Obtaining a Motorcycle License
To operate a motorcycle on streets, an individual must obtain a motorcycle license. You do not need a license to operate a dirt bike as long as you keep it off of the streets. The procedure for doing so varies by state. In most states, you can obtain one at the age of 16, the same age for obtaining a regular driver’s license. The process involves a written test as well as a motorcycle driving test.
Keep in mind that if you get caught operating a motorcycle without a valid license; you face the same penalty in your state as driving a motor vehicle without a valid license. It is also very likely that the motorcycle you are operating will be impounded. Nationwide, 32% of motorcycle accidents involve those who do not hold a valid motorcycle license. Likewise, any person who has a suspended or revoked driver’s license won’t be allowed to obtain a motorcycle license either.
Each state offers a motorcycle operator manual for you to review free of charge. In some states, you can even review the information online. It is very important that you read the manual thoroughly and ask about any information you do not understand. The information in this manual is what will be on the knowledge test you are required to pass in order to obtain a valid motorcycle license.
In some states, you will then be issued a motorcycle learners permit. This allows you to practice operating a motorcycle with the assistance of another licensed motorcycle rider. After a set amount of time or a set amount of practice hours, you will then be able to take a motorcycle operator skills test. Make you to bring along any safety equipment for riding that is required in your state. For states that don’t issue motorcycle learners permits, you will be issued your license upon successfully passing both the written and skills tests.
Make sure you have spent plenty of time going over the proper procedures for operating a motorcycle before you attempt to take the skills test. Test administration is very strict because of the huge risk operating a motorcycle comes with. Some of the same rules apply as when testing for a traditional driver’s license including looking in your mirrors, using signal lights, stopping appropriately, watching for pedestrians, and obeying posted speed limits.
Some common motorcycle skills you will be tested on include starting your motorcycle, stopping, turning, and balancing the bike. In some states, they set up an obstacle course for motorcycle testing that you have to be able to maneuver through. You can ask your local Department of Motor Vehicles what to expect on the skills test. This gives you plenty of time to practice particular skills before you test.
To find out the specific requirements including age, testing, cost, and other important information for obtaining a motorcycle license in your state contact your local department of motor vehicles. You can also find the information on the internet. If you are interested in learning to operate a motorcycle but don’t have anyone to teach you, consider enrolling in a motorcycle instructional course. This is a great way to develop the skills you need to operate a motorcycle safely and properly. You will also get a discount from most motorcycle insurance companies if you can verify you successfully completed such a class.
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