Tag Archives: endorsement

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.