How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Idaho
An Idaho motorcycle license allows you to operate motorized vehicles with two or three wheels on public roadways. When you apply for a motorbike license, you will receive a new driver’s license that includes an endorsement on it. This designation allows you to operate both motorcycles and any other vehicles that you were originally licensed to drive, such as a passenger car or commercial vehicle.
When determining whether you need a motorcycle endorsement on your license, it helps to understand what vehicles count as motorcycles under Idaho law. Generally speaking, any motorized bike, motorcycle or motor scooter designed to be street legal and travel at a speed of more than 30 mph will meet the definition of a “motorcycle,” meaning that you must have the proper endorsement in order to operate one of these vehicles. If you want to drive such a vehicle in Idaho, then review the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) licensing steps, tests and fees that are required for getting an endorsement below.
What is an Idaho motorcycle endorsement?
A motorbike endorsement is simply a letter that gets added onto your regular Class A, B, C or D license once you meet the requirements for legally operating a motorcycle. Getting the M endorsement requires paying a one-time fee, which will permanently add the endorsement to your license unless you want to remove it for any reason.
Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Idaho
A motorcycle permit is a credential that any driver can obtain in order to practice riding a motorcycle before taking a skills test at the DMV. Permits are not a prerequisite for adding an endorsement onto a driver’s license, but they are beneficial to obtain anyway. Before applying for a motorbike permit, motorists must hold a regular driver’s license already.
The minimum motorcycle permit age in Idaho is technically 15 years of age, due to the fact that you must be at least this old to receive a regular driver’s license. If you have not taken all of the steps required for getting a license, then you must complete these first. Remember, you cannot get an endorsement until you already have a license in your possession.
When applying for ID cards, licenses or motorcycle permits in Idaho, you will usually need to provide proof of your identity, age, residency and citizenship or legal presence in the U.S. However, because you must have a license in your possession before you can get a motorbike permit, you may not be required to show all of the same types of documents required when applying for an original license. In any case, you should come prepared.
Documentation that will verify your age, identity, Social Security Number (SSN), legal presence and residency can include a certified or original birth certificate, a passport, a military ID card, a Native American photo ID card or a certificate of naturalization or citizenship. Your SSN can be verified by showing your Social Security card or a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that you are not eligible for an SSN. To confirm that you live in Idaho, you will want to bring at least one document that that shows your home address such as a utility bill, school enrollment record or bank statement.
Idaho Motorcycle Permit Restrictions
“What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do?” you might wonder after getting your credentials. It is important to know that motorcycle permits come with a number of restrictions that are imposed in order to keep you and other drivers safe. When riding with a permit, you are not allowed to drive on the freeway or carry any passengers. Furthermore, you must only ride during daylight hours.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Idaho
If you wish to apply for a motorbike permit, then you will need to pass a knowledge test pertaining to driving a motorcycle. Motorcycle permits are valid for a period of 180 days, during which time you can practice riding your motorcycle legally. You may renew your permit only once without having to retake the knowledge test as long as you are renewing your credentials within one year.
You will need to pay a fee in order to get your permit. However, if you apply for your motorbike endorsement within the 180-day period that your permit is valid, then you can waive the fee for adding an endorsement to your license. As soon as your permit expires, you must pay a separate fee for adding your endorsement.
Idaho Motorcycle License Requirements
The most important requirement for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement in Idaho is that you already hold a Class A, B, C or D license in your possession. Therefore, the minimum motorcycle license age is the same as that for getting a regular license.
In order to add an endorsement, you will either need to take a knowledge test and skills test or complete a riding safety course in order to waive the testing requirements. Note that if you are younger than 21 years of age, then motorcycle safety training classes are mandatory and you will need to take a knowledge test even though older applicants can have these tests waived by taking the safety course. Adding an endorsement also requires paying a fee for any tests you may need to take in addition to the fees for a new license.
The documents required when applying for a motorbike endorsement are the same as those required for a permit. Before going to a licensing center, be sure to bring proof of your age, identity, residency, Social Security Number and legal presence in the U.S.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Idaho
The steps for getting a motorcycle license vary depending on whether you chose to complete a safety course or not. If you took a class, you can simply present your certificate of completion to waive the licensing tests. However, remember that the knowledge test is still required if you are younger than 21 years of age when you apply for your credentials. If you did not take motorcycle training, then you must visit the DMV prepared to take your knowledge and skills tests.
When asking where to get motorcycle license credentials, you will need to go to a sheriff’s office that provides driving license credentials. Not all DMV office locations will provide these services, so it is important to check ahead of time. When your application is complete, you will receive a new driving credential that indicates your endorsement.
Getting a Motorcycle Endorsement by Mail
If you are an Idaho resident who is currently out of the state, then you may be able to apply for a motorcycle endorsement by mail as long as you cannot claim residency in another state or jurisdiction. To be eligible, you must have completed a motorcycle training course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Fill out the Application for an Idaho Motorcycle Endorsement and send an original or notarized copy of your MSF card and a check or money order to cover the endorsement fee to:
Idaho Transportation Department
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
Getting an Idaho Motorcycle License as a New Resident
In most cases, motorcycle endorsements can be transferred to the Idaho DMV when you move from out-of-state. However, as a new resident, you must pass the motorcycle written test in Idaho before you can complete the process. Your current motorbike endorsement or license cannot be expired for more than one year. In cases where you want to transfer a license that has been expired for more than a year, you should be prepared to take a knowledge and skills test at the DMV.
If you hold a non-commercial license with an endorsement, then you must get an Idaho motorbike license within 90 days of becoming a resident of the state. This is true regardless of whether your current license is expired yet or not. Commercial driver’s licenses must be transferred within 30 days of becoming a resident.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Idaho
A motorcycle class in Idaho is only required if you are applying for an endorsement when you are younger than 21 years of age. However, motorcycle classes are strongly recommended no matter what your age is. Not only will the class help you become a better rider, but it will also provide you with a certificate that can be used to waive your skills test as long as you take your exam within one year.
You must take a basic rider course through the Idaho Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) program. These classes can either be taken in person or online with an in-person practice component. Upon successfully passing the class, you will receive a STAR completion card in the mail within five to 10 business days.
Idaho DMV Motorcycle Test Details
Both DMV motorcycle written tests and skills tests may be required when applying for an endorsement on your license. If you are older than 21 years of age and have a STAR completion card, then you can generally skip the exams required for getting an endorsement. However, an on-cycle test and knowledge test will be required if you have not taken safety training.
In the event your driver’s license and motorcycle endorsement have been expired for more than two years, you should also be prepared to take a knowledge and skills test in order to renew your credentials. Furthermore, the knowledge test is usually required if you are transferring an out-of-state endorsement no matter your age.
Written Motorcycle Test
The motorcycle written test includes materials from the Motorcycle Operator Manual, so, it is important to read this handbook before starting your exam. You should also have a general understanding of Idaho traffic laws and safe riding practices in order to pass. These tests can be completed at any county driver’s licensing office and your results are valid for a period of one year.
Motorcycle Driving Test
The motorcycle skills test is usually only available at third-party locations. Contact a county DMV office for a current listing of test locations in your area. Once you find a testing location that suits your needs, you can learn how to make an appointment for an exam. Tests are conducted in an off-street area, allowing you to demonstrate your skills without having to ride in traffic.
Do you need a motorcycle endorsement to drive a scooter in Idaho?
A motorbike endorsement in Idaho is not required to operate two- or three-wheeled vehicles that do not fall under the definition of a “motorcycle.” For example, a moped designed to go no more than 30 miles per hour does not count as a motorcycle and can, therefore, be operated without getting an endorsement. The term “scooter” does not have a legal definition under Idaho traffic laws, but in most cases, you will need an endorsement to operate one of these vehicles if it is manufactured with an engine size of 50cc or more, it is meant to be used on public roadways and it can travel more than 30 mph.
Idaho Motorcycle License Cost
You will need to pay various fees throughout the process of obtaining an endorsement on your license or getting a permit. Motorcycle endorsement fees may include the following:
- $15 for an instruction permit or duplicate permit
- $3 for a knowledge test
- $25 for a skills test
- $15 to add your endorsement
- $15 to $55 to pay for your new driver’s license, which will list your endorsement