Important information about motorcycles
Effective July 28, 2019, the 2019 Washington State Legislature passed a new law that all motorcycle drivers must carry liability coverage and proof they have insurance. They are no longer exempt from our state's mandatory auto insurance law (leg.wa.gov).
Washington state's mandatory auto and motorcycle insurance law
Washington state's mandatory liability insurance law (leg.wa.gov), which is under the authority of the Washington State Department of Licensing (www.dol.wa.gov), requires anyone who drives a motor vehicle or a motorcycle (effective July 28, 2019) in our state to do one of the following options:
- Carry liability insurance with liability limits of at least:
- $25,000 for injuries or death to another person
- $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people
- $10,000 for damage to another person's property
- Apply for a certificate of deposit to pay for your liability insurance with the Department of Licensing (www.dol.wa.gov).
- Have a liability bond of at least $60,000 filed by a surety bond company that's authorized to do business in Washington.
- Self-insure if you have 26 or more vehicles. For more information or to see if you qualify for this option, contact the Department of Licensing.
Showing proof of insurance
Your company sends you a proof-of-insurance card when you start or renew your auto or motorcycle policy. The card shows that either you or your vehicle/motorcycle are covered by liability insurance. Remember, if you're stopped by a law enforcement officer, you must show proof that you have auto/motorcycle insurance. If you don't have proof, he or she will give you a ticket (traffic violation).
Exceptions to the law
This law does not apply to the following registered vehicles:
- Motor scooters (leg.wa.gov) and mopeds (leg.wa.gov)
- Specially licensed horseless carriage vehicles (leg.wa.gov) over 40 years old
- State or publicly-owned vehicles (leg.wa.gov)
- Common or contract carrier with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Remember, even though insurance is not mandatory for these vehicles listed, you may still be held responsible for any damages or injuries that result from your negligent use of these vehicles. If your type of vehicle is not listed above, contact the Dept. of Licensing for clarification (www.dol.wa.gov).