New motorcycle endorsement riding test introduced

WA DOL image

WA DOL image

OLYMPIA—Washington state is leading the nation in the deployment of a new motorcycle endorsement skills test designed to better ensure riders are ready for hazards they will face on our highways.

The Department of Licensing’s Motorcycle Safety Program worked closely with the national Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to design a new test that meets new federal recommendations including key motorcycle skills.

“Our new skills test was created to address issues identified by analyzing motorcycle crashes and crash data,” said Licensing Director Alan Haight. “We’re now training and testing the skills needed to avoid the leading causes of crashes.”

One of these new riding elements tests a rider’s ability to handle curves. Through analysis of motorcycle crash data it was learned that the majority of riders were injured or killed in accidents that occurred in curves.

While working with the MSF to design the test, DOL volunteered to introduce it in our state first to evaluate it before it is put in place nationally. The new test was introduced on August 1.

Most states use tests and rider training curriculum created by the MSF and other states are expected to start using this new test in the spring of 2013.

To support the new test, DOL has created a five-part video series demonstrating each element of the new test. In addition, these videos explain how the elements directly relate to the on-street skills necessary to deal with real-world riding situations.

These videos, produced by DOL staff, can be viewed below.  They’re also available on the Department of Licensing’s YouTube channel:

9 Responses to New motorcycle endorsement riding test introduced

  1. Matthew Suttersand says:

    Also to the owners of Fact I encourage you to reasset who you make your office manager if you want to keep people coming in!!!!!! The one you have makes me scared to call or come in or reccommend anyone else just a helpful hand I am offering

  2. Matthew Suttersand says:

    I know about FACT, I also went to the DMV and it was last Thursday August 28th, so I called the number the DMV gave me. You would think a state contracted cmompany would be professional and wanting business. Well they aren’t pleasant ont he phone. I got a woman, and i did ask for her name Angie people don’t ever let her assist you. She kept me on hold for 7 minutes and when i asked her something it was yeah, yep, hold on. No please or thank you, then when she returned she said i have no answers and i can’t help you you will need to call back another time. REALLY?! So I asked her title she told me she was the office manager and I told her you can’t help me or just answer my questions? I then asked who is your boss she then replied, i am the boss and you will have to call back so i can find the answers for you. I then called on Wednesday August 29th and reached a very nice mannered person who gave me all the information that i needed. I was told i could come in and take my test the next business day, I said that i didn’t know what time and the young lady Shena said no problem we are here until 5. I went in and there were 3 office ladies one was on the phone offering a smile, one on her way out and she asked if she could help me, which then i am guessing the office manager that needs some SERIOUS ettique skills barked she would assist me, when I told her I was there for testing she told me to sit down and she will help me in a moment, (not that nice) she said harshly I need your license and payment now and then I can test. Again no please no thank you I then asked her about if I needed my permit or if I could just take a class and she said I am not sure, I said ok I just need to know so if I don’t I won’t waste my money on a permit I would just sign up for the test. She said I thought you were here to take the test now you aren’t taking it, she said hold on I have to call my boss, as if it was a crime what I was asking, she got out her cell phone and I said forget it and i left. I also ended up going else where. The office manager at that place is not anyway nice. But to the gal on the phone thank you, I guess I just got the wrong person when I went in that day. I think it could be way more professional and it was great to be greated by a smile though one was on the phone, and the other though on her way out took the time to assist. But I realized after all of that I could have registered on line and I didn’t need my permit to take their course. So once again though I hate technology it has come in use and I will be taking a course with FACT but not until next spring,

  3. tina says:

    I think it is just….wrong and right!! Just trying to get a permit…you have to go through a lot of hoops. Then the class is scheduled so far out that it will be winter and who rides in the winter!! 98% of the riders I know don’t ride once the weather starts to turn bad. the class time is not conveient and the test time is not conveient!! The red tape for people that want to be legal makes us want to give up and be non legal.

    • brian traugh says:

      the problem is that which we once paid for with tax dolars is now contracted to a private entity with no accountability nor drive for customer service. DMV was slow but they were open for business and walk-ins welcomed…

      How a fly-by-night company like FACT can act like a plastic surgeon and dictate when they are open and when they will allow for written testing is absurd and a disservice.

      The accreditied testing companies are assigned by region and do not allow for competition… and they know it.

  4. Mark Jackson says:

    The Seattle school is run much the same way rude staff, not enough convenient times, available subsidized appointments don’t exist. I would really like testing and training on my schedule not mid-week at different times of the day on different days of the week. Why does it cost so much. A friend just finished his a couple of weeks ago. He leaned many things but didn’t think it was worth the money. Why are there so few places to do the training and testing? Another example of the new way isn’t any better than the old way. It takes as long, the people are just as grumpy and it costs more.

  5. brian traugh says:

    in theory this is a great idea. I ran in to a problem.

    In Yakima there is a company called FACT… I arrived after bieng told by the DMV they no longer do the testing for a permit prior to a course.

    So I went to FACT. There were 2 employees it was 10:30 am. NO customers. I was told that I had to make an appointment. The earliest was 2:30… odd not one was in line or waiting and there were no customers on site. I returned to the motorcycle dealer who called the owner of FACT. I was instructed to call back and get an earlier time. I was told the earliest was 2:30… I said you did not seem busy why 2:30… I was then told bythe clerk whe was going on lunch hour… I said fine but since it was now 11:30 how about 12: 30 or 1:00… she said 2:00… I said if you go on a lunch hour would you not be back in an hour? She then said 1:30 and i siadi I would be in in the afternoon she hng up.

    A state function is now contracted to a commercial entity but hteyr are neither avaialble, responsive or even polite. I am the customer and treatedlike an inconvience.

    Who addresses this issue? DMV was overcrowded and slow but avaialble. The contractor is not avaialble, rude and dismissive. I’m just trying to be legal and it is now more inconvienient than ever.

    • Robyn McPhillips says:

      WOW Really? I went into the office to do my premit testing and the the whole office staff was so friendly and helpful. I am a beginner and the office manager informed me that I should take the Basic Rider Course to help me ride better. She didn’t have a problem fitting me in because she state she was all caught up and would be happy to do a walk in appointment. But after discussing me and my beginning level of riding and Sheena letting me know that I should take a course I told her I would sign up on line. I am sorry for your bad experience but I would highly reccommend Fact Safety to anyone and everyone. Thanks girls!!!!

      • brian traugh says:


        To the credit of FACT the owner called me and wanted my side of the story. I told her my side. She told me what she heard from her employee… there were differences and we discussed them. She appologized to me and attempted to justify why “walk-ins” weren’t done (even when there were no other customers present) and why written tests were conducted after 2:30 in the afternoon. I told her that from a consumers stand point that was absurd. If open for business and avaialble… service should be rendered.

        FACT has an exclusive contract in this area to perform a civic service that the DMV used to provide all day every day. FACT now charges for this civic service. The fact that FACT appears to take advantage of this exclusive arrangement and to restrict the availability is what what upset me the most.

        Apparently they have changed thier position. I hope so. I hope more customers (future riders) get the service that you got and none get the service i got. To be fair this is a relatively new change in policy for the DMV and a new service for FACT (the testing not the riding classes). Again to be candid I have heard nothing negative about the classes they provide and am glad that you received good service regarding the written testing.

        They won’t miss my business and will appreciate yours. I wish them well and hope they continue to improve their business and services. Look forward to seeing you on the road… good luck and good riding.

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