For Consumers

Washington state's mandatory auto/motorcycle insurance law

Important information about motorcycles

On July 28, 2019, a Washington state law passed requiring all motorcycle drivers carry liability coverage and proof they have insurance. They are no longer exempt from our state's mandatory auto insurance law.

Washington state's mandatory auto and motorcycle insurance law

Washington state's mandatory liability insurance law, which is under the authority of the Washington State Department of Licensing, 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.
  • 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 insurance 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, they'll give you a ticket (traffic violation).

Exceptions to the law

This law does not apply to the following registered vehicles:

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.