Motorcyclists are required by law to carry a motorcycle-specific driver's license, but licensing requirements differ from state to state. Some states accept licenses issued in other states, while others do not. Some states provide state-funded rider education classes to help riders earn their licenses, and some states allow riders to waive rider education classes by taking a skill test. It is important to be familiar with the motorcycle laws in your state, including insurance requirements, so that you can avoid a citation and enjoy your ride.
Before you can get a motorcycle license (also known as a motorcycle endorsement), most states require you to obtain a motorcycle permit. The permit is a conditional license that may prohibit you from carrying a passenger or riding after dark. In order to get a motorcycle permit, you will need to take a written test. Some states also require you to take a class in conjunction with a written test. Once you have a motorcycle permit, you may be required to log a certain amount of riding time and/or wait a certain period before you are allowed to have a motorcycle license.
Although motorcycle licensing requirements differ from state to state, there are some general guidelines to be aware of when obtaining your motorcycle license.
Most states require you to pass a series of written tests in order to obtain a motorcycle permit. These tests will question you about state-specific rules and regulations, traffic laws, and conduct on the road. Classes and books are available to help you prepare for the written test. After having a motorcycle permit for a certain amount of time and/or riding a certain number of hours, you may proceed to take a series of written and skill tests to obtain your motorcycle license.
A skill test is meant to test a driver's highway riding ability. A driver may be asked to perform simple maneuvers, such as left and right turns. Drivers must also demonstrate the ability to start and stop smoothly. More complicated maneuvers, such as S-turns, U-turns, sharp turns to avoid obstacles, and quick stops will also have to be successfully executed. Once a driver passes all written and skill tests, he or she is granted a motorcycle license. Unlike a permit, a license allows the driver to carry passengers and ride after dark.
Some states allow drivers to take an advanced motorcycle rider safety course instead of written and skill-based tests. A motorcycle rider safety course sponsored by the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation®) provides drivers with a pamphlet about motorcycle safety and requires them to engage in riding courses that last one or two weekends. Riders must have their motorcycle permit before beginning a rider safety course. Drivers will be awarded a motorcycle endorsement upon successful completion of a rider safety course.
If you have questions about how to obtain your motorcycle license or about specific licensing requirements in your state, don't hesitate to contact Law Tigers today. We have attorneys in every state to help if you need information about riding laws, helmet regulations, or other motorcycle requirements.
Motorcycle licensing regulations set the requirements each rider must meet to earn a motorcycle license. In most cases, a government-sanctioned class and various tests will be required before you receive your motorcycle license. Meeting motorcycle licensing requirements is the fist step toward getting on the road.