How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Colorado
You need a Colorado motorcycle license before you can operate two- or three-wheeled vehicles on public streets and highways in the state. Getting a motorbike license will require that you first hold a regular driver’s license and take additional tests to receive permission to drive motorcycles. This is because Colorado no longer issues separate motorcycle licenses, meaning that you cannot receive an M class license that will only allow you to operate a motorbike.
Before you can get a motorcycle endorsement on your license, you will have to undergo a review of your driving record and physical capabilities, pay licensing fees and complete tests relating to motorcycling. However, you can typically take a class in order to waive the testing requirements. Depending on your age, you may need to meet additional requirements, such as completing motorcycle classes and obtaining a permit that you must use when practicing your skills. Below, learn everything you need to know about getting credentials to drive a motorcycle in Colorado.
What is a Colorado motorcycle endorsement?
As described above, the only way to get permission to drive a motorcycle is to add a motorcycle endorsement onto your regular license. Motorcycle endorsements are simply indicated with a letter or number on your regular license. The two types of endorsements available from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) include:
- M, which allows you to drive all motorcycles including two- and three-wheeled bikes.
- 3, which only permits you to operate three-wheeled motorbikes.
A motorbike endorsement can be added to a regular Class R license or a commercial driver’s license (CDL) of any class. If you choose to add a motorbike endorsement to your license, then you will receive a new card that indicates the appropriate M or 3 endorsement.
Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Colorado
Obtaining a motorcycle permit is one of two methods to get an endorsement added to a license. The minimum motorcycle permit age in Colorado is 15 years of age, but a driver of any age can apply if he or she wishes to obtain an endorsement using this method. Applicants who are between 15 and 16 years of age must take a motorcycle training course before getting a permit, but older applicants do not need to take this course to get a permit. Note that the Motorcycle Operator Skills Training (MOST) program is the only one accepted by the Colorado DMV.
If you have already obtained your driver’s license and have taken the MOST course, then you do not need to get a permit in order to add an endorsement. Simply follow the instructions for completing the motorcycle safety course and getting an endorsement as described in the following sections.
When applying for a motorbike permit, you will need to submit an MOST certificate if you are younger than 16 years of age. If you are younger than 18 years of age, then you will also need an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR 2460) granting you permission to get a permit.
No matter your age, the motorcycle learners permit process requires you to submit other documentation that verifies your identity and date of birth. The required documents will vary depending on whether you are a citizen, a temporary resident or are unable to prove that you are lawfully present. In most cases, you can show a U.S. passport, certified birth certificate, permanent resident card, Social Security Number, foreign passport with a U.S. visa and I-94, military identification card or other documentation.
Other paperwork needed during the DMV motorcycle permit application, you will need to show one to two documents showing that you reside in Colorado. Bills and other similar paperwork with your address can satisfy this requirement.
Colorado Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions
What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do? Motorcycle permits come with a variety of rules that are put in place to keep you and other motorists safe. Most importantly, you must always ride under the supervision of an adult who is 21 years of age or older and has a Colorado motorbike endorsement on his or her license. Drivers with an out-of-state motorcycle credential cannot legally supervise you.
Note that there are additional motorcycle permit restrictions that vary based on your age. If you obtain a motorcycle instruction permit when you are younger than 16 years of age, then you can only ride when you are under the direct supervision of a motorcycle safety instructor. If you are older than 16 but younger than 18 years of age, then you will need to have your parents’ or guardians’ written permission in order to ride with someone other than your parent, guardian or MOST instructor.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Colorado
Motorcycle permits can only be obtained in person by visiting a DMV driver license office. The motorcycle learners application process requires showing an MOST certificate if you are younger than 16 years of age. If you are younger than 18 years of age, keep in mind that you will also need an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship form. Next, you will have to take a knowledge test and pay a fee to receive your credentials. If you completed MOST and are older than 16 years of age, remember that a permit is not required.
Colorado Motorcycle License Requirements
The minimum motorcycle license age in Colorado is 16 years of age. If you have already obtained a motorbike permit, then you can take the required license tests once you turn 16 years of age in order to get a license with the correct endorsement.
Remember, getting a motorcycle permit is just one way to meet the requirements for adding an endorsement onto your license. If you prefer, then you can complete an MOST course in order to waive the testing requirements for getting an endorsement. If you choose to complete an MOST class instead of taking the traditional route of getting a permit first, then you will still need to pay the required fees for ordering a new license.
Regardless of the method you choose to get motorcycle license credentials, you will usually need to present documentation that verifies your identity, residency and age. Items such as an original or certified birth certificate, Colorado driver’s license or passport will generally meet the requirements. You should also be prepared to show at least one document that verifies your residence in Colorado, such as a bill or statement containing your address.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Colorado
When getting a motorbike license in Colorado, all applicants will need to pass the required exams, take a vision test, provide a fingerprint, have a photo taken and submit to a driver record review and physical aptitude evaluation. However, drivers who have completed an MOST course can skip the knowledge and DMV motorcycle test and simply apply by paying a fee for a new driver’s license. Whether a motorist is getting his or her first driving credential or is updating an existing card with an endorsement, a new card will be issued to show the correct endorsement.
Getting a Colorado Motorcycle License as a New Resident
If you have an out-of-state motorbike license and move to Colorado, then you will need to apply for a driver’s license that has the correct endorsement. In most cases, you will not need to complete a motorcycle written test or driving test, but you will need to undergo a vision screening and have your physical aptitude analyzed. A skills test may be required if there are any issues identified with your vision. At any rate, you will need to surrender your out-of-state driving credentials before you can receive a new license in Colorado.
Note: If you are bringing a motorcycle into the state as a new resident, then you will need to register it in Colorado, which requires meeting the minimum motorcycle insurance requirements.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Colorado
You are required to complete the MOST motorcycle training course before you can get a permit if you are younger than 16 years of age. These motorcycle classes are not required if you are older than 16 years of age, but there are still many benefits to taking one. Most of all, you can waive your tests at the DMV by presenting an MOST certificate if you already have a driver’s license.
A motorcycle class can be completed in many of the major cities throughout the state. Before enrolling in a driver’s education class, make sure that it is on the DMV’s list of approved schools.
Colorado DMV Motorcycle Test Details
To determine if you are eligible for a motorcycle endorsement on your license, you will still need to undergo a driving record review and a physical aptitude test regardless of whether you have obtained an MOST certificate. If you have not taken a class to waive the other testing requirements, then you must pass a written test and road skills test before you can get an endorsement.
Motorcycle Written Test
You will need to take a written motorcycle test that covers materials in the Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook. Be sure to read the manual so that you are as prepared as possible.
Motorcycle Road Test
A motorcycle driving test requires that you demonstrate basic riding skills and show good judgment. Before being tested, you will have to show proof that your motorcycle is registered, insured and in acceptable working order. While you can operate any size of motorcycle with your endorsement, you must use a bike with an engine capacity of 50cc or more when testing. Furthermore, keep in mind that if you use a three-wheeled motorcycle on your exam, then you will receive a “3” endorsement rather than a standard M endorsement.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Colorado?
Having separate motorcycle endorsements in Colorado is not required if you have a driver’s license and want to operate a low-power scooter including most mopeds and motorized bicycles. Motorized scooters can be driven with a regular license as long as they have an engine size of 50cc or less, while electric bikes must have a maximum of 40 horsepower. Motorized cycles that exceed these limitations can only be operated if you have the appropriate endorsement.
Colorado Motorcycle License Cost
Motorcycle license fees in Colorado can be paid by cash, check, credit card or money order. The motorcycle endorsement cost is $2, which must be paid in addition to a $28 fee for receiving a new credential. Remember that Colorado does not issue separate credentials for operating a motorcycle, only regular licenses with an endorsement.