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After all, motorcycling brings with it numerous risks and hazards, many of which drivers of four-wheeled vehicles don’t need to think about. However, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) enforces strict requirements and regulations for operating a motorcycle. As long as you follow the procedures outlined here, you can be sure that you’ll develop the skills and knowledge necessary for safe, responsible riding.
The most important resource you can get your hands on is the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual, which has been designed by the Virginia DMV for beginners and experienced riders alike. It’s an invaluable resource, especially if you’re looking to pass your licensing exams. The Virginia Motorcycle Manual is divided into the following sections:
Virginia traffic law requires anyone operating a motorcycle to have a valid driver’s license with a Class M designation, or a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Alternatively, those learning to operate a motorcycle may obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit. The learner’s permit allows holders to operate a motorcycle after 4AM and before midnight, as long as they wear an approved helmet and are supervised by a person licensed to operate a motorcycle.
Individuals who already have a valid Virginia’s driver’s license may apply for a Class M designation, which will allow them to operate a motorcycle. This requires successful completion of the motorcycle knowledge and road skills tests. Individuals must also hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for thirty days. Those under age nineteen must hold the motorcycle learner’s permit for nine months.
The knowledge exam is made up of twenty-five questions and is based on information found in the Motorcycle Operator Manual available below. Prospective motorcyclists must successfully complete this exam before they take the skills test.
The skills test ensures that applicants are familiar with their vehicles and the basic operating skills necessary to be a safe, responsible rider in traffic. Individuals will be tested on their ability to: