How Old Do You Have To Get A Motorcycle License?

motorcycle riding

The thrill and adrenaline rush of riding a motorcycle is unparalleled in this world. Especially if you are riding on an empty freeway, the fun of giving your throttle a twist increases exponentially.

But, just like in the case of all other vehicles, in order to experience the fun and the thrill of riding a motorcycle, you will first need a government-approved valid motorcycle license.

How Old Do You Have To Get A Motorcycle License?

The general guidelines in different places vary from the age range of 16 to 18. But in this article we are going to break down exactly what age you’ll need to be to get your licence in your state.

So, what is the eligible age for obtaining a motorcycle driving license and what are the other criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to get one?

Riders have to pass the motorcycle safety test and undertake a motorcycle safety course to get a motorcycle driver license. Get a motorcycle license easily, if you are 16 and above. Different US states share their motorcycle instruction permit to apply for a motorcycle license.

The motorcycle safety foundation conducts and evaluates motorcycle skills test and motorcycle knowledge test and offer driver education course to get a motorcycle permit. Motorcycle Riders below 21 years of age have to get a class M driver’s license and clear the basic rider course.

A valid driver’s license allows you to legally operate anywhere within a given jurisdiction. Knowledge tests and basic control skills test help riders to learn and practice better and get their proper license as well to ride a motorcycle ethically and safely.

Let’s discuss all those points in detail with the help of this article.

Requirements of getting a motorcycle driving license in the US

First of all, motorcycle driving licenses in the US are not issued by the Federal government itself, but the responsibility rests with the individual states and their local rules and regulations.

However, all States recognize each others’ licenses regarding the age-requirement factors of non-living residents. Therefore, the license issued in California is all legally valid for you to ride your bike in Florida.

Age Requirements

Age is the most crucial eligibility criterion when it comes to issuing a motorcycle driving license in all the states in the US.

If you are 16 years or older, then the good news for you is that you can ride a motorcycle in almost all the States in America. For riders whose age is below 18 years, they need to have a legal motorcycle permit that will give them the allowance to ride their motorcycle in the States.

In order to obtain the motorcycle riding permit, you need to fulfill a couple of requirements which are as follows:

  • Depending on the state you live in, you need to be at least 15 or 16 years of age
  • You will have to pass the Vision Screening Test
  • You will have to pass a written examination
  • Complete a course on Drivers’ Education (might not be needed if you already have a driving license)

So, the fundamental point is, if you are 16 years or older (depending on the state you live in) you are perfectly eligible for getting a motorcycle driving license.

Requirements in California

If you are 15 years and 6 months old, and a living resident of California, then before getting a motorcycle driving license, you will need an instruction permit.

In addition to that, you will also need to complete the Drivers’ Education course along with other necessary training courses to apply for riding a motorcycle legally. Even after that, the restriction on you will be that you cannot carry passengers in your back seat and you could only ride during the daylight.

If you are 17 years and 6 months old, you will only need an instruction permit but the restrictions of not carrying a passenger and not driving after the sun sets will still apply to you without any exception.

If you are under the age of 21 years, you will not be eligible for class M1 and M2 licenses until and unless you submit the proof of completing a certified motorcycle training program.

These are the rules of getting a motorcycle license in California.

How much does a Motorcycle Riding License Cost in the US?

The cost that you might need to pay for getting a motorcycle driving license in the US will vary depending on the States.

However, according to the laws of most States, if you are living in different places and holding a valid out-of-state motorcycle riding permit, then you will be exempt from taking any further written examinations or other tests. You will not be required to pay any fee either.

But, if you are applying for an original motorcycle driving license (first time), then the fees charged by different States might differ slightly. This variation primarily depends on the local laws of the State that you are applying for the license in, the age of the rider, and whether the rider is looking for a driving license or a motorcycle endorsement.

Keeping all those factors aside, in general, a motorcycle license in the US does not go beyond the mark of $50.

For the State of Texas

If we look at the cost of obtaining a motorcycle driving license in Texas, we will see that:

A Motorcycle Endorsement costs $16

A Motorcycle License under the age of 18 years costs $16

A Motorcycle License for riders above 18 years costs $18

Even in other States, the cost is quite affordable.


It is clear from the aforementioned discussion that getting a motorcycle driving license in the US does not involve any of the complexities and there are no redundant laws and procedures involved.

The eligibility criteria for applying for a motorcycle riding license are quite simple, all you need to fulfill is to be 16 years or older (depending on your State) and have already completed the Drivers’ Education course.

And before applying for one, make sure you keep all your documents ready including your birth certificate, high school diploma/equivalency degree, social security card, etc. because if required these proofs will be mandatory to present during submitting an application.

So, get a motorcycle driving license and kickstart your riding life!

About The Author

daniel and sarah on motorcycle

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