How To Get a Motorcycle License: 5 Simple Steps for Success

Are you interested in getting a motorcycle but don’t know how to get a motorcycle license? If so, look no further. For your convenience, we have made a 5-step instructional guide on how to get a motorcycle license.

Just follow these simple instructions, and you’ll have a motorcycle license in no time!

In a rush? Here is a quick list of what you’ll need to do:

  • Learn about your state’s motorcycle requirements
  • Take a motorcycle safety course
  • Pass the written test
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Pass the road skills test


Here’s our detailed instructional guide to getting a motorcycle license:

1. Learn about your state’s motorcycle requirements

The first step to a motorcycle license involves checking out your state’s motorcycle requirements. You can learn about this by looking online or calling your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Depending on your needs, you can either get a motorcycle license or an endorsement. A motorcycle license works just like a driver’s license. The only difference is that a motorcycle license is specifically for driving and operating motorcycles.

An endorsement is an addition to your current driver’s license. It will allow you to drive and operate both a regular automobile and a motorcycle.

When looking for your state’s requirements, make sure you know the following information:

  • Age requirement: You will need to know the minimum age for obtaining a motorcycle permit and license. This varies based on state.
  • Motorcycle training: You will need to know if you’re required to take a motorcycle safety course before licensure. If you are, some states wave the road skills test if you pass the course. Even if your state does not require a safety course, it is highly recommended to invest in one anyway.
  • Motorcycle permit test: You will need to know exactly what is required for the permit test, or if you even have to take it in the first place.
  • Motorcycle license test: You will need to know what tests you need to pass for licensure. Common tests include a written, vision, and/or road skills test.

2.  Take a motorcycle safety course

Before getting licensed, you will want to begin with a motorcycle safety course. These courses are specifically designed so that you know how to be a safe motorcycle rider.

While taking a motorcycle safety course, you can expect to learn several things. Most importantly, you will learn how to be a safe rider. This includes motorcycle laws, proper riding gear, and bike inspection. These lessons provide crucial information relevant to your safety.

Even if your local requirements do not list a motorcycle safety course as a licensure requirement, it is highly recommended to invest in one anyway. It is an investment that might save your life.

In fact, according to the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE), around 90% of motorcyclists involved in a crash had no formal or safety training.

Finding a safety course should be easy. You can look online for courses or check out your local motorcycle dealer.

3. Pass the written test

To obtain your motorcycle permit, you will probably need to pass a written test and eye exam. The written test ensures that you know the local laws concerning motorcycle operation while the eye exam ensures you can adequately see.

The required passing rate differs based on DMV, but most DMVs require a passing grade of around 70% or higher. Before taking the exam, you will want to study your local laws and the basics of motorcycle operation. You can study for this exam by taking online practice tests.

If you do not pass on your first try, don’t fret. You are allowed to take the exam more than once, but there is normally a time-gap requirement between attempts. During the time-gap, continue studying so you can pass next time!

Once you pass your permit test, the permit period will last anywhere from 6 to 18 months, depending on your local regulations.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Once you have your motorcycle permit, you will want to practice. Practicing with your permit will help you pass the road skills test when the time comes.

You will want to get the hang of these motorcycle skills:

  • Starting and stopping
  • Using the clutch
  • Using turn and hand signals

5. Pass the road skills test

Once your permit period is over, you will need to take the road skills test, the last step to getting your motorcycle license. Depending on your state, you may not have to take this test if you passed your motorcycle safety course.

If you have to take the road skills test, though, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • You will need to decide on a motorcycle to ride during your test. Since this test measures your road skills, you must have a motorcycle on which to demonstrate. It is best to go with a model you are comfortable with so that you perform at your best. Whatever bike you choose, it must have a valid license plate, registration, and insurance.
  • After passing the skills tests, you may have to pay a licensing fee or endorsement. The price will depend on your DMV, so ask about any fees in advance.

Like with the written exam, you have the opportunity to retake the skills test in the case that you should fail. There will probably be a time-gap between attempts. Use that time-gap to improve your skills and pass the next time around!


Once you know how to get a motorcycle license, you can begin the process of obtaining licensure and riding your motorcycle on the open road. Using our 5-step instructional guide, you will easily be able to navigate the motorcycle licensure process!