How to Renew a Motorcycle License
You need to complete a motorcycle license renewal before your current license expires. It is important to ensure your motorcycle license or driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement is current and active. If you drive a vehicle or operate a motorcycle with an expired license, you are breaking the law. Depending on your state’s laws about driving with an expired license, you may face legal consequences for doing so, such as fines or a license suspension.
Your state’s motor vehicle department may allow you to renew a motorcycle license using different methods. In some cases, you may be able to conveniently complete the renewal process online, by phone or by mail. However, there may be circumstances that require you to renew your license in person at a local office.
When to Renew a Motorcycle License
It is important to know the expiration date of your license before renewing motorcycle license credentials. You are responsible for completing the renewal process before your driving and riding privileges expire. To learn the expiration date of your motorcycle license or driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement, study the license itself.
The length of time your license is active can vary depending on the state you live in. For example, in South Dakota, you have five years before you must renew your motorbike license. However, in Texas, your driver’s license is valid for six years before you must complete a renewal. In most cases, your license will expire on your birthdate or birth month. Your expiration date may also vary depending on the type of license you have and your age.
It is important to renew a bike license before the expiration date because it is illegal to drive or ride with an expired license. However, in some states, you have a grace period to complete the renewal. Within this grace period, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle or operate a motorcycle, but you can still renew your license without having to re-apply. Review your state’s guidelines on this grace period to ensure you are not required to complete the application process for a new driver’s license.
Eligibility for Motorcycle License Renewal
Motorcycle renewal requirements may also vary by state but generally, your license must be in good standing to be eligible for a renewal. You must also be physically and mentally fit enough to operate a motorcycle and drive a motor vehicle.
To be eligible to renew a motorcycle endorsement, you may also be required to prove you are a U.S. citizen and resident of the state. Your state’s motor vehicle department may also have eligibility requirements regarding your age or unpaid traffic tickets on your record. You must be able to provide documentation as requested by the department to renew your license.
In some cases, the only documents required to renew a motorcycle license may be a renewal application and your current driver’s license. However, some states may require additional documentation, which may include:
- Proof of residency.
- S. citizenship or lawful presence documents.
- Proof of your Social Security Number.
Most departments require you to provide original documents or certified copies, as requested. You may also be asked to provide a medical certification or vision exam if you have certain medical conditions.
Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Motorcycle License
You may not meet your state’s motorcycle renewal requirements if your license is already expired for a period of time or if it is revoked or suspended. Additionally, you may not qualify to renew if you attempt to complete the process too early. Your state’s motor vehicle department may have a specific timeframe in which you can file for a license renewal. If you attempt to renew outside of this time frame, you may be denied.
There may be other instances when you cannot complete a motorbike license renewal. For example, in South Dakota, your renewal request will be denied if you have child support arrearages of $1,000 or more. If you have unpaid traffic tickets or unpaid transactions with your state’s motor vehicle department, your request to renew may also be denied.
How to Renew a Motorcycle License Online
You may question “Can I renew my motorcycle license online?” since this is a convenient and fast way to complete the process. Keep in mind that only some states offer online renewal systems. If your state’s motor vehicle department does have an online system, you must meet all eligibility guidelines to be able to renew online.
For example, in Virginia, you can only renew your motorcycle license online if you renewed in person the last time. You also must meet other specific eligibility criteria to renew online in Virginia. You must:
- Be between 18 and 74 years of age.
- Not be currently under medical review.
- Not need to take any exams.
- Have already verified your legal presence and Social Security Number.
If you qualify to renew online, your state’s motor vehicle department should inform you. In many cases, you will need to create an account with the online renewal system and provide a PIN, which is given to you by the department. Before attempting to renew online, you should gather the documentation and acceptable payment that the system will need to complete the process.
How to Renew a Motorcycle License by Mail
To complete a motorcycle license renewal by mail, you may need to send in a renewal application. This application is usually sent to you along with your renewal notification by your state’s motor vehicle department before your license is set to expire. If you do not receive this application in the mail, you should confirm that you are eligible to renew your license by mail. In some cases, you may be required to visit an office in person, especially if you renewed online or by mail last time.
If you meet the eligibility guidelines to renew a motorcycle license by mail, keep in mind you are responsible for mailing in an acceptable payment method for the renewal fee. Before mailing your application, make sure the department does not need additional documentation from you, such as a completed vision exam.
How to Renew a Motorcycle License in Person
You can usually find information on where to renew motorcycle license credentials on your state’s motor vehicle department website. When you locate a DMV office near you, take the time to review the office’s:
- Hours of operation.
- Services offered.
- Payment methods accepted.
- Appointment options.
In most cases, when you visit an office to renew a motorcycle endorsement, you will be asked to:
- Have a photo taken.
- Complete the vision exam.
- Turn in a completed renewal application.
- Pay your renewal fees.
Upon completion of the in-person renewal process, you may be provided with your renewal driver’s license during your visit or it may be mailed to you in the coming weeks.
If you are upgrading to an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Real ID-compliant license, you may be required to provide additional identification and citizenship documentation. You should review your state’s documentation guidelines before visiting the office.
How to Renew a Motorcycle License by Phone
Your state’s motor vehicle department may allow you to renew a bike license by phone if you meet the eligibility requirements for this procedure. In most cases, you must have renewed your license in person last time to qualify. If you need to turn in legal presence or residency documents, you may not be eligible to complete the renewal by phone.
If you qualify to renew a motorbike license by phone, gather the documentation and payment that will be needed before calling. You may need information on your current driver’s license and the department may only be able to accept a credit or debit card payment by phone.
How to Renew a Motorcycle Permit
You may need to renew a motorcycle permit if you have not completed the educational or testing requirements to earn your endorsement or motorcycle license yet. If you need more time to complete these requirements, you should check with your state’s motor vehicle department to see if it offers a motorcycle permit renewal and to learn how to complete the renewal process.
The number of times you are permitted to renew a motorbike permit varies by state, as does the length of the renewal. For example, in Vermont, you can renew your permit for 120 days and you are permitted to renew these credentials only twice. If you still have not completed the requirements to earn your motorcycle license after the second renewal, you must wait 12 months before you can apply for a new permit again.
Motorcycle License Renewal Costs
The motorcycle license renewal fee that you are responsible for paying may depend on how long you are renewing your license for, your age and the type of license you are renewing. If your state offers a motorcycle-only license and you do not drive motor vehicles at all, your renewal fees may be lower than if you are applying for a renewal for a license with a motorcycle endorsement.
If you are wondering “How much does it cost to renew a motorcycle license?” keep in mind you may need to pay an additional motorcycle endorsement renewal fee with your license renewal fee. Some states allow you to choose how long you want to renew your license while other states may only allow you one renewal duration option. You may also be charged additional fees if you attempt to renew your license after it has expired.
Motorcycle License Renewal Forms
When you are attempting to renew a motorcycle permit, endorsement or license, you may be responsible for completing and submitting certain forms. These forms may vary, depending on what your state’s motor vehicle department requires.
For example, in Washington DC, you may be required to submit a:
- DC Driver’s License Application
- Proof of Residency Form
- Social Security Number Declaration
- Medical Eye Report
However, to renew your motorbike license in Wisconsin, you may need to turn in:
- Wisconsin Driver’s License Application
- Certificate of Vision Examination
- Medical Examination Report
- Driver Handbooks and Forms from WisconsinDOT.gov
- Renew or Replace a Motorcycle Endorsement from DC.gov