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Virginia Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Virginia Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Virginia is located in the South Atlantic region of the United States and is often referred to under its official title: “The Commonwealth of Virginia.” In terms of area, this state is smaller than average, but in regards to population, it is among the top twelve states. This state has received the official nicknames “Old Dominion” as well as the “Mother of Presidents” in honor of the eight United States presidents that were born in this state. From a historical perspective, Virginia is of significant importance to the U.S.

It was the first colony among the original thirteen to be established. The state contains busy urban environments as well as rural nature-filled areas. The geography in Virginia is influenced by both the Chesapeake Bay and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The economy in this state is extremely diverse, but is heavily influenced by federal government, military, agriculture, and business. The state has among the lowest rate of unemployment in the nation and is home to some of the wealthiest counties in the United States.

Virginia Motorcycle Insurance

Do you own a motorcycle in the state of Virginia? If you plan to drive any motor vehicle on public roads, you must first establish financial responsibility. This means that you’ll need the necessary finances required to cover damages in the event that you are involved in an accident. Without having to prove any sort of responsibility, driver’s wouldn’t be held accountable for damages and the roads would be chaotic. This is a law that holds all drivers financially responsible for all damages that they cause.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in VA

In the state of Virginia, you only have one option to establish responsibility. The single option that you have is to purchase an insurance policy that meets required amounts. In other states, you may have other options as alternatives to insurance. In this particular state, your only option is to get yourself properly insured.

  • Buy Liability Insurance: You will need to purchase an insurance policy that provides basic liability coverage. This can be obtained from a state-licensed insurance provider.

Note: Most states only require liability protection, but you may want to consider adding other types of coverage to your policy.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

It is important to recognize that each state has specific definitions for motor vehicles. What is defined as a “motorcycle” in one state may not have the same definition in another. As a driver, you should know the differences between motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and other two-wheeled vehicles. Below are various definitions to read if you would like to verify the classification of your vehicle.

Motorcycle: Every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground that is capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 35 mph. This definition does NOT include mobility devices, tractors, mopeds, or power-assisted bicycles.

Moped: A vehicle that travels on three wheels or less that has a seat at least 24 inches high and/or has a gasoline, electric or hybrid motor that doesn’t exceed 50 cc piston displacement. These must not exceed 35 mph on a level surface. All moped drivers must be over 16 years of age and carry identification while driving. Driver’s licensing isn’t necessary to drive a moped, but if yours is suspended you are not allowed to use a moped.

Motorized Scooters: Two-wheeled devices that a powered by a gas motor with handlebars and a platform for the driver to stand upon.

Note: If you have further questions about vehicle classification, be sure to contact the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles at the following number: (804)-497-7100. One of their representatives will help answer your questions.

Virginia Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

In order to legally operate your motorcycle on public roads, you must obtain an insurance policy that meets the required amounts below. As you can see, you are required to get a policy that fulfills necessary liability minimums. While shopping for an insurance policy, be sure to keep these amounts in mind.

Minimum Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $20,000 property damage per accident

The minimal coverage is often abbreviated as a “25/50/20” policy. Each number in the abbreviation represents a different aspect of coverage (in thousands of dollars). Even though the above coverage is all you legally need to operate your motorcycle, you may want to consider increasing your coverage limits. If you are ever “at fault” for an accident and expenses exceed your insurance amount, you will need to pay the excess amounts out of your own savings.

Virginia Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

A variety of rules and regulations are in place to help maximize driver safety and keep the roads as safe as possible. You should always be aware of whether you need to wear a helmet, use eye protection, as well as the type of licensing you need to drive your motorcycle. Read some basic rules below so that you are legally prepared to operate your vehicle.

  • Helmets: All drivers (and passengers) are required to wear helmets. These helmets must be in compliance Snell standards, American National Standards Institute, or the DOT.
  • Eye Protection: All drivers are required to wear some form of eye protection (e.g. goggles). The only exception to this rule is if the motorcycle has a windshield that effectively screens the eyes.
  • Headlights: You are NOT required to use your headlights during the daytime.
  • License: All drivers must have a valid Class M motorcycle license. This can be obtained by passing both a written test, followed by a road skills test. If you have already completed the Virginia Riding Training Program, you may be allowed to waive some of the testing.

Proof of Insurance in VA

The state’s DMV has implemented an electronic reporting program to keep track of insurance policies for all drivers. This means that once you purchase a policy, your insurance provider will send an electronic notification to the DMV so that they have your coverage on record. Despite the fact that legal officials have your policy in an electronic database, you still need to carry proof of coverage.

  • Insurance ID Card: When you buy an insurance policy, you will be issued an insurance identification card. This card contains important information about your coverage and is the only acceptable form of proof.

If you are ever involved in an accident, you will need to have your insurance card with you to exchange information. If you are ever pulled over by a police officer, they will also request to see your insurance information. If you are unable to show them your proof of coverage, you will face penalization.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in VA

All drivers must maintain a valid insurance policy throughout the registration period of their motorcycles. As long as your bike is registered, you must have insurance to accompany it. Even though you may think you can get by without insurance, if you are caught, you will face major state-imposed penalties.

  • Fines: When you drive without insurance, you will be fined $500 if you are caught.
  • Suspensions: Both your driver’s license and vehicle registration will be suspended. You may need to turn in your license plates as well.
  • SR-22: You will need to complete an SR-22 form and send it to the DMV. They will be able to keep track of your insurance (and any potential lapses in coverage) for three consecutive years. You will not be able to drive without this form.
  • Reinstatement Fees: If your license and registration are suspended, you will need to pay various fees to get them reinstated. These fees can cost hundreds of dollars.

Note: If you want to avoid all of the penalties listed above, it is your responsibility to maintain insurance coverage while operating your motorcycle.

Virginia Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Many companies are trying to get your business for an insurance policy. In order to find the best company for your needs, it’s a good idea to comparison shop. The easiest way to get started with comparison shopping is to enter your Zip Code into the form below (or at the top of the page). Once you have entered your Zip, you will see a list of companies that provide coverage in your city. It is your job to collect free quotes from each of these companies to determine what a policy will cost.

When you have determined how much a motorcycle policy is going to cost, you can eliminate the more expensive companies from your search. When you have your search narrowed down to a couple top providers, you can compare the total coverage with the amount you are expected to pay for it. At this point, it all comes down to finding a policy that provides the coverage you need at an affordable rate.

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