"Motorcycle" Operators Required to Carry Liability Insurance

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 14:27




July 10, 2019

Chris Tennant, Commander

(509) 334-0802


“Motorcycle” Operators Required to Carry Liability Insurance


Pullman – For many years now, drivers who operate their Washington-licensed vehicles on the state’s roadways have been required to obtain liability insurance and carry proof of insurance in their vehicle. Failure to do so would result in a traffic violation. Motorcycle operators have been exempt from the liability insurance requirement in Washington State. This is about to change.   


On April 19th, Governor Jay Inslee signed HB 1014, which removed this exemption for “motorcycles”. Effective July 28th, 2019, motorcycle operators will be required to obtain and carry proof of insurance on the roadways of Washington.


Most motorcycle operators already carry liability insurance, as it is a requirement if you financed your “ride” upon purchase.  However, if you aren’t currently covered by insurance, the first question to ask is, “Do I own a motorcycle?” If you drive a “moped” or a “wheeled all-terrain vehicle”, these vehicles are not classified as motorcycles and this new Washington State requirement to carry liability insurance is not applicable to you. (A vehicle is considered a “moped” when the engine cylinder displacement does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.)


Please refer to the following statutes for additional details and legal definitions: 

·         Washington House Bill 1014 and RCW 46.30.020: Liability Insurance required

·         RCW 46.04.330 Definition of a motorcycle.

·         RCW 46.04.304 Definition of a moped

·         RCW 46.09.310(19) Definition of a wheeled all-terrain vehicle


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