Legal Review: Do You Need a Motorcycle License?

In short, yes. To apply for a Class M driver’s license (motorcycle license), all individuals must take a motorcycle safety course that has been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), before passing a motorcycle driving test at the DMV.

You must also pay a fee to receive the license. In Texas, it is $25 for a new license, $33 for a renewal, or $16 for an endorsement. This endorsement is an alternative to getting a specific motorcycle license and allows drivers who already have licenses to add a specific motorcycle tag onto that driver’s license.

Rules for Minors

All minors must carry a motorcycle permit until they turn 18 and are then able to apply for a motorcycle license. This permit is similar to the learner’s permit for driving a car in that all permit-holders must demonstrate their competence by driving a certain number of hours with a licensed adult before getting their license.

In Texas, you could apply for a permit from the age of 15, but are only able to drive a motorcycle with no more than a 250 cubic centimeter piston displacement. This restriction is removed when the permit holder turns 16. To apply for a permit, all minors must:

  1. Present a Motorcycle Safety Course (MSB-8 or MSB-8R) completion certificate
  2. Present
    1. A Class C Provisional license, or
    2. A Driver Education form (DE-964) verifying 32 classroom hours, or a completion certificate, or
    3. A Class C learner license and a DE-964 showing completion of a 32 hour driver education course
  3. Present a signed high-school Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form
  4. Be accompanied by a Parent, who must provide an authorization signature
  5. Pass the mandatory skills exam

Can You Register a Motorcycle Without a License?

Technically, you do not need a motorcycle to register a motorcycle, but you do need motorcycle insurance. Since most insurance companies require a license to get coverage, it could be more difficult to register your motorcycle without a license. Though there are insurance companies that might sell you coverage without a license, they would most likely charge a higher premium.

Penalties for Driving a Motorcycle Without a License

Driving a motorcycle without a license could result in penalties such as a fine or even jail time. Penalties increase with each repeated offense, so avoiding a small license fee initially could wind up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the line. It is not realistic to assume that you would never get pulled over, even if you have a history of safe and reasonable driving, so it is better to get the license just in case.

Do You Need a Motorcycle License to Drive Mopeds or Scooters?

This answer typically depends on the size of the moped or scooter. If your moped or scooter has an engine that is over 50 cubic centimeters (cc), most states require you to have a motorcycle license or a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. Scooters usually require registration and a motorcycle license, as these vehicles often have engines that are 150cc or smaller. However, mopeds with engine sizes smaller than 50cc do not require a motorcycle license or registration.

Contact an Attorney

If you have any questions about the complex rules and regulations of getting a motorcycle or registering your bike, contact an experienced accident lawyer at Felix Gonzalez Law Firm for assistance today.

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