Learn How to Get a Motorcycle License

motorcycle license
Source: Virojt Changyencham/Shutterstock

A motorcycle license has different requirements than a car or truck license. To drive a motorcycle, you must have a specific license to do so by law in all states.

Motorcycles take a different skill set to operate. They are a more physical activity requiring both hands and feet to maneuver and balance. Without an electric start, there is some strength needed just to kick start the engine. Certifications, testing, documentation, age restrictions and fees apply to obtain a license to drive a motorcycle at your local DMV. Are you asking how to get your motorcycle license now? Keep reading on.

Discover the Requirements to Get Your Motorcycle License

The motorcycle license application has a list of requirements to satisfy to be eligible to take the test for your license. By state, the criteria may vary but is very similar. Start with a handbook to learn your state laws for the operation and handling of a motorcycle. My-DMV.org offers links to obtain your DMV handbook. If your state requires a learner’s permit, that will apply. When you are ready to go into the DMV and take your motorcycle license test, you can get your application right online and have it ready and filled out when you get to the DMV. 

Testing contains a few steps. There is a written test, a vision and hearing screening and a road skills test. Your state may require certification of a Motorcycle Safety Program or Class. Younger applicants are usually required to complete a Motorcycle Driver’s Education class. In many states, applicants between 15 and 17 years old may obtain a low horsepower rated motorcycle license after earning their learner’s permit and satisfying the state-sanctioned time limit.

Documents Needed for a Motorcycle License

There is a set of requirements to satisfy prior to your application for a
motorcycle license
. Below is a basic list of what may be needed. Be sure to go to your state on our map for a more thorough list.  

  • Proof of your identity – Birth Certificate
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Residency – Address is shown on a utility bill
  • Parental or legal guardian approval if under 18
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Driver’s Ed certification
  • Motorcycle Safety certification
  • Substance Abuse class certification
  • Helmet with state certification
  • Applicable fees

Some states require fewer certifications than we list above. Check your state DMV motorcycle license requirements online before you leave our site for more information.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Many states have motorcycle helmet laws for motorcyclists. Some states mandate all motorcycle drivers and riders to wear approved helmets while other states only require drivers under the age of 21 to wear helmets while operating a motorcycle. Helmets have safety standards that must be met by states. There are state DOT (Department of Transportation) rated helmets meeting safety standards that some states require a rider and operator to wear.

The CDC, (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), has studies showing approved helmets reduce motorcycle collision deaths by up to 42%. Knowing your state helmet laws before attempting to pass your test is wise. Whether it is a law or not, your safety is the first priority for all.

Motorcycle License Fees

To take the motorcycle license testing will require a nominal fee. Fees vary by state but are usually under $50.