Motorcycle riding test no longer offered in DC

WASHINGTON — D.C. residents hoping to get motorcycle licenses will have to go to Maryland or Virginia to take the needed riding tests.

The District is no longer testing riders, and no longer issuing motorcycle learners’ permits.

D.C. changed its policy last July, but not many people know about it, said John Townsend, a spokesman with AAA Mid-Atlantic.`

“What the District is losing is quality control over the type of training motorcyclists receive,” Townsend said, adding that it is more expensive for D.C. residents to take the tests elsewhere.

Data from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration show 24 percent of riders involved in a fatal crash in 2012 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses, compared with only 12 percent of car drivers involved in a fatal crash.

Critics claim the rule change could lead to more motorcycle riders in the District riding without a valid license, which could lead to more crashes and deaths.