How to Get a Motorcycle License: from the Document Collection Stage to Passing a Motorcycle Practice Test

MAY 17, 2023

How to Get a Motorcycle License: from the Document Collection Stage to Passing a Motorcycle Practice Test -
Start from learning your local state Motorcycle Operator Manual. It is usually available on official DMV websites (can be downloaded or viewed in a browser) or in DMV offices (available in print form).

Step 1. Learning for the DMV Motorcycle Practice Test

Start from learning your local state Motorcycle Operator Manual. It is usually available on official DMV websites (can be downloaded or viewed in a browser) or in DMV offices (available in print form). Read it carefully to learn about specific DMV requirements for your state, a basic procedure of earning a motorcycle license, restrictions and limitations that can be imposed and general information about traffic rules and safe riding practices.

Note that you need to undertake the DMV motorcycle permit exam, even if you hold a valid driver’s license issued by your state. So, in order to get a motorcycle endorsement in your DL, you have to run the gamut of DMV exams again. Do get prepared for the testing by learning the Motorcycle Operator Manual with a pen in your hand, since the handbook covers many important and unobvious issues related to motorbike riding.  

Step 2. Training for Your Motorcycle Practice Test 

Engage in active learning through a motorcycle permit practice exam. There are many sample tests available throughout the Web and aimed at helping applicants to get prepared to their real DMV knowledge exam. Choose a suitable DMV motorcycle sample test based on current DMV questions of your state and practice your skills along with learning the manual.

Motorcycle permit practice test helps in several ways. It lets an applicant into real exam questions and answers, creating an environment that helps to build confidence – the psychologically conditioned applicants don’t tend to feel confused during the exams. In addition, due to this motorcycle endorsement practice exam applicants can identify gaps in their knowledge and fill them before it is too late.

So, practice your practice test for a motorcycle endorsement until you score the number of correct answers required in your state and only then make an appointment at the DMV office.

Step 3. Collect Papers Prior to Your Motorcycle Permit Exam

You can do this simultaneously with practicing your motorcycle practice test. The requirements for applications and documents can be found in the manual or on the official DMV website, so make sure you read them carefully. Pay attention to specific requirements like those for minor applicants, new-to-the-state residents with licenses and endorsements issued in other states, military personnel or non-US residents. There can be some additional requirements like a parental consent for minors or exceptions, for example, a waiver from DMV tests for those applicants who have completed a state-approved training course.

Usually, the following types of papers are required:

  • proving identity (US passports, ID-cards, DLs, certificates of birth, etc.);
  • proving a legal status (certificates of birth, citizenship or naturalization, US passports, immigration IDs, etc.);
  • proving residency (utility bills, bank documents, school/college/university records and so on);
  • proving SSN (SSC, W-2, SSA-1099 or non-SSA-1099 forms or a waiver from SSA).

Step 4. Pass Your DMV Motorcycle Permit Exam

When you are prepared for the exam and all the documents are collected, check whether your DMV office works on a walk-in basis or by appointment. Also, you should find out about their fees and payment methods (some DMVs don’t accept cash). At a DMV office you need to:

  • submit the documents and fill an application form;
  • get a photo taken for your motorcycle license;
  • get your fingerprints taken;
  • pass a vision screening;
  • pass a written or computer-based multiple-choice knowledge exam;
  • pay the fees.

In order to pass your motorcycle permit exam, you need to answer a certain number of questions within a certain time frame, and to score a specified amount of correct answers (usually up to 80%). You are allowed to skip some questions, so you can answer the necessary number of relatively easy question to get the desired score.

If you pass, you earn the motorcycle learner permit that makes you eligible for riding a bike while training. If you fail, you can retake the test, but only within a certain number of times (usually, 3 attempts are allowed).

Step 5. Get Prepared for Your On-Road Motorcycle Practice Test

Having the learner permit, you can ride your bike to gain necessary on-motorcycle skills. But there are some restrictions imposed for your and other drivers’ or passengers’ safety. The most common of them are:

  • learners must be accompanied by a licensed operator who is over 21 and has at least 3 years of motorbike operator experience;
  • learners cannot ride passengers;
  • learners must provide their helmet and eye protection;
  • learners are not allowed to ride in the dark;
  • learners cannot cross jurisdictional borders;

Note that violation of those restrictions can result in canceling your learner permit. Thus, be wise and abide by the traffic rules and your supervisor’s recommendations, stick to safe riding practices and comply with DMV requirements. When you feel you are skilled enough to pass your on-road test, make a corresponding appointment.

Also, keep in mind that quite a number of states require to complete certified motorcycle training courses and to provide a certificate of completion; otherwise you won’t be admitted to the skill exam.

Step 6. Pass Your Practice Test for a Motorcycle Endorsement

Don’t forget that you need to provide a bike of a corresponding type and the helmet and eye protection, as well as your valid learner permit and/or current license to be allowed to the test. Your motorcycle has to be properly registered, insured and filled with gas, while your supervisor must accompany you to the test. Minors often need to be accompanied by their legal guardians and also to submit additional papers. Make sure your bike is in safe operating condition.

When taking the DMV motorcycle practice test, you need to show your knowledge of motorbike controls and your skills in riding in tracking paths, gear shift ride, serpentine and circle ride, as well as your overall ability to control the motorcycle. It is a pass/fail test, and if you pass, you will receive your license or endorsement. If you don’t, you can retake the exam in accordance with your state regulations.