How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in Pennsylvania
With a motorcycle license, Pennsylvania drivers will be able to safely and legally drive their preferred vehicles on the state’s roads. A motorcycle is a wonderful vessel for experiencing the great outdoors, and everything that PA has to offer. However, it can also be a dangerous kind of vehicle to operate, if done incorrectly. You will need a special license in order to prove that you are responsible and aware of how to operate these vehicles in Pennsylvania.
Thus, a PA motorbike license can be obtained from the state’s Department of Transportation, and more specifically from their Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). This organization can teach residents of the state quite a bit about motorcycle driving before they need to take their tests, but a safety and education course can also be a great tool for Pennsylvanians. This article will cover all of the necessary motorcycle document information in PA, and let you know how you can get the information that you need.
Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania motorcycle permit age is 16 years of age, meaning that residents of the state who are younger than this may not receive their driving documents from the PA DVS. Additionally, obtaining a permit is a requirement for all Pennsylvania drivers, regardless of their age.
This means that the DVS knowledge test is also required prior to getting your permit and that prospective motorcyclists in the state of Pennsylvania will need to study all of this information diligently in order to get the motorcycle documents that they want.
Obtaining a Pennsylvania motorcycle permit can be done by passing the aforementioned knowledge test, and by submitting all of the proper documents to the PA DVS. The necessary information will be compiled within your DL-5 application form, and can include your:
- Name, date of birth, phone number, email address and drivers license number.
- Valid Pennsylvania driver’s license number and Social Security Number.
- Information on any relevant name changes that have occurred.
- A notary signature and parent or guardian approval, if you are younger than 18 years of age.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions
If you are wondering, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do in Pennsylvania?” then you will first need to learn about what actions are restricted by the PA DVS. Because permits are designed to serve as an introduction to driving a motorcycle, Pennsylvania riders will need to keep the following restrictions in mind while they are preparing for their full, unrestricted licenses:
- Permit holders can only operate a motorcycle between sunrise and sunset, due to the difficulties of driving at night
- Besides instructors, permit holders cannot carry passengers on their motorcycle
- Unless they have an existing unrestricted PA driver’s license, permit holders must ride under supervision of a licensed motorcycle driver in the state.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Pennsylvania
The process of getting a PA motorcycle learners permit is not terribly difficult, as long as you can meet all of the requirements above. Simply put, you will need to compile all of your documentation along with an application form from the PA DVS and the appropriate permit fee, and submit it to your nearest DVS location. There, you will be required to take the knowledge and vision exams, which will determine whether or not you may be given your permit.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Requirements
It is important to consider your PA motorcycle license age once you have gotten your permit through the DVS. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you will need to hold your permit for six months, have 65 hours of supervised driving practice and complete a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course before you are able to take your skills test through the PA DVS. While these same rules do not necessarily apply to an applicant who is older than 18, it is still highly recommended that you complete the Basic Rider Course in order to potentially cut down on the number of tests that you will need.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in Pennsylvania
Understanding where to get a motorcycle license in Pennsylvania should be a simple endeavor, as there are two main options for you to consider. First, you may choose to go through the PA DVS, and take their road test after obtaining your learners permit. This is a common choice, and simply requires a passing grade on your skills examination in order to qualify you for a license.
Alternatively, you can also get a PA motorcycle driving license by taking a Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course, which will provide you with new documents upon graduation from the program. Both methods will work just as well, and you will receive your new license in the mail for immediate use in driving a motorcycle anywhere across Pennsylvania.
Getting a Pennsylvania Motorcycle License as a New Resident
A new PA bike license is also possible to obtain if you are not a native resident of the state, but are instead moving from another state with your old license. You have within 60 days of moving to a Pennsylvania residency in order to obtain your new license, which can be done by giving up your out-of-state license, taking a vision screening and submitting all of the required licensing documentation that has been previously outlined. Then, while you wait for the DVS to send you a new PA license, you will receive a temporary license that can be used to drive a motorcycle in Pennsylvania.
Required Motorcycle Classes in Pennsylvania
With Pennsylvania motorcycle classes, you can learn more about the often-challenging process of driving a motorcycle while also actively working towards your new license or permit. There are many different options that you can choose from as a PA resident to get your training, but the service that is sponsored by the PA DVS is the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course.
This interactive course is given for free all across the state of Pennsylvania, and provides students with a motorcycle to use while practicing basic driving maneuvers. This program is required for PA residents who are younger than 18 years of age, but it can be helpful for anyone who would like to potentially have their final DVS skills test waived.
By completing this Pennsylvania motorcycle safety course, you can be introduced to many different topics that will be increasingly relevant once you are free to ride in the state. Some of the most important and useful themes of this course are conquering the fear of riding, learning the basics of motorcycle maneuvering, learning how to avoid accidents and more. At the end of your 16-hour course, you will be able to take a quick driving skills evaluation to see whether or not you will be able to waive the DVS skills test.
Pennsylvania DMV Motorcycle Test Details
Completing a DMV motorcycle test in Pennsylvania is a necessary evil for many drivers across the state, but it does not have to be as painful as it may sound. In fact, many of these tests are directly inspired by the state’s Motorcycle Operator’s Manual, which can be studied prior to the test. In addition, you may be able to waive some of these tests, depending on your qualifications.
Motorcycle Knowledge Test
Your Pennsylvania motorcycle knowledge test is made up of multiple-choice questions, which are all based on the safety and instructional information from the DVS Operator’s Manual. As an added bonus to reviewing this manual, there is actually an 84-question practice test at the end, which covers such diverse topics as what to do with a flat tire, how to safely drive at night, how to make a proper turn and more.
Motorcycle Skills Test
With the PA motorcycle skills test, on the other hand, you have a few more options as a permit-holding motorcycle driver in the state. If you choose to take the DVS test, you will be assigned a driving examiner, who will grade your driving based on watching you perform a number of maneuvers. This can include parking, merging in traffic, avoiding cones, braking and more. Alternatively, the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course can be taken in place of this exam, if you would prefer to be tested in a more curriculum-based setting.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Pennsylvania?
A Pennsylvania DMV motorcycle license is useful for many reasons, but you will not need one in order to operate a moped in the state. These vehicles are two or three-wheeled devices that cannot go higher than 25 miles per hour, and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of standard Class C licenses through the PA DVS.
These vehicles also do not require helmets in Pennsylvania, although safety gear is always recommended. There are also other similar vehicles in the state, such as motorized scooters, which have engines with higher CC values, and therefore require a Class M certification in a similar manner to motorcycles in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Costs
Paying your full motorcycle license cost to the Pennsylvania DVS will require fully understanding what is owed upon receiving your driving documents. Since driving is a privilege for residents all across the state, you should prepare for the following costs in order to maintain those privileges:
- The initial permit and four-year license fee of $45
- The initial Class M permit and four-year license fee of $50.50
- The duplicate license fee of $34.50
If you are 65 or older, you may also be able to get a two-year license for $10 cheaper than the traditional four-year document. There are also reduced fees if you are a new resident of Pennsylvania with a license from another state, with a base fee of $35.50.
Pennsylvania Motorbike License Forms
- Application for a Motorcycle Learner's Permit
- Report of Eye Examination
- REAL ID Pre-Verification Form
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Motorcycle License from PA.gov
- Payments and Fees from PA.gov
- Motorcycle Permit Process Frequently Asked Questions from PA.gov