How to Get a Motorcycle License in New York
New York motorcycle driver’s license credentials are official documents issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that authorize the holder to legally operate a motorcycle on state roadways. Riders can apply for a license at a nearby NY DMV office if and when they meet the corresponding licensing requirements. The department issues both a stand-alone license and an endorsement added to existing driver’s licenses. Applicants under the age of 18 years old are only eligible for junior motorcycle licenses (Class MJ). Also, prior to applying for a license or endorsement, riders will be required to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit. To learn more about getting your motorcycle license in NY, continue reading the following sections.
Motorcycle License Requirements in New York
To complete the process of applying for motorcycle license credentials in New York, motorcyclists will be required to meet several eligibility requirements, which will vary based on factors such as their age and whether or not they already have another class of license. For example, riders who are under the age of 18 years old will have to hold a learner’s permit for a certain period of time before applying for their full license. The following list includes the common NY motorcycle license requirements that apply in most situations:
- Be at least 18 years of age for a standard M Class license or 16 years of age for a Class MJ license
- Hold a learner’s permit for a certain amount of time
- Complete a pre-licensing course or a driver education course if applying for a motorcycle-only license
- Prove that you have the skills and physical and mental fitness necessary to safely operate a motorcycle
- Prove your identity, state residency, lawful U.S. presence and Social Security status
Applicants for junior motorcycle licenses will be required to hold their permits for a period of six months before taking their road skills test. Minors will also be required to accrue 50 hours of supervised riding. Note that bike license applicants who are at least 17 years of age can apply for a senior full bike license in NY if they complete a driver education course.
When collecting the paperwork needed to get motorcycle license credentials, applicants must ensure they have the documents that apply for the type of license they are requesting. The state DMV issues standard enhanced and REAL ID credentials. For instance, riders obtaining an enhanced document that can be used to travel to and from neighboring countries will need a document proving they are U.S. citizens. For complete lists of the paperwork needed when applying for motorbike licenses in NY, contact the department.
Note: If you are replacing a motorcycle license from out-of-state, then you will only be required to pass the vision screening provided you hold a valid credential that has been valid for more than 6 months or has not been expired for longer than 12 months.
New York Motorcycle License Training Courses
Participating in a motorcycle-training course when getting a New York motorbike driving license is not a strict requirement that must be met by all applicants. However, when getting your motorbike license in NY, you have the option of qualifying for a road skills test waiver by completing a Motorcycle Safety Program (MSP) course. The state DMV does not accept motorcycle course certificates from another state.
Prior to taking the motorcycle license road test, riders may or may not be required to complete a pre-licensing course or a driver education course as well. Completion certificates for these courses are required when applying for a standard driving license. Therefore, if you already have another license to drive when applying for a motorcycle license in NY, you will not have to enroll in a preparatory driving course.
New York Motorcycle License Tests
Applicants for bike licenses in New York will be required to pass several DMV tests when applying for the privilege to ride their motorcycles. For purposes of determining whether or not an applicant is ready for an NY motorcycle license, the department will administer a vision screening, a written test and a road skills test. While the initial vision screening and written exam must be taken when applying for a DMV motorcycle permit, the road skills test is administered at a later date. The written test is designed to verify the applicant’s knowledge of road rules and regulations and safe riding practices. The road skills test, on the other hand, will check the applicant’s ability to safely operate his or her motorcycle in various riding situations. The rider must also take the test on a motorcycle that has been properly registered.
Note: Bike license applicants who already have another class of driving license and a motorbike permit can apply for a test waiver of their road skills test by completing an MSP rider’s course.
The New York Motorcycle License Application Process
To obtain a New York motorcycle drivers license or endorsement, riders will be required to complete several steps and make more than one visit to a nearby DMV office. The exact steps of the application process will vary depending on the specific circumstances. In most cases, drivers will be required to follow the steps below:
- Apply for a learners permit by visiting the DMV, passing the vision screening and the written test, submitting the identification documents and paying the application fee
- Complete a pre-licensing or a driver education course if applying for a motorcycle-only credential
- Prepare for taking the motorbike road test and schedule and take the test when eligible to do so
After passing the NY bike license road test, the examiner will issue you a temporary credential, which can be used until you receive your physical license by mail within 2 weeks. However, if you are applying for an endorsement instead of a stand-alone license, you will have to make another office visit to fill out the corresponding application form and surrender your temporary license, your permit and your existing driving license.
New York Motorcycle License Fees
When getting a motorcycle license in New York, motorcyclists will be required to arrange payment for the applicable motorcycle license cost. The total cost for a new license will include several smaller fees, such as application costs, document fees and license class fees. Also, if you live in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), then you will be required to pay an additional MCTD fee in the amount of $1 for every 6 months the license is valid.
The cost for a new license will also vary depending on your age and whether or not you are getting a stand-alone license or a motorbike endorsement. The total cost for an M Class license or MJ license will range from $21 to $120. To get an exact estimate of the NY motorcycle license costs that apply to your current circumstances, contact the department.
Note: If you are applying for an enhanced license, then you will be required to remit an additional fee payment of $30.