How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida
The Florida motorcycle driver’s license issued by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is an official credential that authorizes the holder to legally operate a motorcycle within the state. Drivers can obtain either a full bike license or an endorsement added to an existing driving license. The stand-alone bike license is issued as a standard Class E license with a motorcycle-only restriction.
With a DMV motorcycle license, you can operate any vehicle with an engine size of more than 50cc traveling on two or three wheels. Depending on whether you are getting a stand-alone license or an endorsement added to your existing driver’s license, you will be required to meet slightly different application criteria. To learn more about requesting a motorbike driving license in FL, continue reading the following sections.
Motorcycle License Requirements in Florida
The process of getting a motorcycle license in Florida can only be completed by applicants who meet the state licensing criteria. The motorcycle license requirements will vary to a certain degree depending on factors such as your age and whether you are getting a stand-alone motorbike license or a bike endorsement. The standard FL bike license requirements that apply when getting a Class E motorcycle-only license are outlined below:
- Be 16 years of age or older.
- Have the mental and physical fitness necessary to ride a motorcycle.
- Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the state motor vehicle laws and safe riding practices and have the practical skills to operate a motorbike.
- Have held a learner’s permit for at least 12 months or until your 18th birthday, if younger than 18 years of age.
- Have parental approval for a motorcycle license if younger than 18 years of age.
- Verify your identity, state residency, lawful U.S. presence and Social Security Number.
- Complete an approved rider’s safety course.
Note: If you are applying for a motorcycle endorsement, then you will only be required to hold a valid driving license and pass the mandatory motorcycle-training program.
When collecting the documents needed for a DMV motorcycle license in FL, you will be required to choose from the list of acceptable paperwork that corresponds to your citizenship status. For instance, while U.S. citizens can submit their U.S. birth certificates or passports as primary identification forms, noncitizens will need official documents issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Department of Homeland Security.
If you are applying for a motorbike license as a new state resident, then you will not be required to meet the full set of requirements set forth by the DHSMV. In such cases, you will only have to surrender your out-of-state credential, retake the vision and the hearing exams and submit the necessary supporting documents and fee payments.
Florida Motorcycle License Training Courses
Prior to getting your motorcycle license in Florida, you are required to complete a state-approved motorcycle safety course, regardless of your age. Only new state residents applying for motorcycle license documents who are able to transfer an out-of-state license are not required to complete a rider’s safety course. Several sponsors authorized by the DHSMV Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP) provide the state motorcycle driver’s education courses. After successfully completing the corresponding Basic Rider Course (BRC), you can proceed with the bike license application process, since your course provider will submit your results electronically to the state DHSMV.
Florida Motorcycle License Tests
To determine whether an applicant qualifies for a Florida license for motorcycle use or a motorbike endorsement, the state DHSMV administers several types of tests. Depending on your circumstances when applying for a motorcycle license in FL, you may or may not be required to pass a vision screening and a hearing test or a knowledge and practical skills exam. For example, if you are applying for a motorcycle endorsement, then you will not have to retake vision and hearing tests since you are subjected to those tests when getting your standard license to drive, but you will take the corresponding on-cycle test after completing a mandatory rider’s course. However, if you fail to obtain your FL bike endorsement within 1 year of completing the BRC program, then you will have to retake the Rider Skills Test (RST).
If you are applying for a motorcycle license instead of an endorsement on an existing license, then you will have to pass the vision and the hearing test and the standard knowledge test for a Class E license. In such cases, you will take the on-cycle test after completing your motorcycle-training course. If you are applying for a motorbike driving license in FL as a minor, then you must pass all initial tests when obtaining the mandatory learner’s permit.
The Florida Motorcycle License Application Process
The steps that apply when getting your Florida motorcycle drivers license may vary slightly depending on your age and whether or not you hold a standard driving license. Also, applying for a bike license is a process comprised of several stages, which may require you to make more than one visit to a driver license office or a tax collector’s office. For instance, to get a full bike license in FL, you will have to finalize the following steps:
- Apply for a learner’s permit, if under 18 years old.
- Pass the initial vision screening, hearing test and written exam.
- Submit the required supporting paperwork.
- Complete the mandatory rider’s training course.
- Make a second office visit to pay the applicable licensing fees and provide proof of a passed on-cycle riding test.
Note: If you hold a standard Class E driving license, then you will only be required to complete the BRC program and submit proof of completion, pay the endorsement fee and provide the proper identification documents.
Once the state DHSMV verifies that you meet all requirements and you have completed the necessary steps, you will be issued either a Class E motorcycle license or a driving license with an endorsement. For detailed information on applying for motorcycle licenses in FL, contact the department or a nearby DMV office.
Florida Motorcycle License Fees
Paying the current motorcycle license cost in Florida is one of the last steps in the process of getting a motorbike license. Note that the total fee for a bike license will vary depending on whether you are obtaining a stand-alone license or an endorsement added to an existing license. For instance, motorcycle-only credentials are available at the standard Class E license fee of $48, which includes the learner’s license fee as well. On the other hand, if you are adding a motorbike endorsement, then you will be required to pay a fee of $7 in addition to the standard $48, for a total of $55. Apart from these main licensing fees, you may be required to pay certain testing costs if you initially fail the DMV tests. Retaking the written exam costs $10, whereas retaking the skills test costs $20.
Note: If you are applying for a motorcycle license in FL through a tax collector’s office, then you will be required to pay an additional service fee of $6.25.