To make sure you have the basic skills to safely operate a motorcycle and avoid crashes, you must schedule an appointment to take a road skills test at a participating DMV customer service center.
Preparing for the Skills Test
When you arrive for your test, you must have:
- A DOT-approved helmet with a face shield and safety glasses or goggles
- Your motorcycle with a valid license plate and a current inspection sticker
- Protective clothing: long-sleeved jacket, riding gloves, long pants and boots or shoes that cover your ankles
The examiner will conduct a vehicle and equipment inspection before you start the test to make sure your motorcycle is properly registered, inspected and in good working condition.
Taking the Test
The road skills test includes exercises that measure your ability to handle a motorcycle, including starting, accelerating, shifting, turning, braking and swerving. The examiner will explain each activity and how it’s scored before you begin. You must successfully complete all skills exercises to pass the test.
The examiner will stop the test if you operate your motorcycle in an unsafe manner, disregard instructions or lose enough points to fail. You can also ask the examiner to stop the test at any time if you feel an exercise is too hard to perform safely.
Skills Test Waiver
DMV will waive the road skills test for those who have successfully completed the Virginia Rider Training Program course. You must bring your certificate of completion with you when you apply for your motorcycle license. Certificates are valid for one year from the date of completion. During this year, you will not be required to complete the motorcycle knowledge or road skills exam to add a Class “M2” or “M3” to your license.
- If you are age 19 or older, the course completion certificate will act as a temporary "M2" or "M3" classification when carried with your driver's license. This will allow you to ride your motorcycle for 30 days from the course completion date. After the initial 30 days, you must visit a DMV customer service center to add a Class "M2" or "M3" to your license.
- If you are 18 or older, you will not be required to hold a motorcycle learner’s permit before adding a Class “M2” or “M3” to your license.
- If you are under 18, you must hold a motorcycle learner's permit for 9 months before adding a Class "M2" or "M3" to your license.
After completing the skills test and earning a Class “M2” or “M3” designation, all customers must pay a license replacement fee and a yearly motorcycle classification fee for each year of validity remaining on their license.
Members of the Military
Along with their spouses and dependents, military personnel stationed outside of Virginia with a valid Virginia driver's license may obtain an "M2" classification after submitting documentation confirming:
- Completion of a military-approved basic motorcycle rider training course
- Assignment outside of Virginia
DMV will mail a new driver's license displaying the motorcycle classification upon approval