In Maryland, a motorcycle license must be obtained before you can legally operate a motorcycle within the state. A motorbike license can be acquired in two separate ways in Maryland. The traditional path to obtain a license is by first completing a knowledge exam in order to obtain a learners permit. When ready, license applicants can attempt a road skill exam with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in order to earn a license. Alternatively, you can forgo exam and permit requirements by participating in a motorcycle safety course.

A license for an MVA motorcycle can only be required if you meet documentation and personal requirements related to citizenship, identity and state residency. Therefore, it is important to review the documents that you will need to provide as well as learn how and where to submit an application. You can learn more about this process within the sections that have been provided below.

What is a Maryland motorcycle endorsement?

A Maryland motorcycle endorsement is provided to you after you have successfully qualified to obtain this type of license. You will still receive a standard driver’s license, but the endorsement will be listed on the license itself. Maryland does not offer motorcycle-only licenses and, therefore, you cannot obtain an endorsement if you do not already have completed the Maryland driver’s license application process.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Maryland

When getting a motorcycle license in Maryland, it is important to understand that you can obtain a license in one of two ways. Should you wish to seek a motorcycle learners permit as a means of obtaining a license, there are certain requirements that you must first meet.

The minimum motorcycle permit age in Maryland is 18 years of age. Teens who are between 16-and-a-half and 18 years of age can still obtain a license but must instead complete a motorcycle safety course to obtain a license. Adults are not required to complete a motorcycle safety course, however, doing so can often reduce the amount of time spent obtaining a license.

Additional requirements for a motorcycle license in Maryland include:

  • You must be a resident of Maryland.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have a lawful presence within the United States.
  • You must already have a Maryland driver’s license.
  • You must be able to pass a knowledge exam.
  • You must be able to pass a vision exam.
  • You must meet documentation requirements.

Required Documents

Maryland documentation requirements for a motorcycle permit include:

  • Proof of age, identity and citizenship, such as with a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of citizenship, valid permanent resident card or current foreign passport with current valid USCIS documentation.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number, such as with your Social Security card.
  • Two forms of proof of address, such as with Maryland vehicle registration or titles, insurance cards or policies, utility bills or lease or mortgage agreements.

Maryland Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

When asking, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do in Maryland?” it is important to understand that, while a permit does allow you to legally operate a motorcycle, you can only do so under direct supervision. The individual that must ride as a passenger must be at least 21 years of age and must have held a motorcycle license motorcycle for a minimum of three years.

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Maryland

In Maryland, obtaining a motorcycle permit is one of two ways that you can begin to work towards obtaining a license within the state. All applications for a motorbike permit must be completed in person at one of the local MVA office locations. You can obtain a permit by completing the following steps:

  • Submitting an application in person with the appropriate documentation and fees
  • Passing a vision exam during your visit
  • Passing a knowledge test during your visit

If you successfully complete both exams and are able to provide the required documentation, then a permit will be issued to you. You must carry this permit whenever operating a motorcycle in addition to your Maryland driver’s license.

Maryland Motorcycle License Requirements

To get a motorcycle license in Maryland, you must first meet requirements that have been set forth by the state. The minimum age to obtain a license is 16-and-a-half years of age. However, teens who are younger than 18 years of age will also be required to complete a motorcycle safety course before a license can be issued.

Requirements for a motorcycle license also include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident.
  • You must be a resident of Maryland.
  • You must already have a Maryland driver’s license.
  • You must be able to provide the required documentation.

You will also be required to complete a vision exam and have a photo taken for your license.

Required Documents

Maryland documentation requirements for a motorcycle license include:

  • Proof of age, identity and citizenship, such as with a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of citizenship, valid permanent resident card or current foreign passport with current valid USCIS documentation.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number, such as with your Social Security card.
  • Two forms of proof of address, such as with Maryland vehicle registration or titles, insurance cards or policies, utility bills or lease or mortgage agreements.
  • Proof of motorcycle safety course completion if applicable.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Maryland

When asking, “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in Maryland?” it is important to understand that there are two different ways to obtain a license and, in most cases, one method is notably faster.

To get a motorcycle license the traditional way, you must visit your local MVA and submit an application for a learner’s permit. You will be required to provide the appropriate documentation and fees before a permit can be issued to you. During your visit, you must successfully pass both a vision and knowledge exam to obtain a permit. With your permit, you will be able to practice operating a motorcycle under direct supervision. Once ready, you can attempt the road skill exam with the MVA. Upon completion, a license can be issued.

Alternatively, you can obtain a motorcycle license in Maryland by participating in a Motorcycle Safety Program. After successfully completing the course and passing the exams at the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate can be brought to the Maryland MVA to exchange for a license. With the Motorcycle Safety Program, you will not be required to complete a knowledge test or road skill exam with the MVA and you will not be required to obtain a learner’s permit prior to obtaining a license. You will, however, still be required to provide the MVA with the necessary documents and fees needed to complete your application.

In either case, if you are wondering where to get a motorcycle license, then it is worth knowing that all applications must be completed in person at your local MVA. As stated previously, a motorcycle license that is issued by the MVA will still be a standard license but it will include a motorcycle endorsement. All licenses are mailed to the address that the MVA has on file within four to seven business days.

Getting a Maryland Motorcycle License as a New Resident

If you have an out of state motorcycle license that you would like to transfer to a Maryland license after establishing residency within the state, then you may not be required to retake a knowledge or skills test. You will only be required to pass the written motorcycle test and driving exam in Maryland if your out-of-state license has been expired for at least a one-year period. You must still provide the same documentation and fees that you would if you were a resident applying for a license for the first time.

You can only transfer a motorbike license if you can meet the MVA’s vision requirements and pass a vision exam. If you are not at least 18 years of age, then you will also be required to complete the Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program or attend an acceptable out-of-state program before a license can be transferred.

Required Motorcycle Classes in Maryland

Maryland motorcycle classes will only be required if you are an applicant who is younger than 18 years of age. Adults are not required to participate in the Motorcycle Safety Program, however, these courses are recommended as they can teach you how to operate a motorcycle in a safe and lawful manner. Additionally, attending a motorcycle safety course can also help you to obtain your license sooner as the completion of a course negates learner’s permit, knowledge exam and road skill exam requirements.

Motorcycle training includes a 20-hour course that contains both classroom and riding instruction. In some cases, providers may allow some of the curriculum to be reviewed online prior to the start date of the course as a way to reduce the expected hours. Courses are available through MVA-approved businesses that offer the course at a varying price. Through this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Basic motorcycle riding skills.
  • The importance of proper riding gear.
  • Basic crash avoidance skills.
  • Clutch-throttle control, stopping, turning and shifting.

Throughout these courses, motorcycle class instructors will evaluate your riding performance. If you do not meet minimum standards, then you will not be allowed to continue. At the end of the course, you must be able to complete a knowledge and skill test successfully. Once you have passed the course, you will receive a Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program Completion Card, which can be used to obtain your license.

Maryland DMV Motorcycle Test Details

In Maryland, a motorcycle license test may be required depending on how you work to obtain your license. Unless you obtain a Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program Completion Card from a certified Motorcycle Safety Program provider, you will need to apply for and obtain a Maryland learner’s permit. To do so, you must successfully pass a knowledge exam. Both a knowledge and a road skill exam must be completed in order to obtain a license.

Motorcycle Written Test

The Maryland motorcycle written test must be completed successfully if you are applying for a learner’s permit. This multiple-choice test will cover information about the basic and safe operation of a motorcycle, required and recommended safety apparel as well as laws regarding riding and basic Maryland traffic laws and regulations.

Motorcycle Road Test

A motorcycle driving test can only be completed with the Maryland MVA after first obtaining a learner’s permit. Walk-ins are permitted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. When arriving for the DMV motorcycle test, you must have an accompanying driver with you either on another motorcycle or as a passenger. The road skill exam will test your ability to operate a motorcycle in a lawful and safe manner. As part of the exam, you will be required to demonstrate numerous maneuvers, including:

  • Stopping.
  • Turning.
  • Staying in your lane.
  • Pedestrian avoidance.
  • The ability to obey traffic laws and avoid other drivers.
  • Traffic navigation.

If you fail your initial exam, then you must wait at least 24 hours to retest and you will only be able to do so by appointment with the MVA. If you pass, then you can obtain a license. However, it is also worth knowing that should you test on a three-wheeled motorcycle, you will be restricted to operating three-wheeled motorcycles only.

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Maryland?

A Maryland motorcycle license is not required to operate a motor scooter or a moped within the state. Instead, you must have a valid driver’s license or a valid moped operator’s permit.

Maryland Motorcycle License Costs

The motorcycle license cost in Maryland is $9 for every year that your license will remain valid, up to $72. Should you need to add a motorcycle endorsement to a commercial driver’s license, the fee will be $45. Motorcycle learner’s permits are only $30.

Should you choose to participate in the Motorcycle Safety Program, it is also worth knowing that the fees for the course can vary between providers. However, the average cost of the course is $300.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 6 2019.

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