A Minnesota motorcycle license must be obtained before you can legally operate a motorcycle within the state. Before you can obtain a motorbike license, you must first qualify for and obtain a learner’s permit and then either work towards a license by submitting to road skill exams or by completing an approved Basic Rider Course. Should you need to transfer driving credentials from out of state after establishing Minnesota residency, you will still be required to complete some additional testing before your license can be transferred.

By reviewing the DMV motorcycle permit and license application processes, you will be better prepared for your visit to a Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office as well as know the documents that you will need to submit along with your application and the fees that you must pay before a permit or license can be issued.

What is a Minnesota motorcycle endorsement?

A Minnesota motorcycle endorsement allows drivers to legally operate a motorcycle in addition to other driving privileges that they have earned. This motorbike endorsement can be added to any type of Minnesota driver’s license, including commercial driver’s licenses, after an applicant has qualified for the license and completed the application process. A standalone motorcycle-only license is not available within the state and, therefore, you must already possess a Minnesota driver’s license in order to obtain an endorsement.

Driving without an M endorsement or a permit has serious consequences within the state. Violators may face up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and the towing and impoundment of the motorcycle.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Minnesota

The minimum motorcycle permit age in Minnesota is 17 years of age. However, teens who are younger than 18 years of age will have additional requirements for motorcycle permit credentials including completing motorcycle safety through a Basic Rider Course (BRC) and a road skill exam rather than having the opportunity to choose one or the other. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a license for a motorcycle in Minnesota will be required to first obtain a learner’s permit regardless of whether or not the completion of a BRC course is intended.

Additional requirements for a motorcycle permit in Minnesota include:

  • You must be a resident of Minnesota.
  • You must already have a Minnesota driver’s license.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident within the United States.
  • You must be able to successfully pass a vision and a knowledge exam.
  • You must be able to submit the necessary documents to obtain a permit within the state.
  • For teens younger than 18 years of age, you must successfully complete a BRC before applying for a learner’s permit.

Required Documents

Documentation requirements for a motorcycle permit in Minnesota include:

  • One primary identification document, such as a U.S. birth certificate, a valid U.S. passport, a valid permanent resident card, a certificate of citizenship or a certified adoption certificate.
  • Either another primary identification document or a secondary one, such as a U.S. Social Security card, a certified government-issued marriage certificate, state-issued identification card or government employee photo ID.
  • Proof of lawful admission period if you are a temporary U.S. resident.
  • Proof of a legal name change if the names on your primary and secondary documents do not match.
  • Proof of Basic Rider Course completion if you are younger than 18 years of age.

Minnesota Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

If you are wondering, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do in Minnesota?” it is important to know that you will also have various restrictions until you can obtain a license even though you will be entitled to practice riding your motorcycle on public roadways. Minnesota motorcycle permit restrictions include the following:

  • You will be required to wear a helmet and eye protection that is approved by the federal Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • You may not carry passengers
  • You may not ride on any interstate highway
  • You may only operate a motorcycle between sunrise and sunset

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Minnesota

Getting a motorcycle permit in Minnesota is different depending on your age. If you are at least 18 years of age, then you will need to visit one of the local driver examination station locations. Once there, you will need to submit a motorbike permit application along with your required documents and fees. Before your permit can be issued, you must successfully pass both a written knowledge exam and a vision exam.

If you are applying for a motorcycle permit but you are younger than 18 years of age, then you will need to first enroll in the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center Basic Rider Course. After successfully completing the course, you will receive two certificates to take to your local DVS. One certificate will allow you to take the Minnesota knowledge and vision tests in order to obtain your learner’s permit. The other will allow you to take the state road skill test. Both certificates will remain valid until you turn 18 years of age.

A DVS motorcycle permit will be issued to you during your visit. You must keep this permit and your driver’s license on your person whenever operating a motorcycle. Once issued, the permit will remain valid for one year.

Minnesota Motorcycle License Requirements

The minimum motorcycle license age in Minnesota is 16. However, there are different requirements for motorcycle license applicants to acquire credentials depending on their age. However, all applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements including the following:

  • Obtain a learner’s permit
  • Be a resident of Minnesota
  • Be lawfully residing within the United States
  • Complete an application and submit the appropriate documentation and fees to the DVS
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Have parental permission if younger than18 years of age
  • Already have a Minnesota driver’s license

Required Documents

The document requirements for a motorcycle license in Minnesota include:

  • One primary identification document, such as a U.S. birth certificate, a valid U.S. passport, a valid permanent resident card, a certificate of citizenship or a certified adoption certificate.
  • Either another primary identification document or a secondary one, such as a U.S. Social Security card, a certified government-issued marriage certificate, state-issued identification card or government employee photo ID.
  • Proof of lawful admission period if you are a temporary U.S. resident.
  • Proof of a legal name change if the names on your primary and secondary documents do not match.
  • Proof of Basic Rider Course completion when applicable.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Minnesota

If asking, “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in Minnesota?” it is important to know that the methods of getting a motorcycle license and the speed in which you may do so will depend on your age and testing ability.

If you are at least 18 years of age, then you can obtain a motorcycle license in one of two ways. The traditional method will involve the following steps:

  • Obtain a learner’s permit from your local DVS
  • Using your learners permit, practice riding until you feel confident that you can successfully pass the state riding skills test
  • Successfully complete the Minnesota riding skills test
  • Pay for a duplicate driver’s license and receive your endorsement

Alternatively, you can get a motorcycle license in Minnesota by:

  • Obtaining a learner’s permit.
  • Successfully completing the Basic Rider Course through the MMSC and pass the BRC skills test.
  • Paying for a duplicate driver’s license and receiving your endorsement.

To get a motorcycle license as a minor, you must:

  • Successfully complete a Basic Rider Course through the MMSC.
  • Bring your completion certificates to your local DVS and pass the knowledge and vision tests for a learner’s permit.
  • Practice riding until you feel confident that you can successfully pass the state riding skills test.
  • Successfully complete the Minnesota riding skills test.
  • Pay for a duplicate driver’s license and receive your endorsement.

Your new motorcycle license will be mailed to you. This license will be similar to the Minnesota license that you already have but it will include an M endorsement.

Getting a Minnesota Motorcycle License as a New Resident

To transfer a motorcycle license from out of state to a Minnesota license, you will be required to submit an application at a DVS location with the appropriate documentation and fees. To transfer an out-of-state motorbike license, you will be required to successfully pass a standard knowledge driver’s license test and a motorcycle (written) test. If you successfully pass both exams, then the road skill exam will be waived for you. However, if your license has been expired for more than one year, then a road skill test will still be required.

Required Motorcycle Classes in Minnesota

In Minnesota, motorcycle classes are provided through the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center. Motorcycle training through the Basic Rider Course is only required of teens who are younger than 18 years of age. However, these courses offer a number of benefits to both adults and teens, including a faster way to obtain a license within the state.

The motorcycle safety course is offered at 25 different Minnesota state colleges and universities. Through this motorcycle training course, riders will have the opportunity to learn essential motorcycle control skills as the class is designed for beginning riders that have no previous riding experience. However, the course is also recommended for returning riders that would like a refresher on safe and defensive riding techniques. Classes only run from April through September and you must register in advance if you are interested in taking a course.

Motorcycle training will include a number of topics and practices, including, but not limited to:

  • Protective riding gear.
  • Risk management.
  • Street strategies.
  • Clutch and throttle control.
  • Straight-line riding.
  • Turning, shifting and stopping.
  • U-turns and counterweighting.
  • Maximum braking.
  • Countersteering.
  • Cornering.
  • Swerving.

The motorcycle license class provides training motorcycles for the class. However, you must bring your own protective riding gear to the class, including:

  • A DOT-approved helmet.
  • Eye protection.
  • A long-sleeved shirt or jacket.
  • Long pants.
  • Full-fingered gloves.
  • Riding boots.
  • Rain gear as necessary.

Motorcycle classes will require a 100 percent attendance and course fees are nonrefundable. To pass the Motorcycle license course, you must be able to complete the BRC exam at the end of the course. After course completion, adults will be issued a skill-test waiver that can be used to obtain a license. Minors will be issued two certificates, one that will allow them to attempt the knowledge exam to earn a learner’s permit and one that will allow them to attempt the road skill exam to earn a license.

Minnesota DMV Motorcycle Test Details

There are two motorcycle tests that you may need to take in Minnesota: a knowledge exam and a road test. The motorcycle permit test must be passed by applicants of all ages in order to obtain a learner’s permit, which is required to obtain a license. Adults who are at least 18 years of age will be given the option of completing a Basic Rider Course or completing the road skill exam to obtain a license.

Motorcycle Written Test

The motorcycle permit test is a multiple-choice knowledge exam that will cover basic and safe operation of a motorcycle as well as Minnesota traffic laws and regulations. You must pass this test before a permit can be issued. You can study for the exam by reviewing the Minnesota Motorcycle and Motorized Bicycle Manual. The test can only be taken once per day.

Motorcycle Road Test

The Minnesota motorcycle driving test can be completed at a participating DVS. You must schedule an appointment either online or by calling the DVS at 1-651-284-1000. For the motorcycle road test, you will be required to bring:

  • Your current Minnesota driver’s license and learner’s permit.
  • A motorcycle that is properly equipped.
  • Proof of current registration and meeting the auto insurance requirements.
  • A DOT-approved helmet and eye protection.
  • A certificate of BRC completion if younger than 18 years of age.

The DVS motorcycle test will include basic maneuvering of a motorcycle and safe riding skills. You will be asked to perform a number of maneuvers in order to demonstrate your ability to operate a motorcycle safely and in accordance with the law. Should you fail the exam, your examiner will assign practice time, which will vary by your demonstration. You will not be able to attempt another exam until after this practice time.

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

A Minnesota motorcycle license is not required to drive a scooter within the state so long as the scooter meets all of the three following criteria:

  • The scooter has an engine displacement of 55cc or less
  • The scooter has no more than two-brake horsepower
  • The scooter is incapable of exceeding 30 miles per hour on a flat surface

If the scooter does not meet all three of these requirements, then it must be registered as a motorcycle, and a license would be required to operate it.

Minnesota Motorcycle License Costs

By reviewing the motorcycle license cost in Minnesota, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the fees that you may be expected to pay when seeking a license. The fees that you may pay include the following:

  • Motorcycle permit fee — $21
  • Retesting fee on the third and subsequent knowledge tests — $10
  • Motorcycle endorsement examination fee — $2.50
  • Retesting fee on the third and subsequent skills tests — $20
  • Basic Rider Course fees — $195
  • Motorcycle license fee (duplicate driver’s license fee) — $14.75
Last updated on Wednesday, March 6 2019.

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