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Motorcycles are a convenient and often affordable vehicle option for drivers across the US. Sleek, comfortable, compact and stylish, motorcycles can be a great vehicle for drivers at any age but they do require a few extra licensing steps when you visit the DMV.
How to Get a Motorcycle License
Before you can start driving your new motorcycle on public roads and highways, you will be required to obtain a Class M endorsement or motorcycle license. This is because motorcycles handle much differently than the average car and operating them on the road comes with additional risks. In fact, around 25 percent of motorcycle accidents involve a driver with an invalid license, so it is important that every new motorcycle owner follows the proper licensing requirements outlined by their state and county laws.
Motorcycle License Requirements
The process of getting a motorcycle license can vary from state to state but it typically involves a permit stage and licensing stage.
In most states, if you are under the age of 18, you must first get a motorcycle permit by completing the following steps:
- Reaching the age of 15 or 16 depending on your state requirements
- Completing a drivers education course
- Passing a written motorcycle test
- Passing a vision screening
- Paying any applicable fees
In most states, you will qualify for a motorcycle license by completing the following steps:
- Reaching the age of 16 or older
- Passing a vision test
- Completing a motorcycle safety course
- Passing a motorcycle knowledge exam and practical road test
There may be exceptions to these general rules depending on your state of residence. Because the requirements can vary greatly, it is important to contact your local DMV or state government website to obtain a specific list of requirements in your area.
- If you move to a new state, you may be required to transfer your motorcycle endorsement.
- A fee may be applicable for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement on your current driver’s license.
- Some states require motorcyclists to hold a permit for a certain period of time before they can become eligible for a motorcycle license or endorsement.
- Some states also outline different types of motorcycle endorsements, so be sure to research which endorsement or license is needed for your purposes.