Applying for a Wisconsin motorcycle license is necessary for all drivers who wish to operate a two-wheeled motor vehicle in the state. There are important steps to be taken in order to acquire a motorbike license, including providing the required documents, submitting the necessary proof of residency and paying the fees. But above all else, all riders must pass the mandatory tests before obtaining their license for motorcycle riding.

New riders in Wisconsin should understand the process of obtaining a motorcycle learners permit before applying for a license. The permit is often the first step toward learning how to ride, plus learning the safety guidelines of the road. It is important to understand the requirements and restrictions that a permit can offer in Wisconsin. To learn more about motorcycle testing in Wisconsin, continue reading below.

What is a Wisconsin motorcycle endorsement?

A motorcycle endorsement in Wisconsin is what is added to an existing driver’s license in order to document that a rider is eligible to legally drive a motorcycle. Meeting the eligibility requirements for an M endorsement are essentially the same as acquiring the license, itself. The endorsement for a motorcycle license allows a driver to operate a motorcycle, car or light truck.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin motorcycle permit is the first step in acquiring a full license. Applicants for a motorbike permit need to meet the minimum requirements outlined by the state in order to apply, which include:

  • Being at least 16 years of age.
  • Having a sponsor sign off on the permit (for applicants under the age of 18).
  • Completing a driver’s education course.
  • Showing proof of enrollment in or completion of a basic motorcycle rider course.

Wisconsin Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

A common question among new riders is, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do in Wisconsin?” The permit allows riders the chance to practice riding under certain rules and restrictions, in order to ease them into road life. Each motorbike permit has limitations, which are critical for every rider to follow if he or she wishes to be eligible for a full license. Wisconsin motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • All permit holders must wear proper helmet and eye protection.
  • All permit holders must be accompanied by a motorcycle license holders at all times after dark.

The Wisconsin permit for motorcycles is valid for six months, and can be renewed twice for an additional six months before applying for the full license.

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Wisconsin

Applicants seeking a motorcycle permit in Wisconsin will need to visit the local Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in order to apply. They must provide a current Wisconsin driver’s license, pass the knowledge test, take a standard vision test, complete a road signs test and pay the required motorcycle permit fees. As long as all the proper steps are completed, a permit will be issued.

Wisconsin Motorcycle License Requirements

After obtaining a permit, a rider can then apply for a full motorcycle license in Wisconsin. All applicants should meet the minimum requirements for eligibility, such as the motorcycle license age, which is 16 years of age. Receiving a permit is a critical component of applying for a full license. Once the permit is acquired, the only thing standing between a rider and a full license is the motorcycle skills test. All permit holders must schedule an appointment for a basic skills test with the Division of Motor Vehicles office, and bring the following:

  • A motorcycle
  • Approved helmet
  • Eye protection
  • The skills exam fee

Applicants that do not pass the motorcycle test the first time should not worry, as the option to retake the test is available. However, failing the skills test twice means that a rider will need to pass a Basic Rider Course before being eligible to apply again.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

For riders wondering where to get motorcycle license approval in Wisconsin, the answer is at the local Division of Motor Vehicles office. Once all the tests have been completed, a driver must visit the DMV, and bring a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, his or her motorcycle permit, proof that the skills test has been completed and payment of the motorcycle license fees. A motorbike license should be issued same day.

Getting a Wisconsin Motorcycle License as a New Resident

New residents to Wisconsin can transfer any out-of-state motorcycle license within 60 days of moving in order to avoid any additional fees. The process to transfer an out-of-state motorbike license is the same as transferring an out-of-state driver’s license, and can be done by visiting the DMV.

Required Motorcycle Classes in Wisconsin

One of the most important aspects of applying for a motorcycle license in Wisconsin is taking the necessary tests. There are a few different options for motorcycle testing that a driver can choose from. For instance, the Basic Rider Course is the most recommended choice by the DMV, and includes five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours on an actual bike. There are other courses available through third-party programs which offer the same level of testing, but may have higher fees.

Wisconsin DMV Motorcycle Test Details

There are three types of tests for a motorcycle license in Wisconsin: the written test, signs test and the road skills test. Each of these tests for a motorcycle license must be completed in order to officially receive licensure.

Motorcycle Written Test

The motorcycle written test in Wisconsin takes about 45 minutes, and will cover different areas, such as motorcycle safety and proper driving techniques.

Motorcycle Signs Test

The signs test for a motorcycle license in Wisconsin will cover the different road signs that a driver should learn.

Motorcycle Road Test

The motorcycle road test will cover basics in motorcycle operation, such as stopping, U-turning, curves and more. Passing the road test is the final step in achieving a license in Wisconsin.

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Wisconsin?

A driver in Wisconsin will not need a motorcycle license for a scooter if a motor scooter’s capacity is less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement (50cc).

Other Vehicles

Drivers operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) will not need to have a Wisconsin motorbike license.

Wisconsin Motorcycle License Costs

The motorcycle license cost in Wisconsin will range, depending on what type of license is being pursued. Most new riders wonder, “How much does it cost to get a motorcycle license?” While the most expensive aspect of applying for a license is the riding courses, the fees to actually apply for a license include the following:

  • Permit: $32
  • Skills exam fee: $15
  • Original motorcycle license: $22

Motorcycle license renewal: $18

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.