You’ve made your mind to finally learn how to ride a motorcycle and are now wanting to get your driver’s license. Or perhaps you have already learned how to ride a bike and just want to know the cost and process of getting your hands on the motorcycle license.
This brief guide will help you navigate the entire process, from pre-learning training to applying for and getting your license, including the fees involved.
Pre-learning Safety Course
Similar to a car license, restrictions reduce as you progress with the different stages of getting your motorcycle license. To begin with, the process starts with pre-learning training to prepare for riding on the road.
You need to be above 16 years and 6 months in age to enroll for the pre-learner course. It would teach beginners the basics of bike safety and control. It requires a minimum of 7 hours of training, spread over two consecutive days.
You’d be given a motorbike, gloves, and helmet by the training company. For safety purposes, you’d be required to wear a long-sleeved arm-covering jacket, long trousers, and sturdy boots. For training purposes, you can hire protective equipment, but it’s better to purchase your safety gear in the long run.
Certificate of Completion
After successfully passing the pre-learning training, you will receive a Certificate of Competence that will be valid for the next 3 months. In the meantime, you would be required to complete a Rider Knowledge Test (RKT) and pass a basic eyesight test before you can get your DMV learner’s license.
The Cost of Getting a Learning Course
Even though it is not necessary to get preliminary training, it will prove beneficial overall. A good basic level rider course would offer both classroom and hands-on training. They’ll teach you about road safety, motorcycle laws and road rules, correct riding gear, and technique to inspect your bike.
Plus, some states exempt you from giving a road test on successful competition of an approved learning course. You may also become eligible to get a discounted motorcycle insurance.
You can get the training lessons for around $70-100/hr, adding an extra $20-25/hr in case you hire a motorbike as well. If you are clear with the basics, you can opt for advanced off-road lessons around $130/hr, in addition to the bike charge.
Getting a Motorcycle License
You will receive a learner’s license after passing your RKT, which will be valid for 12 months. You can only take the pre-provisional after a minimum of 3 months after receiving your learner’s license. This includes 6 hours of training plus a one-hour long on-road ride or the M.O.S.T (Motorcycle Operator Skills Test). You need to bring your own LAM-approved motorbike and equipment for the test.
Before applying, contact your state’s motor vehicle department to enquire about the following things:
State-specific Age Requirements – Ask about the minimum age to get a motorcycle license and permit. The license is known as a Class M license which qualifies you to legally drive a motorized bike. The minimum age to acquire a bike driving permit varies from state to state and can be around 15 or 16 years of age.
State DMV Motorcycle Training Requirements – Check whether or not your state mandates you to take a safety course before getting your license. Some states wave off the license test on the successful completion of such training.
Bike License Test Requirements – Enquire about all the stages involved in passing the license test. Would you be required to give a written test, followed by a vision and on-road test?
Typically, getting a class M license would require you to pass a basic motorcycle knowledge test, following which you’d need to apply for a learner’s permit. A learner’s permit would allow you to rise only between sunrise and sunset, with the exception of when supervised by an authorized holder of a Class M license. Class M permit holders are not allowed to take anyone on a ride except an instructor. The permit costs around $10 and is valid for 1 year.
An under-18 learner needs to have a permit for a minimum of 6 months. Plus, they need at least 65 hours of riding under supervision before they can give the skills test to receive their motorcycle license.
The Cost of Getting A Motorcycle License
Despite varying fees across different states, the overall cost of obtaining a license is not much. It may cost you less than $50 to get your learner’s license.
For instance, authorities in California charge a $35 fee for getting either an M1 or M2 learner’s license. In case you require a duplicate or name alteration, it may cost you $28.
Whereas in New York, modifying details of your driver’s license to add Class M or MJ may cost you around $12.50. Empire state charges a $10 application fee to get your driver’s permit.
Cost of Provisional (P1) License
The minimum age to get a P1 license is 1 year. It doesn’t require any additional test and can be held from a period ranging between 12 months to 18 months at most. Roughly, it would cost you $54 to get a P1 license.
Cost of Provisional (P2) License
Valid for a total of 30 months, getting a P2 license would require you to be at least 18 years of age. You must hold a P2 license before you can apply for a full-time license. It requires no additional test either and may cost around $84.
Cost of Full license
An individual must reach at least 20 years of age before being eligible to apply for a full license. You can expect to pay about $170 for a five-year full license.
Certain equipment like the helmet is compulsory and needs to be bought. You can pay anywhere between $500 and 1200 for a good quality helmet. It is always advisable to buy a new helmet with a 5-star SHARP rating.
For greater protection, you can also buy protective clothes like bike pants, jackets, and boots for around $1000 or more.
Potential Fines and Penalties
You may invite heavy fines and even jail time if you are caught riding your bike without a valid license. Different states attract varying penalties for the same, but you can expect to pay around $1,000 in fines or/and up to six months in jail.
In a nutshell, getting a motorcycle license is simple, given you follow the correct advice and know your way around it. We have broken down the fees involved in acquiring a motorcycle license. It involves compulsory fees like that of getting a learner’s license ($24), P1 license ($54), and P2 ($84) license. These add up to be around $152.
Additionally, you may be required to sit for a pre-learner ($86) and pre-provisional course ($130), which adds up to $216 in total. Finally, taking the two driving tests, the RKT ($42) and M.O.S.T ($52), would cost you around $94. The complete cost adds up to a sum of $632, but it is still a cheaper option than paying hefty fines and jail sentences.