Getting a motorcycle drivers license in North Carolina is a mandatory step before riding your bike within the state. The state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues a motorcycle endorsement which is added to existing driver’s licenses instead of issuing a stand-alone license. Therefore, prior to applying, riders will be required to obtain a standard license. Also, applicants younger than 18 years of age are required to hold a motorcycle permit prior to requesting their bike endorsement. Get more information on applying for a motorcycle license in NC in the sections below.

Motorcycle License Requirements in North Carolina

Only riders who meet motorcycle license requirements in North Carolina will be able to successfully add an endorsement to their current driver’s license. The eligibility criteria for a bike license may vary slightly depending on the applicant’s age. Also, requirements for a motorcycle license are in addition to those that apply for a standard driving license. To meet these requirements, applicants must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Hold a full provisional license, a regular license or a commercial license.
  • Hold a motorcycle learners permit if under 18 years old.
  • Be physically and mentally fit to operate a motorbike.
  • Have the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to ride a bike.

Note: A parental authorization to apply for a bike license is also required from applicants younger than 18 years of age.

When applying for a bike endorsement in NC, riders may not have to submit the necessary proofs of age, identity, Social Security and state residency once again, since the state DMV collects this paperwork when issuing a standard driving license. However, new state residents who are transferring an out-of-state motorbike license will still be required to furnish the necessary proofs of identification through a nearby DMV office and surrender their valid credentials. If getting an NC motorcycle license as a new resident, then you may not be required to take the written and the road test if you are replacing a motorcycle license from out-of-state.

North Carolina Motorcycle License Training Courses

The requirement to pass a rider’s course when applying for a motorcycle license in North Carolina only applies to applicants under the age of 18 years old. To issue a learner’s permit, the state DMV will require a course certificate from either the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) or the North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program. However, even if you are requesting the addition of a license for motorcycle use on your existing driving license as an adult, you can still enroll in a motorcycle safety course in order to improve your safe riding practices. Note that riders who complete the Basic Rider Course (BRC) will be exempted from taking the on-cycle skills exam.

North Carolina Motorcycle License Tests

Passing the North Carolina bike license tests is an important step toward obtaining a license for a motorcycle since the division must verify your fitness to safely operate a motorbike. To prove that you are ready for a motorcycle drivers license in NC, you will be required to pass a vision screening, a motorcycle knowledge and traffic signs tests and an on-cycle skills exam. If you are applying for a permit, then you will not be required to pass the practical skills exam. Also, the on-cycle road test can only be scheduled and taken after you have passed all other exams. The road skills test is implemented for purposes of verifying your ability to safely ride your motorcycle in various traffic situations.

Note: North Carolina motorcycle license applicants who complete the Basic Rider Course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the state Motorcycle Safety Education Program will be granted a test waiver for their skills exam.

The North Carolina Motorcycle License Application Process

The application process for new motorcycle licenses in North Carolina is comprised of several steps. Riders applying for an endorsement as a minor may be required to complete additional steps, such as obtaining a learner’s permit. Therefore, to successfully get a motorcycle license, you will have to visit your driver license office on more than one occasion, in most cases. The standard steps to apply for motorcycle licenses in NC are outlined below:

  • Get a full provisional license or a standard driving license
  • Obtain a motorcycle permit if required to do so
  • Complete a rider’s safety course if required to do so
  • Pass the applicable DMV tests
  • Pay the corresponding licensing fees

You will receive your new driving license with a DMV motorcycle endorsement as soon as you successfully complete the above steps.

North Carolina Motorcycle License Fees

Riders are required to pay the North Carolina motorcycle license cost as one of the last steps in the application process for an endorsement. The total cost for an endorsement will vary depending on whether or not the applicant is obtaining a learner’s permit.

An NC motorbike endorsement is available at a fee of $2.30 per year of validity of the stand-alone driving license. However, if you are getting a motorcycle learners permit, then you will also have to pay a one-time fee of $20. When paying for your license or endorsement, you will be allowed to provide your payment in the form of cash, check, money order or with a debit or credit card.

Note: The motorcycle license costs outlined above are in addition to the standard fees for a regular driver’s license.

Last updated on Tuesday, October 2 2018.

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