This region’s motorcycle licensing requirements vary depending on where you are legally domiciled. We have summarized the different requirements in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
These are the laws and they are subject to change without notice.
District of Columbia
In the District, you need a valid motorcycle (Class M) license to operate ALL scooters and motorcycles.
The District does not differentiate between riding a 49cc scooter and a 1000cc motorcycle. In three years of business we have never serviced, sold or seen a scooter that did not require a license plate, insurance and a motorcycle license in the District of Columbia.
The requirements for obtaining a license include being at least 18, holding a valid DC driver’s license, passing a motorcycle knowledge test, and passing a demonstration skills test (or providing a certificate of completion from a motorcycle demonstration course).
For complete details on taking the knowledge or demonstration test or applying for a license, visit the District’s DMV page on obtaining a motorcycle license.
In Maryland, you need a valid motorcycle (Class M) license to operate a motorcycle or scooter that travels at more than 35 mph. If the scooter is 50 cc or under, has fewer than 2.7 brake horsepower and travels under 35 mph, a Class M license is not required, but a valid driver’s license is.
The requirements for obtaining a Class M license include holding a valid driver’s license, passing a vision test, a written test, and a skills test, and if under 18 successfully completing an approved motorcycle safety course. The course is offered by the Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program and provides both classroom training and “on the motorcycle” riding experience. The course provides motorcycles and some safety equipment. Students who successfully complete the course receive a Completion Certificate to obtain a Class M License.
Even if you’re over 18, we encourage you to take the course because it offers the basic skills and strategies to operate a motorcycle/scooter on the road. The Completion Certificate allows you to obtain a Class M license in lieu of having to take the written and skills test at the MVA.
In Virginia, you need a valid motorcycle (Class M) license to operate a motorcycle or scooter that has a 50cc or larger engine. If the scooter is under 50cc and travels under 35 mph, a Class M license is not required.
In Virginia it is important to note that “although you do not need a driver’s license to operate a moped, you may not operate a moped if you have been declared a habitual offender or your license is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
The requirements for obtaining a Class M license include holding a valid driver’s license, passing a vision test, a written test, and a skills test, and holding a motorcycle learner’s permit for a minimum of 30 days.
Providing a Virginia Rider Training Program certificate of completion also exempts you from taking the motorcycle knowledge exam and skills test to obtain a Class M designation on your license.