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How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

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New York Motorcycle License

In order to drive a motorcycle legally in the state of New York, the driver in question must have a motorcycle license endorsement. It can either be a Class M motorcycle license or a Class MJ. However, before obtaining a motorcycle license, the driver has to apply for and get a learners permit.

Information Related to Motorcycle Licenses

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit

Aspiring motorists must visit a DMV office in person and complete the following:

  1. Study the NYS Motorcycle Operator's Manual in order to get ready for the written knowledge permit test. You can take the written exam several times until you pass if you fail the first time.If you would like to take the exam in another language aside from English, contact the DMV for further information.
  2. Fill out an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card
  3. Bring proof of ID - such as your passport or permanent resident card - and proof of age
  4. Bring documentation if you already have a standard driving permit or drivers license in New York
  5. Bring $10 application fee
  6. Be ready to take a vision screening exam, which will be conducted at the DMV office.

Military Members

Military personnel can obtain motorcycle licenses by taking a MSF Basic Rider course while they are on active duty, even if out of state. Doing so will allow you to skip the road exam.

Three-Wheel Motorcycle

If you wish to operate a three-wheel motorcycle, you will need to be at least 16 years old. You must have a motorcycle endorsement on your license and have your vehicle registered with the DMV.

How to Prepare for the Road Skills Exam

At least 30 hours of practice are recommended while you have the motorcycle learners permit, and it is crucial that some of that time is spent in medium-to-high traffic. Just make sure that you always:

  • Obey general learning permit restrictions.
  • Always remain under supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21.
  • Stay within a quarter mile of your supervisor while on the road.

After you have completed all of the necessary steps and taken a pre-licensing course or drivers ed, you will be able to go to the local DMV office and take your road skills exam. If you pass, you will receive a temporary Class M license until your permanent NY motorcycle drivers license arrives by mail. However, if you already had a New York driving license before, you will have to the DMV office and:

Keep in mind that all New York motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear a helmet at all times, along with protective eye gear.

Road Test Waiver

There are some instances in which you may qualify for a road test waiver. However, you must meet these eligibility requirements:

  • You must have a valid New York driving license
  • You must be at least 16
  • You must have a valid Class M or Class MJ driving permit
  • You must have completed a basic rider course that was issued by the Motorcycle Safety Program

Motorcycle License Renewal

Getting a motorcycle license renewed once it expires is crucial if you want to able to keep driving in the state of New York. Fortunately, even if you are currently out of state,you are given three options when it comes to doing so:

  • Online
  • In person
  • By mail

A motorcycle license will typically expire every five years on your birthday. You are given the chance to renew it up to a year before its expiration and are allowed to renew motorcycle license credentials two whole years after expiration without having to retake the written or driving tests.

In Person

Remember to bring the following if you decide on renewing motorcycle license credentials in person at a local New York Department of Motor Vehicles office:


You can renew your NY motorcycle driving license up to a year in advance if you choose to do so online. However, your drivers license cannot be suspended or revoked; you must be able to provide an MV-619 form to prove your visual health; and you must have this information on hand:

  • Social Security Number
  • Birthdate
  • Name
  • ZIP code
  • Client ID number and document number on your New York driving license
  • Email address
  • Credit card

By Mail

In order to renew your motorcycle license endorsement by mail, send your completed motorcycle endorsement application document, MV-619 form, payment, and clear copies of your proof of ID to:

DMV License Production Bureau
P.O. Box 2688-ESP
Albany, NY 12220-0668.        

How to Get a Motorcycle License Replacement

If something happens to your New York motorcycle driving license, you are required to file for a replacement. Even if you are currently out of state, the NY DMV gives you three ways to do that:

  • Filing online
  • Asking in person
  • Requesting by mail

Regardless of the method you choose, receiving the motorcycle license can take about four weeks.

In Person

Replacing motorcycle license documents can be done in person at a DMV office if you remember to bring:


Unless your motorcycle endorsement in New York has been revoked or suspended, you most likely have the option to replace your Class M license online. Just have the following information nearby:

  • Client ID number on your drivers license
  • Birthdate
  • Social Security Number
  • ZIP code
  • Email address
  • Credit card for $15 fee

By Mail

Replacing your lost or stolen motorcycle license in New York is very similar to the process you would go through in person. Just like the in-person requirements, you will have to provide:

You will send all of these documents to:

DMV License Production Bureau
P.O. Box 2688-ESP
Albany, NY 12220-0668.        

Motorcycle Insurance

While not all parts of the country require that motorists purchase motorcycle insurance, the state of New York does. In fact, New York, like many other states, has its own minimum amounts of coverage that every rider must purchase in order to be in compliance with state law. In New York, you must get motorcycle insurance for:

  • Bodily injury
  • Death
  • Property damage

In addition, if you are caught without the minimum amount of motorcycle coverage, you could end up dealing with:

  • Drivers license suspension.
  • Car registration suspension.
  • Fines.

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