Off-road motorcycle update

Off-road motorcycle

Last year, the state Legislature passed a law allowing individuals to register motorcycles manufactured for off-road use as street-legal motorcycles if specific safety equipment is installed and inspected by a Washington licensed motorcycle dealer or repair shop. This month, DOL started accepting these new registrations and also notified about 600 owners of off-road motorcycles that were improperly registered as street-legal motorcycles that they will have to complete the inspection process to retain a street-legal registration for their motorcycle.

After being alerted by motorcycle owners about errors in the system, we looked carefully at all potential sources of data available to determine whether a motorcycle should be classified as off-road or street legal. We found there is no way for us to reliably determine the manufacturer’s intended use for some of our state’s motorcycles.

Because of this data issue, DOL will allow motorcycles currently classified as street legal to remain street legal. We have sent letters to 600 affected motorcycle owners to notify them that they can renew their tabs normally.

The owners of off-road motorcycles that are not currently registered as street legal will still be required to complete the inspection process under RCW 46.16A.435 if they wish to convert their motorcycle for street use. 

All owners of off-road motorcycles that have been modified and licensed for street use will be responsible to make sure their motorcycles have all of the safety equipment required under state law and that it is in proper working order whenever the motorcycle is operated on public roads. If the required equipment is missing or not functioning properly, the rider can be stopped and cited by law enforcement officers.

12 Responses to Off-road motorcycle update

  1. johnS says:

    Moderation? WTF???

    • Mark Bezinque says:

      John S.

      Look at how my comments on Feb. 29th@ 4:12 PM and March 1st @11:52 AM above both state:
      “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

      It appears the comments are not approved by the blog and may not be approved / allowed to stay on the Blog.

      My question (March 3 @ 3:44PM) is to the BLOG approver. WHY ???

      I am assuming that all (not just me) can see my comments on Feb. 29th@ 4:12 PM and March 1st @11:52 AM ???

      Please reply.

      Mark Bezinque

      • Mark Bezinque says:

        LOL… the DOL has blocked my posts.

        Let me try this again…. as a reply to you:
        This is what I posted, what I can see:

        Mark Bezinque says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm
        2 0 i
        Rate Up

        Robert Hungerford,
        I agree with you 100 percent.
        The Governor and Attorney General better stop this un-ethical WA DOL’s waste of tax payer money.

        Just how much MONEY was paid to the this 3rd party on the latest DOL BUNGLE… and who’s Uncle Guido owns this so called 3rd party?

        The DOL has made many documented FALSE statements and continues ignore the past LEGAL inspections and conversations from 1998-2000.
        It amazes me how the State of WA can find a 30 year old traffic ticket from another state that has not been paid when folks go to get a driver’s license (ref past newspaper article)… But the DOL cannot find an inspection record paid to the State of Washington by my KTM’s previous owner on 4-15-2000. Oh that is right… the DOL has a law that says they can destroy records after 6-7 years… that is… IF THE DOL decides too.

        Very handy law to create when the office has a hidden agenda against motorcycle owners.

        I was hoping DOL Director Alan Haight would clean house when Liz Luce retired… but he could actually be the problem with the office.

        We should all call on the Media to expose the DOL for what they are.

        Mark Bezinque

        Mark Bezinque says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:52 am
        2 0 i
        Rate This

        For anyone new to this DOL motorcycle issue.

        Please search “off road Q&A” in the DOL BLOG search box above, or
        use this hyper-link below to see the past issues / 194 comments and the DOL’s many FALSE statements on the original August 27th 2010 letter of doom.

        Like this classic:
        “Off road motorcycle Q&A on DOL Letter to 800 KTM owners dated August 27th 2010” (not on blog Q&A???)
        Question: Can I add equipment or a kit to my KTM motorcycle to make it street legal?
        DOL Answer: No. Washington law requires licensing the vehicle based on how the vehicle was originally manufactured. (ref the blog comment dated Nov 14, 2010)

        Imagine…the DOL never answered/replied with the RCW (WA LAW) because the DOL was attempting to blow smoke up motorcycle owner’s “A” and got caught.

        Then I had the link to the Off Road Q&A because if you go to Sept 2010 you can get the 194 comments to come up.

        I will attempt to add the link to my next comment in-case that is what is creating the “Your comment is awaiting moderation”
        But not my first note had no hyper-links and still got blocked.

  2. Mark Bezinque says:


    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”


  3. Robert Hungerford says:

    My 2001 KTM 400EXC was registered with a plate (and higher plate fees were paid) for 9 years before the DOL decided they had made a mistake and my bike was no longer eligible to be registered as street legal. I have a full Baja Designs kit with horn, mirrors, turn signals, etc. Even DOL tires. After passage of SB 5800 I took the bike to Brothers Powersports in Bremerton where it easily passed their inspection for street legal conversioan. Imagine my surprise when I went to re-register the bike and was told that I would have to pay BOTH street legal (ie plate) registration plus off road (stickder) registration! This is totally BS! If my bike passes requirements for street legal registration is shoiuld be issued ONLY a plate.

    By the way, KTMs have never had any “off road only” notices printed on the frame and the owners manuals imply that they are for both on and off road use.

    This seems to be just another example of the blatantly anti -motorcycle bias of the Washington DOL.

  4. Roy says:

    “This month, DOL started accepting these new registrations and also notified about 600 owners of off-road motorcycles that were improperly registered as street-legal motorcycles that they will have to complete the inspection process to retain a street-legal registration for their motorcycle.”

    It does seem odd that those of us who had NO choice but to give up our plates (for no reason), now must go through the same process as everyone else? (and pay AGAIN!) Don’t get me wrong, I think there has been huge progress made, I just have to sit here and scratch my head wondering… WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?

  5. Marty Bridenstine says:

    Owners of bikes that had the plates revoked last year and titles changed seem to be left out of this remedy.

  6. John Schuller says:

    So why did the already plated KTMs get plates pulled to frickin start with? ? So much cost/effort, and so little gained from where we were 1 1/2 years ago.

  7. Ted Jackson says:

    Thanks for the common sense implementation adjustments.

    It would be helpful to have a link on this page so readers can review the RCW equipment requirements.


  8. MCNut says:

    Appreciate the review and policy change. The last couple years dealing with this issue have demonstrated the old policy was fatally flawed.The DOL’s new revised policy is the only fair way to deal with the situation going forward.


  9. dilyb says:

    Thanks for stepping away from a mistake and hitting the “reset” button. This just earned whoever made this decision my admiration. Keep up the good work.

  10. wild bill says:

    Good effort on getting this fixed, thanks. It’s a foreign concept but sometimes it’s just best to trust the public to know which and how their property should be registered,

    Looking forward to more common sense decisions made by the agency’s in the future,

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