What do ‘cycle endorsement fees pay for?

The in basket: Larry Blain of Poulsbo writes, “I just renewed my Washington State driver’s license on-line – a great service, by the way.  The cost was $25 for the license renewal – and $25 more for renewing my motorcycle endorsement!  “Naturally,” he said, “I have some questions about that second fee.
“Where does the money go?  What do I get for the money, or what does the state do with the money?  My suspicion and hope is that it is used for educating new motorcycle drivers.
“What is the penalty for operating a motorcycle without an endorsement?
“How many motorcycles are registered in Kitsap County, and how many licensed drivers in Kitsap County have motorcycle endorsements?”
The out basket: Brad Benfield of the state Department of Licensing replies that motorcycle endorsement fees go into the state’s Motorcycle Safety Education Account and are spent on motorcycle safety, education, and licensing. 

“These include subsidizing state-approved rider education classes and promoting motorcycle rider safety through events and public awareness campaigns,” he said. “In 2008, 11,564 citizens took advantage of state-subsidized motorcycle rider safety courses which can cut the cost of this important training in half or more.” Federal grants also support the program, he said.

The fine for operating a motorcycle on public roads without the endorsement is $124 and the motorcycle can be impounded. State Trooper Krista Hedstrom says the citing trooper often will try to find someone with the proper endorsement to remove the motorcycle from the highway, but it that fails, the bike will be impounded.

He said that as of January, 14,375 of Kitsap County’s 177,134 licensed drivers – about 8.1 percent – had a motorcycle endorsement on their license. There are currently 10,942 motorcycles and mopeds registered in Kitsap County, he said, so endorsements out-number the licensed vehicles considerably.

4 thoughts on “What do ‘cycle endorsement fees pay for?

  1. I have an additional question, if i am paying a fee on the license that goes toward the motorcycle what is the 100 dollar fee for the course going towards?? Fines , the license fee and grants or Federal funds for highway safety should lower the cost completly.

  2. Motorcycle endorsements are “billable events” and nothing else. The endorsement is an excuse for another fee: period. Nothing you can do about it. The government has the guns. Think you’re free? You think that’s air you’re breathing?

  3. Why aren’t bikes licensed?

    It seems foolhardy to allow anyone riding the roadway to be unlicensed.

    Why does the motorcycle need the license yet the bicycle traveling on the same road doesn’t need a license?

    Nor does the bike rider need a license or proof that she/he is trained in the rules of the road.
    Why is that?

    Just asking for the logic… Sharon O’Hara

  4. Thanks to the suggestion of Road Warrior I Googled ‘licensing bicycles’and discovered a whole world of objection to a bike license.

    It is curious that motorists and their vehicles have to be licensed but the bikes and riders using the same highway don’t need to show basic rules of the road training, especially defensive pedaling. A bike doesn’t stand a snowballs chance of surviving a crash against a car.

    Safe walking and cycling paths should be a part of our transportation system and a portion of each license fee should be earmarked to pay for such a system.

    Funny thing how we keep giving out more money we don’t have to business failures to do as they please with it…but not one dime goes toward basic citizen safety issues…such as the walking and cycling paths.

    Why do we take taxpayer dollars to reward business failure and nothing for the citizens safe transportation issues?
    Sharon O’Hara

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