How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Indiana
A motorcycle license in Indiana allows you to operate motorcycles on public roads in the state. You will not receive a separate motorbike license when you apply for permission to drive a motorcycle. Instead, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will reissue your regular driver’s license showing an endorsement that allows you to operate a motorcycle. Because driving privileges can only be added as an endorsement on a regular license, you must have regular driving credentials in your possession before applying.
The requirements for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement in Indiana vary depending on your age. In most cases, you have two different options for getting endorsed to ride a motorcycle. First, you can take a knowledge and skills exam through the BMV and second, you may enroll in a motorcycle safety course, which will allow you to waive the skills exam. Below, learn more about these options and discover everything you need to do when adding an endorsement to your license.
Requirements for Motorcycle Permit Credentials in Indiana
A motorcycle permit is a credential you can obtain if you wish to practice driving a motorcycle on public roadways before getting your endorsement. Having a motorbike permit is not a prerequisite for obtaining an endorsement, but you may find that it is beneficial to apply for one. Before getting a permit, you must have successfully completed the driver’s license application process by passing a knowledge test. The minimum motorcycle permit age is the same as that for getting a driver’s license, which is 16 years and 90 days of age.
If you are younger than 18 years of age when you apply for a motorcycle instruction permit, then you will need to present an Agreement of Financial Liability signed by your parents or guardians. Because you must have a driver’s license in your possession already when applying for a motorbike permit, you generally do not need to provide any additional documentation to verify your eligibility.
If your name or address has changed from the one printed on your driver’s license, then you will need to show evidence of the change by providing the appropriate documentation.
Indiana Motorcycle Permit Rules Restrictions
“What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do?” you may wonder after getting your credentials. Because permits are meant to be used for practice, they do not come with full driving privileges. When riding with your motorcycle permit, you must do the following:
- Wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet
- Only ride starting one-half hour before sunrise and ending one-half hour after sunset
- Not carry any passengers
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Indiana
Applications for motorcycle permits are accepted at any of the BMV branch locations. The first step in applying will be to complete a written motorcycle permit test based on materials from the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual. Before your application is complete, you must pay a fee to receive your permit. Learner’s permits are valid for a period of one year and can only be renewed once.
Indiana Motorcycle License Requirements
If you are at least 16 years and 270 days of age, then you can add a motorbike endorsement to your license either by taking a motorcycle safety class and passing a knowledge test at the BMV or by passing both a knowledge and skills test.
The minimum motorcycle license age is 16 years and 90 days of age. However, if you want to get your license before reaching 16 years and 270 days of age, then you must complete driver’s education and obtain a certificate of completion from a rider safety program. A knowledge test will still be required at the BMV.
No matter which method you choose to obtain an endorsement and no matter your age, remember that you must have a driver’s license in your possession already before you can add an endorsement. Furthermore, you do not need to obtain a permit for riding a motorcycle first.
If you are younger than 18 years of age when you apply for a motorbike endorsement on your license, then you will need to have your parent or guardian sign an Agreement of Financial Liability form. Regardless of your age, if you took a motorcycle safety class and want to waive your skills test, then you must bring your certificate of completion to the BMV.
Because you will already have a driver’s license in your possession when adding a motorcycle endorsement, you will usually not need to provide additional documentation. However, if you do not currently have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, then you should be prepared to show evidence of your identity, Social Security Number, lawful presence in the U.S. and residency in Indiana. Documents verifying this information are required when getting a new REAL ID credential. If your address or legal name has changed, then be sure to bring documentation supporting the change as well.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Indiana
When asking where to get motorcycle license credentials, you will need to visit a BMV location in person. Any BMV branch can administer the motorcycle tests required for getting an endorsement. Be sure to bring any documentation that may be required for your application, as described above, as well as a form of payment to add your endorsement and get a new license.
Next, you will need to take a written motorcycle test and, in some cases, undergo a vision screening if the BMV examiner requires it. If you have not completed a safety class, then you will need to take a riding skill test as well, which can be completed at a third-party location.
Upon successfully meeting these requirements, you will receive a new driver’s license card in the mail. Credentials usually arrive within 14 days but may be delayed if your address is not up-to-date with the BMV.
Getting an Indiana Motorcycle License as a New Resident
If you have recently moved to Indiana and have an out-of-state motorcycle license or endorsement, then you can transfer your credentials simply by taking a knowledge test. Note that if you hold a “motorcycle only” license rather than a license with full driving privileges, then you must take knowledge and skills tests for a regular Indiana driver’s license. After doing so, you can transfer your out-of-state motorbike license to obtain an endorsement on your new credentials.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Indiana
You must take an Indiana motorcycle class if you are younger than 16 years and 270 days of age when you apply for a permit or endorsement. These motorcycle classes are optional, yet still highly beneficial, if you are older than this age when you apply. Motorcycle safety courses are overseen by the Ride Safe Indiana (RSI) program and are provided by various organizations that have partnered with RSI.
When you sign up for a motorcycle safety class, you can expect classroom lessons and hands-on learning opportunities. At the end of your course, you will take a knowledge and skills test and receive a graduation certificate that you must present when applying for an endorsement in order to waive your BMV licensing tests. These certificates are valid for a period of one year.
Indiana DMV Motorcycle Test Details
In most cases, you will need to take a motorcycle written test before getting your license or permit. Road tests are only required if you are younger than 16 years and 270 days of age or if you did not take a safety class. In some situations, you may need to take a vision test even if you have already completed this evaluation as part of getting your license.
Written Motorcycle Test
The motorcycle written exam is available at any BMV branch. You must arrive one hour before the BMV office closes if you plan on taking an exam when you apply for your endorsement or permit. Be sure to study the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual before taking a knowledge test, as the questions will be based on materials in this handbook.
Motorcycle Driving Test
On-bike skills tests are only provided at third-party locations partnered with the RSI program. If you did not complete a safety class, then you will need to locate an RSI partner so that you can take the required skills test. The motorcycle road test will gauge your ability to safely maneuver and control your bike in a number of different scenarios.
Do you need a motorbike endorsement to drive a scooter in Indiana?
Indiana laws require motorcycle endorsements in order to operate virtually every type of motor-driven cycle or scooter with the exception of farm tractors and personal mobility scooters. If you have a regular driver’s license and only want to operate a moped or scooter, then you can receive an endorsement with a restriction.
The types of restrictions on a motorcycle endorsement can include:
- Class A restrictions, which are granted if you take your riding test using a motor-driven cycle with less than five-brake horsepower.
- Class B restrictions, which you will receive if you operate a motorcycle with an engine capacity of less than 50cc.
Indiana Motorcycle License Cost
When getting a motorcycle endorsement, you will have to pay various fees. You will pay a one-time $19 fee to add an endorsement to your credentials as well as a fee of $17.50 to receive a new card showing your endorsement. There is a $9 if you choose to get a learner’s permit first.