Getting a motorcycle license in New York is one of the most important things that you can do if you wish to drive a two or three-wheeled motor vehicle in the state. These licenses are necessary documents and serve as additional proof of your driving skills and training on top of your standard NY driver’s license. You will also need to get a New York motorcycle permit before your actual license, in order to demonstrate that you have learned and practiced all of the necessary information that differentiates motorcycle driving from other types of driving in the state.

With a New York motorbike license, you will be able to enjoy the freedom and excitement of operating a motorcycle legally on the state’s roads. However, you will also need to learn about the many added responsibilities and rules that come with this kind of driving, such as wearing a helmet and knowing when to merge lanes. By using the right approved safety and education courses, you can learn the best tools and tricks to get the license that you have always wanted. This article will direct New York drivers to the best licensing strategies in order to begin driving their motorcycles legally, safely and confidently.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in New York

The motorcycle permit age in New York is a relevant aspect towards figuring out your eligibility, but there are plenty of other requirements that all motorcycle drivers in the state must fulfill. By working with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you can make the ultimate determination regarding whether or not a motorcycle is the right vehicle for you.

However, there are two main NY DMV motorcycle license classes to choose from, being a Class M or Class MJ license. The Class MJ license is a junior operator’s license, which is necessary for drivers between 16 and 18 years of age. Thus, you will need a MJ permit in order to begin driving a motorcycle in New York with parental supervision as a driver who is not yet 18. If you are older than 18, you will be able to apply directly for your full license.

Required Documents

The documents that are needed for a motorcycle learner’s permit in New York are mostly the same as those needed for a standard driver’s license in the state. These include:

  • Documents proving your date of birth, such as a birth certificate.
  • Documents proving your Social Security Number, such as your Social Security card.
  • Documents proving your New York address, such as a bank statement.
  • Documents proving your identity, such as a parental signature.

New York Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

There are many different motorcycle permit restrictions and guidelines in New York that the DMV has put in place in order to protect the safety of young motorcyclists and other drivers in the state. For example, you should study the state’s Operator’s Manual to learn more information about your future driving tests, compile a number of the documents listed above, bring in your existing driver’s license or permit and more.

In addition, there are a number of rules that the DMV has set in order to limit the powers of a learners permit. These can include not allowing permit holders to carry passengers (that are not their supervising driver), not allowing permit holders to drive between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and more.

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in New York

Getting a motorcycle permit in New York is as easy as collecting all of the documents listed above, along with any existing driver’s licenses or permits that you may have and bringing them with their appropriate fee to the NY DMV office that is nearest to you. There, you will need to take the written knowledge test.

This test is comprised of many different road sign questions, hypothetical driving questions and more. Once your information and tests have been processed, you will receive a permit in the mail, and can begin practicing for your license application and tests.

New York Motorcycle License Requirements

The New York motorcycle license age is slightly higher than the one required to get your permit. While you can get a permit at 16 years of age, you must be 18 years of age or older to get a license to drive a motorcycle in New York.

The one exception to this rule is if you are 17 and have completed a driver’s education course, in which case you may also get your license. This will require taking and passing your road test, as well as submitting all of the documents listed above if you did not start with a Class MJ permit.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in New York

If you are wondering, “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in New York?” then you first need to prioritize submitting your application to the DMV. If you have submitted an application for a permit before, the DMV will already have a lot of your required information. However, you may need to provide additional information if anything has changed since getting your permit, or update your vision test.

If it is your first time applying to the DMV, you will also need to submit a license application form along with all of the aforementioned materials. You will receive your new license in the mail once your application has been processed and your driving test has been passed.

Getting a New York Motorcycle License as a New Resident

To get a motorcycle license in New York as a new resident of the state, it can seem complicated to switch your old licenses and permits over to your new state within the DMV’s 30-day new resident timeframe. However, you can do so easily by passing a new vision test, surrendering your old license and providing proof of your identity to the DMV.

Once this is completed, you will get a temporary license to use while your application processes for around 2 weeks. Additionally, if you are still a resident of another state that is not New York, you are free to use that state’s motorcycle documents while driving in NY.

Required Motorcycle Classes in New York

New York motorcycle classes can be obtained from a variety of providers, but the most commonly-used and approved service is the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP). This comprehensive service allows interested New York drivers to attend a number of different driving schools across the state, where there is a priority on teaching the rules of the road, and how motorcycle driving is performed safely. Some of the topics discussed in these courses include:

  • Motorcycle-relevant road signs.
  • Turning and breaking with a motorcycle.
  • Learning about passing and merging on the highway with a motorcycle.
  • Strategies for avoiding obstacles on the road, and more.

While taking a motorcycle safety course is not mandatory in New York, they can be used as an effective substitute for the road test outlined below. While these courses do not replace the need to practice safe and responsible driving on your own, they can be an excellent way for New York drivers to get their motorcycle licenses without the stress of a road test.

New York DMV Motorcycle Test Details

Completing a New York DMV motorcycle test is a necessary measure if you wish to drive a motorcycle in the state. However, there are two different types of tests, which can be prepared for in different ways. You must be a resident of New York to register for these tests, as well as being at least 16 years of age or older.

Motorcycle Written Test

The New York motorcycle permit test is the first exam that you will need to complete in order to begin driving a motorcycle in the state. This test will require applicants to go to their nearest NY DMV office in person, and answer a series of knowledge questions based around simple rules of the road and motorcycle laws in New York. You can study for this test by using the DMV’s own Operator’s Manual online, as well as answering the DMV sample questions on their online portal.

Motorcycle Road Test

Then, if necessary, the New York motorcycle driving test can be a key part in getting your official license. This test can be scheduled and performed at a number of NY DMV locations across the state, and involves demonstrating your knowledge of how to operate a motorcycle in front of a trained instructor.

They will drive behind you as you turn, park, merge in traffic and more while being graded for your safety and accuracy. This test may be waived by taking a qualifying safety course through the NYSMSP, as long as you already have another class of driver’s license before applying for this license.

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in New York?

While a bike license can help New York drivers to legally operate a full motorcycle, it is actually not required to operate a scooter, moped or other “limited use vehicle with two or three wheels,” as defined by the DMV. Any vehicle that has a top speed of 30 miles per hour or less can be driven with any kind of license class, and you still must be at least 16 years of age to register one of these vehicles in New York. However, obtaining motorbike documents for these vehicles is not necessary, and you can drive them legally on the streets of New York with a standard license and by obeying the rules of the road.

New York Motorcycle License Costs

Your final NY motorcycle license cost will be based on a few different criteria, depending on what kind of document you are trying to get. These fees can include:

  • The license and permit application fee of $10.
  • The Class M/MJ license fee, which can scale from $68.75 to $97.50 depending on your age.
  • The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) fee for certain NY counties of $1 for every six months of license effect.
Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.