies offer discounts to riders who have completed a rider safety course.

Ways to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident in Washington DC

Wearing the proper safety gear is the best way to avoid a motorcycle accident. In Washington DC, all motorcyclists must wear a DOT-approved helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing.

  • Proper safety gear includes a helmet covering your entire head, gloves, long pants, long sleeves, boots covering your ankles, and a reflective vest or jacket.
  • Maintain your motorcycle and check it before each ride.
  • Ensure the tires are inflated to the proper pressure, the chain is lubricated, the fluids are full, and the lights and signals are working properly.
  • You should also avoid riding in bad weather conditions and always ride sober.
  • Never ride your motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to learn how to safely operate a motorcycle and avoid accidents.
how to avoid a motorcycle accident in washington DC

Common Causes of a Motorcycle Accident

The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is a car making a left-hand turn. Car drivers often fail to see oncoming motorcycles and turn in front of them. Other causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Operating a motorcycle is a fun and freeing experience, but it is important to be aware of the risks. By following the law, wearing proper safety gear, maintaining your motorcycle, and being responsible, you can avoid accidents and enjoy riding for years to come.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

motorcycle, only, license

Motorcycle accidents are dangerous because motorcyclists do not have the same level of protection as people in cars. They are also more likely to be thrown from their bikes and suffer serious injuries. Wearing proper safety gear can help protect riders from some injuries, but it is still important to be aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle.

The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

What Happens If I’m in an Accident on My Motorcycle?

Call the police and seek medical attention immediately if you are in an accident.

  1. Do not move your motorcycle or yourself if you are injured. Wait for the police to arrive so they can investigate the accident and file a report.
  2. Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
  3. If you have a camera with you, take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your motorcycle, and your injuries.
  4. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
  5. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police, your insurance company, or your lawyer.
  6. Do not give the other driver’s insurance company a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney first.

You should also consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.

Can I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.

This can be done by showing that the other driver was negligent by speeding, driving recklessly, failing to yield the right of way, or otherwise breaking the law. You will also need to show that you suffered injuries in the accident and that the other driver’s negligence caused these injuries.

An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong case to support your claim. Contact a lawyer today to get started on your claim.

Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

motorcycle accident lawyer

The Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motorcycle accident, gathering evidence to establish liability and negligence. 

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate. 

Damages You Can Recover In Your Claim

The amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the financial losses you have incurred. You may be able to recover damages for: 

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement or physical disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

What if I am Partially at Fault for the Accident?

If you are partially at fault for the accident, you might not be able to recover compensation under Washington DC’s contributory negligence doctrine.

Under this doctrine, if you are a driver of a car in an accident that was partially at fault, you generally will not be able to recover for your injuries or damages. If both drivers contributed to causing an accident, even if one party only shares a small percentage of fault, neither party will be able to recover for their damages. 

However, if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, riding a motorcycle or ATV, or other vulnerable users as defined by DC law. you could recover full compensation for your damages even if you were partially negligent. In fact, in this situation, you could be as much as 50% negligent and still recover 100% of your damages.  as long as your negligence did not mostly cause the accident. 

We Get You the Compensation You Deserve

For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements: 

  • $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him. 
  • $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
  • $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate chemical product use.
  • $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
  • $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
  • $600,000 verdict was obtained against the United States Postal Service due to the negligence of one of its drivers, who pulled out from a stop sign in front of our client’s motorcycle.

See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.

Contact a DC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your motorcycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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