Obtaining a valid motorcycle license in Wisconsin is an important step before operating a motorbike within the state. Riders can apply for a motorcycle drivers license through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the state Department of Transportation (DOT). Before requesting a WI motorbike driving license, however, motorcyclists will have to apply for a learner’s permit. Applicants younger than 18 years of age will also have to meet additional licensing requirements. Riders can either apply for an endorsement added to a regular Class D passenger license or a standalone motorcycle-only license. Holders of a valid license can operate two or three-wheeled vehicles with speeds in excess of 30 mph. Wisconsin motorists can get more information on applying for license credentials and the current WI license cost by reading the following sections.

Motorcycle License Requirements in Wisconsin

The state DMV will process DMV motorcycle license requests only if the applicant fulfills the full set of eligibility criteria. The motorcycle license requirements will differ slightly depending on whether you are applying as an adult rider or as a minor younger than 18 years of age. The following list outlines the criteria that must be met to get a license in most licensing situations:

  • You are at least 16 years of age.
  • You are physically and mentally fit to safely ride a motorcycle.
  • You have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a bike.
  • You have parental sponsorship, if younger than 18 years of age.
  • You have completed a driver education course and a basic rider’s safety course, if younger than 18 years of age.

One of the more important bike license requirements in WI is submitting the necessary identification paperwork. Riders will need proof of legal U.S. presence, name and date of birth, identity, state residency and Social Security Number. Depending on your current citizenship status, you will be required to choose your paperwork from a different list of acceptable documents. Also, depending on whether you are applying for a REAL ID-compliant or a standard motorcycle drivers license, the required paperwork may vary. For the full set of acceptable documents for each of the above categories, contact the division.

New state residents applying for a WI motorbike driving license may or may not be required to pass the DMV-administered tests, depending on whether or not they are transferring a valid credential. Note that riders with out-of-state licenses will still be required to meet the state documentation requirements and surrender their invalid credential.

Wisconsin Motorcycle License Training Courses

Enrolling in a rider’s course when applying for a motorcycle license in Wisconsin is a requirement that must be met by riders younger than 18 years of age. However, even if senior motorcyclists are not required to enroll in a bike safety course to get motorcycle license documents, they can still do so to improve their existing skills and knowledge of the state motor vehicle laws. Graduates from a state-approved rider’s program may also qualify for a new WI bike license without taking the skills exam. For purposes of preparing for motorcycle licenses, the state DMV recommends enrolling in the Rider Courses designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Note that the MSF offers various types of courses for riders of motorcycles, scooters and three-wheeled motorcycles. Also, certain educational programs, such as the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC), are only restricted to holders of M Class license credentials. Beginner riders applying for their DMV permiton the other hand, must complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) program. Note that completing the BRC course is also a required step if you have held WI motorcycle permit documents on three separate occasions and if you have failed the skills test on two separate occasions.

Wisconsin Motorcycle License Tests

As part of the process to get a motorcycle license in Wisconsin, riders will be required to pass the DMV-administered licensing tests. Bike license applicants will have to take and pass several examinations designed to assess their physical and mental fitness and their knowledge of the road rules and regulations and safe riding practices. The initial tests administered when applying for a WI motorcycle learners permit are the knowledge exam, the sign test and the vision screening. If you do not hold a standard license to drive, you will also be required to pass the regular Class D knowledge exam. After receiving the bike permit, you can start preparing for the skills test, which will examine your competencies in safe motorcycle operation. To take the skills test, you will be required to make an appointment and arrive at the DMV customer service center with your own motorcycle.

Note: Riders who have successfully completed the BRC course can submit the MV3575 waiver authorization form to the state DMV to earn a test waiver for their skills exam.

The Wisconsin Motorcycle License Application Process

Applying for a motorbike license in Wisconsin is a process comprised of several steps and applicants will be required to make more than one office visit to obtain their full bike license. Requesting a WI motorcycle learners permit is the first step when getting a new bike endorsement or standalone credential. Riders can get their bike permit by passing the initial DMV tests, submitting the necessary paperwork and paying the applicable fee. Note that minor riders will also have to submit a parental sponsorship document and proof of enrollment in a rider’s safety course. After practicing riding your motorcycle with the permit, you can schedule and take the on-cycle skills test. You can apply for your license once you pass the practical skills exam or complete an approved rider’s course. During your final office visit, you will be required to submit the test waiver or proof of a passed skills test, your motorcycle permit, the fee payment and any other required paperwork. Until you receive your license by mail within two weeks, you can utilize the 45-day temporary photo license issued when the state DMV receives your final paperwork. Although you cannot apply for a license online, you can use the website to review necessary documentation or learn about driving courses.

Wisconsin Motorcycle License Fees

Arranging payment for the Wisconsin motorcycle license cost is an important step when getting your motorcycle license. However, before paying the fee for a new license, you must obtain a DMV motorcycle permit at the cost of $32. The maximum fee for an original license amounts up to $22, since it is prorated on the remaining validity of the existing driver’s license. Riders who are applying for a motorcycle-only license will be required to pay the full amount. You must renew your license when you renew a driver’s license, you will be required to pay the cost of $18. Additional fees may also apply when getting your license. For instance, you will have to arrange payment for a $15 fee to take the skills exam. For additional information on the WI license costs, contact the division.

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