Do You Have to Have a Motorcycle License?
Riding a motorcycle is no joke. It requires just as much — if not more — concentration and precision as driving a car. That’s why everyone riding a motorcycle in the U.S. needs a motorcycle license. If you are of age and can demonstrate you know how to ride a motorcycle, you should have no trouble getting a license from your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Find out why you need a license to drive on two wheels instead of four.
Do You Have to Have a Motorcycle License?
Yes, you will need a valid motorcycle license to ride a motorcycle anywhere in the country. Having a license demonstrates you are capable of riding the vehicle. It is for your safety as well as the safety of the other drivers and pedestrians. Riding a motorcycle without a license can lead to jail time or hefty fines, so make sure you have the proper documentation before heading out on the road.
It’s important to remember that individual states manage the licensing process, not the federal government. The licensing requirements vary by state, so you’ll need to check with your local DMV or BMV for more information.
Use a Helmet Bluetooth Communicator to Stay Safe on The Road
Many states require you to be at least 16 or 18 years of age to get a license. However, you may be able to get a motorcycle riding permit as young as 15 in some states. You can ride with a permit when accompanied by a licensed rider. Use this time to practice your riding skills so you can apply for a full license when you come of age. If you are over 18, you may not need to bother with a motorcycle permit as long as you pass the test or have received an endorsement by completing a standalone certification demonstrating your skills.
Source: Alejandro Barrosa/Shutterstock.com
How to Get a Motorcycle License
You’ll need to visit your local DMV or BMV to access the application form. When you apply for the license, you will need to provide basic personal information, including your name, address and contact information. You will also need to register your bike if you own one.
The test includes a written portion that goes over the rules of the road and a driving evaluation. If you already have a valid driver’s license, you can skip the writing part and go straight to the driving test.
The cost of applying ranges from state to state, but the total shouldn’t be more than $100. The approval process can take several business days to several weeks, depending on the rider’s age, qualification requirements and the resources of the local DMV. Wait times tend to increase during the spring and summer when more people are looking to ride.
Some states, such as New York, have a tiered licensing system. Ensure you understand the license’s terms and conditions to avoid incurring a fee. Use our guide to learn how to get a motorcycle license in every state for more info.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Every State
What Do You Need to Ride a Motorcycle?
You need more than an active license to ride a motorcycle. Once you are of legal age, make sure your bike is in good condition and prepared for the road ahead.
Wear all the required safety gear, including long pants, boots, gloves, a jacket and a full-face or half-face helmet with goggles. Pair your helmet with a motorcycle Bluetooth communicator to connect wirelessly to your phone or GPS while riding. Many people text and drive, even though it is extremely dangerous, but reaching for your phone is simply not an option on a motorcycle. Your hands need to stay on the handlebars, or an accident can easily occur.
Find a motorcycle Bluetooth headset that’s designed for riding in large groups if you want to hit the road with your friends. You won’t be able to use hand signals or hear each other over the noise. The device should automatically reconnect whenever you are in range for hands-free communication.
Riding a motorcycle isn’t as simple as riding a bike. You need to be licensed in your state to ride a motorcycle. But once you have the proper documentation, you can drive all over the U.S. and beyond. Use the information from our guide to start applying for your U.S. license today!