Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Transportation Committee

SSB 5274

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning private motorcycle skills education programs.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Senators Carrell, Eide, King, Harper, Hill and Shin).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Exempts certain private motorcycle skills training courses from a statutory cap on the fee charged to students.

Hearing Date: 3/19/13

Staff: Andrew Russell (786-7143).


To legally operate a motorcycle on public highways, a person must have a valid motorcycle endorsement on his or her driver's license. To obtain such an endorsement, a person must either take an examination or complete a motorcycle training and education program. These programs are administered by private entities operating under contracts with the Department of Licensing (DOL). The cost of motorcycle skills education programs is capped at $50 for Washington residents who are under the age of 18 years, and $125 for Washington residents, or members of the military stationed in Washington. In order to maintain these caps, the DOL subsidizes the program cost for students.

In overseeing the private entities who provide motorcycle skills education courses, the DOL must first review and certify that the program meets educational standards. Additionally, the DOL is empowered to conduct periodic audits to ensure that the program meets the required standards. Finally, the costs of review, certification, and any audit must be covered by the entity providing the education course.

Summary of Bill:

The bill requires the DOL to allow private motorcycle skills education program providers that charge the student the full cost of the education program. In entering into agreements with private entities that will provide these programs, the DOL must review and certify the training program curriculum to confirm that it meets the DOL's standards. If such programs meet the DOL's educational standards, the DOL must enter into an agreement with the program provider. The DOL is also empowered to audit these programs to check that the program continues to meet the educational standards. Finally, the costs of review, certification, and any audit must be covered by the entity providing the education course.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect on July 1, 2013.