Previous research has shown that it is easier to recognize familiar faces when shown moving, rather than static, especially when viewing conditions are difficult (Knight & Johnston, 1997; Lander, Christie, & Bruce, 1999). One possible theoretical reason for the moving-face advantage is that we learn "characteristic motion signatures" for familiar faces, associated with the face representation in memory. To examine this idea we investigated the role of motion at test when learning faces from either static images or moving sequences (Experiment 1). Results suggest that there is only an advantage for motion at test when the face is learned moving. In Experiment 2 we map the importance of facial motion as a face becomes increasingly familiar, on a television drama. We demonstrate that the beneficial effect of motion is not dependent on the amount of time the face is viewed. Results from both experiments support the idea of rapidly learned characteristic motion patterns. © 2007 The Experimental Psychology Society.