How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Florida
Having a motorcycle license in Florida is highly popular due to the fact that you can ride all year round. You are required to have a motorbike license in order to operate any vehicle with two or three wheels that has an engine displacement of more than 50cc. Mopeds, scooters and other vehicles with a smaller engine size can be legally operated with a regular Class E license or higher.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides two licensing options that will allow you to legally operate a motorcycle. First, you can get a motorcycle endorsement added onto your regular Class E driver’s license, which will permit you to operate both passenger vehicles and motorcycles. Second, you may choose to get a motorcycle-only Class E license that only allows you to operate motorcycles. Below, learn the steps for obtaining one of these credentials and find out which tests and fees are required before you can get a license or endorsement.
What is a Florida motorcycle endorsement?
Florida motorcycle endorsements are simply abbreviations that are added to your Class E driver’s license once you meet the requirements for operating a motorcycle. On older credentials, “motorcycle also” would be printed below the expiration date on your card. Newer driver’s licenses now show the motorbike endorsement with an “A” on the front of the card and “A-MTRCL Also” on the back of the card under the endorsements field.
A motorcycle only endorsement can also be printed on a Class E driver’s license if you only want to operate a motorcycle, not other classes of vehicles. On previously issued credentials, the endorsement was designated with the phrase “motorcycle only” printed below the expiration date. New credentials indicate the endorsement with an “O” on the front of the card and “O-MTRCL Only” on the back of the card.
If you complete your motorcycle training with a three-wheeled motorbike or a bike with a sidecar, then your license endorsement will include an “S” restriction. You can only remove the restriction by passing a skills test using a two-wheeled motorcycle.
Requirements for Motorcycle Permit Credentials in Florida
The FLHSMV does not have a motorcycle permit that allows you to practice riding a motorbike before getting your license. You can take motorcycle classes to help you prepare for the endorsement. However, the following are a few situations in which you would need to obtain a regular learner’s license before you are eligible for a license to operate a motorcycle:
- If you are younger than 18 years of age and do not hold a driving credential of any kind, then you must hold a regular learner’s license for at least one year and have no traffic convictions during that time before you are eligible for a Class E license with an O endorsement
- If you want to operate both passenger vehicles and motorcycles but do not already have a Class E license, then you will need to obtain a permit as part of the licensing requirements
- After obtaining your license, you can add the A endorsement to it by meeting the requirements for an endorsement described in the next sections.
Note: Regular learner’s permits cannot be used to operate a motorcycle. Taking a motorcycle safety course is the only way that you can legally practice riding before applying for your license or endorsement.
If you apply for a motorcycle driving license when you are older than 18 years of age, a permit is not required. Keep in mind that learner’s permits come with their own set of rules and restrictions that you must follow when driving a car.
Requirements for Florida Motorcycle License Credentials
The minimum motorcycle license age in Florida is 16 years of age. There are slightly different licensing requirements depending on whether or not you already have a Class E license. As described above, you will need to meet all of the requirements for obtaining a license first if you do not already hold driving credentials of any kind. This involves getting a learner’s permit and passing a driving knowledge test and vision test.
All applicants will need to take a basic rider course (BRC) and pay the application fees at a driver licensing office or tax collector office that issues driving credentials. In most cases, an applicant can simply present his or her certificate of completion in order to add an A or O endorsement onto a Class E license.
Applying for motorcycle endorsements will require that you prove your identity, Social Security Number and Florida residency. If your name has recently changed, then you will need to update your information with the Social Security Administration before applying for a motorcycle license in your new name. Providing proof of your name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order can be used to show the link between your old and new name.
If you already have a Class E license with a star in the upper right-hand corner, which indicates that it is Real ID-compliant, then you may not need to provide documentation when visiting a licensing center unless your name has changed or your current license is due to expire soon.
You will need to show documentation if you are applying for an FL motorcycle license with the O endorsement or you do not have a REAL ID-compliant license, you must show the following:
- Primary identification in the form of an original or certified birth certificate, passport, certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship
- Proof of your Social Security Number in the form of a Social Security card, a W-2 form, a 1099 tax form or a pay stub with your full Social Security Number
- Evidence of your Florida residency, which can be shown with a voter registration card or mail sent to your home that shows your residential address
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida
The steps for obtaining a motorbike endorsement vary depending on whether or not you already have a driver’s license. When you have a Class E license in your possession, all you need to do is take a BRC, show your certificate of completion to an FLHSMV office or tax collector’s office that issues licenses and pay the appropriate licensing fees.
If you do not have a Class E license and want to obtain credentials with a motorcycle only endorsement, then you will need to take the same knowledge test that is required for obtaining a Class E license. In addition, you must complete a BRC, show your certificate to a licensing office and pay a fee for your license and endorsement.
Getting a Florida Motorcycle License as a New Resident
The FLHSMV recognizes most out-of-state motorcycle licenses and endorsements with the exception of credentials issued in Alabama. If you are transferring a motorbike driving license from Alabama to Florida, then you must present a valid BRC completion card. If you cannot present this certificate, then you will need to retake the class in Florida and/or take the necessary steps for getting a Class E motorcycle-only license.
Applicants from any other state can simply surrender their existing motorcycle driving credentials in order to receive a new license in Florida.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Florida
All motorbike license applicants must complete a BRC through a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) approved provider in the state. You must be a minimum of 16 years of age and have at least a learner’s license before you can enroll. The basic motorcycle class will cover all of the fundamentals noted in the Florida motorcycle handbook that you need to know in order to ride safely and follow the laws. This 15-hour course includes classroom lessons in addition to hands-on riding experience that will help you practice your skills.
Florida Motorcycle Test Details
In most cases, you will not be required to take Florida motorcycle tests when getting your license. If you completed the BRC, then your certificate of completion can be used to waive the testing requirements as long as you already hold a regular driver’s license and simply want to add an endorsement to it. However, if you do not apply for a motorbike endorsement within one year of completing the BRC, then you must take a Rider Skills Test (RST) with a Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP) coordinator in order to get an endorsement.
If you do not have a driver’s license yet and are applying for a license that only allows you to operate a motorcycle, then you will need to pass a vision test, road sign test and traffic law test. These tests are the same ones required for getting a regular Class E license. Remember that you still need to complete the BRC in addition to taking these tests before you can get a motorcycle only endorsement on a driver’s license.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Florida?
A Florida motorbike endorsement or license is required anytime you wish to operate a motorcycle with an engine displacement of more than 50cc. Most mopeds, scooters and other motorized bicycles do not meet this definition of a “motorcycle” and can, therefore, be driven with a regular Class E license or a higher class of license without endorsements.
Florida Motorcycle License Cost
Getting a motorcycle license or adding an endorsement to a Class E license will require paying a fee. Whether you are applying for an endorsement or a motorcycle-only license, you will be issued a new Class E driver’s license, which costs $48. Adding the motorcycle endorsement costs an additional $7. Note that if you choose to get your credentials at a tax collector office rather than one of the driver license offices, there will be an additional $6.25 fee for all license-related transactions.
In the event you need to take the test and fail on your first attempt, you will need to pay a $10 retesting fee for the written exam and a $20 fee to retake the skills test.