Get a 3-wheel motorcycle permit or endorsement

A step-by-step guide to getting your 3-wheel motorcycle permit or endorsement.

How to get your 3-wheel motorcycle permit

Take the 3-wheel knowledge test

  1. You must take your test at an approved motorcycle safety training school.
  2. Wait 3 business days for the school to enter the test results into our system before applying for your permit.

Apply for your permit

  • You must apply within 180 days of completing the test.
  • If you're under 18, your parent or guardian must sign a consent form at a licensing office.
  1. Apply online without creating an account or log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  2. Select "Replace your license or state ID card"
    • You may select "Renew my ID/license" if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  3. On the card information screen, your 3-wheel motorcycle permit will show as an O - Endorsement with a J - Restriction in the new card section.
  4. The summary screen shows your permit details before completing the transaction.
  5. Print a copy of your temporary driver license with endorsement.
    • You must have your temporary driver license on you to ride until you get your updated driver license.
    • You can find your temporary driver license in your License eXpress account.

Permit rules

  1. Your permit will be valid for 180 days.
  2. You can renew your permit 1 time for another 180 days before your current permit expires.
  3. You are only allowed 1 initial permit and 1 permit renewal within a 5-year period.
  4. You must renew your permit before it expires to avoid having to retest.
  5. While riding with an instruction permit on a public roadway:
    • You may not carry passengers.
    • You may not ride during the hours of darkness.

Renew your permit

You must have a valid unexpired permit or passed the knowledge test less than 180 days ago.

  1. Apply online without creating an account or log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  2. Select the "Replace your license or state ID card"
    • You may select "Renew my ID/license" if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  3. Follow the prompts to verify or update your information.
  4. Check the box on the card information screen to renew your 3-wheel permit.
  5. Pay the renewal fee.

How to get your 3-wheel motorcycle endorsement

Take the 3-wheel knowledge test and skills test

  1. You must take your tests at an approved motorcycle safety training school.
  2. We recommend taking these tests as part of an approved course.
  3. You may show a valid 3-wheel motorcycle instruction permit instead of taking the knowledge test.
  4. Wait 3 business days for the school to enter the course/test results into our system before applying for your permit.

Apply for your endorsement

You must apply within 180 days of completing tests.

  1. Apply online without creating an account or log in or join to apply online and save your information.
  2. Select "Replace your license or state ID card"
    • You may select "Renew my ID/license" if your license is within 1 year of expiration.
  3. On the card information screen, your 3-wheel motorcycle endorsement will show as an L - Endorsement with a J - Restriction in the new card section.
  4. The summary screen shows your endorsement details before completing the transaction.
  5. Print a copy of your temporary driver license with endorsement.
    • You must have your temporary driver license on you to ride until you get your updated driver license.
    • You can find your temporary driver license in your License eXpress account.

Exceptions

You don’t need a 3-wheel endorsement on your driver license to operate a 3-wheeled vehicle if it meets all of the following requirements:

  1. The seat is in a partially or completely enclosed seating area.
  2. The vehicle has safety belts.
  3. You can steer the vehicle with a steering wheel.

Transfer your endorsement

  1. You must have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement from another state.
  2. Apply for a Washington State driver license.
  3. Bring proof of your current motorcycle license or endorsement and payment when you get your license.

We can transfer valid 3-wheel endorsements from:

  • U.S. states
  • U.S. territories
  • District of Columbia
  • British Columbia
  • Japan

If you don't transfer your endorsement when you apply for a license, you'll need to complete a motorcycle safety course or pass the knowledge and riding skills tests to get an endorsement.

Military duty

If you're a non-resident stationed in Washington

  1. Complete and pass an approved 3-wheel motorcycle safety course.
  2. Apply for a Washington State driver license.
  3. Bring your course completion card to a licensing office within 180 days to get your motorcycle endorsement.

If you're a Washington resident stationed out-of-state

  1. Complete and pass:
    • An approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation course or
    • A Basic Rider Training course (Idaho and Oregon) or
    • California Motorcyclist Safety Program Training
  2. Send us the following:
    • A completed Testing Waiver Request form.
    • A copy of both sides of your WA driver license.
    • A copy of both sides of your course completion card within 180 days of completing the course.
    • Proof of your active military status (orders, letter from your commanding officer, earning statement, etc.)
    • A check or money order payable to Department of Licensing. See our fees page for more details.
    • If you have an Enhanced Driver License (EDL), you must surrender it to add the endorsement. Complete the Notice of Surrender (English, Español, Русский, and more).

Fees

Knowledge and skills test fees are set by each training school. You will pay testing fees to the school.

You will pay the following application and licensing fees to the Department of Licensing:

  • 3-wheel instruction permit fee – collected when we issue your instruction permit.
  • Original 3-wheel endorsement fee – includes the application and new driver license.
  • 3-wheel endorsement renewal fee – paid in addition to the regular driver license renewal fees.
  • 3-wheel endorsement with a 2-wheel endorsement renewal fee – paid in addition to the regular driver license renewal fees (includes both endorsements).

Frequently asked questions

Am I required to have insurance for my sidecar/trike?

Yes, all motor vehicles including motorcycles are required to carry insurance.

Can my child ride in my sidecar?

Yes, if they're at least 5 years old to be a passenger.

Can I put the license plates on my motorcycle vertically?

No, they must be placed in a horizontal position and visible at all times. Not meeting these requirements is one of the top reasons riders are stopped by law enforcement.

I have an Ignition Interlock License (IIL). Can I get a 3-wheel endorsement?

No, you can't add a 3-wheel endorsement until the IIL has been dropped from your license.

Are novelty helmets legal to wear?

No. All helmets must be certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT sticker should be on the outside and inside of the helmet. A sticker will have the manufacturer's name/ID, model, size, month/year of manufacture, and information about the construction and other safety-related information.

Related laws

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-902-3900
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email: motorcycle@dol.wa.gov
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