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How to Get a Motorcycle License

Channeling your inner _Easy Rider_? Here's how to get what you need to safely and legally hit the road.


  • Step 1: Get the handbook Study the Motorcycle Operator Manual and study guide, available online for most states, including Arizona, California, Texas, New York, Michigan, Georgia, Virginia, and Ohio.
  • Step 2: Obtain a permit Obtain a learner's permit by taking a written exam, vision test, and paying a small fee at your local license office. A permit is a restricted license that does not allow you to carry a passenger and carries other limitations, such as time of day.
  • TIP: Check with your local agency for age and training requirements needed for a permit.
  • Step 3: Consider school Consider taking an approved motorcycle rider safety course to obtain your motorcycle endorsement, the next step in obtaining your license. Most require you have proper gear, including a helmet, gloves, and over-the-ankle boots.
  • TIP: Completion of a safety course may be required to obtain a license if you're under 18.
  • Step 4: Schedule appointment Schedule an appointment at the DMV or driver's license agency when you're ready to take the motorcycle skills test. The on-cycle skill test is a road test that requires you to demonstrate basic vehicle control and crash-avoidance skills.
  • Step 5: Pass Pass the on-cycle test and you'll have your motorcycle license. Go get 'em, easy rider!
  • FACT: The U.S. military used Harley Davidson motorcycles in both world wars.

You Will Need

  • Motorcycle Operator Manual and study guide
  • Motorcycle learner's permit
  • Motorcycle safety course
  • Helmet
  • gloves
  • and over-the-ankle boots
  • On-cycle motorcycle skills test

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