The fun and freedom of riding a motorcycle is a feeling that cannot be compared to being trapped in the confines of a car. But before you hop on a bike, there is a process to getting a license. Here are three steps you’ll need to take before purchasing a motorcycle license.

Step #1: Get Your Learner’s Permit

First, you need to head to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to get your leaner’s permit. They’ll provide you with a motorcycle handbook that contains all the information you’ll need to get your learner’s permit and valuable info that will be on the knowledge test. It’s also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the licensing procedure.

Getting your learner’s permit is fairly straightforward. You’ll generally have to be at least 16 years old, this varies by state, and have good vision. You’ll then need to pay a small application fee and pass a short written test on general riding laws.
Once you have your learner’s permit it’s time to practice! You’ll probably spend a bit of time in empty parking lots until you have the basics down. Laws vary by state, but you’ll usually need to spend a few weeks, up to six months, with your learner’s before you’re eligible to apply for a full license.

Step #2: Take the DMV Test

After you’re able to ride, you’ll need to head back to the DMV for the skills test. Sometimes there will be another written test, but the riding skills test is what you’re after. The test can be tricky depending on the examiner. Some people pass without a problem, while others get stuck on a simple skill like turning and need to retest multiple times.

Find out the specifics of your DMV with a quick internet search. That’ll usually tell you which DMV has the more lenient tester and which locations are very strict. If your riding skills are up to par, you should be able to pass without a problem.

Step #3: Take a Motorcycle Safety Course (Optional)

If you’d like to expedite the process, almost every state offers a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider’s Safety course. This course is usually run over the course of a few days, consisting of both classroom and actual riding sessions along with a written test. Successful completion of the course rewards you with a waiver. You simply give the waiver to the DMV and they’ll convert your license to a full motorcycle license without any additional testing.

While MSF classes are usually more lenient in their testing and will give you multiple attempts at skills, the fee for the MSRF is usually much higher than if you’d done it yourself at the DMV. Class fees range from upwards of $300 per person, however, they do provide you a motorcycle to ride. Insurance companies usually give successful MSF graduates a 10-15% discount on insurance, which can often cover the cost of classes. The class is still a great option for complete beginners who need instruction or those without a motorcycle.

Getting Your Motorcycle License

The process of purchasing a motorcycle license is fairly straightforward: get your learner’s permit, take a knowledge test, and finally pass a skills test. The process can take up to six months depending on which state you live in or you can opt for taking an MSF class. Either way be careful when you start riding if you should get into an accident, the team at can help. Happy riding!