If you want to drive a motorcycle or scooter and are a resident of Texas, you'll need a Class M license. If you already have a Texas driver's license, you'll just apply for a motorcycle endorsement. If you want only a motorcycle license, you must take a driver's education course.
1. Take a DPS-approved Safety Course
The Texas Department of Safety (DPS) requires you to complete an approved motorcycle safety class. Your certificate of completion is good for 24 months. The motorcycles skills class covers the motorcycle's basic controls. You'll learn how to safely brake, corner, and swerve, as well. The approved course includes up to ten hours of motorcycle skills training with students driving. Once you finish the course, you'll receive a Motorcycle Safety Course (MSB-8 or MSB-8R) completion certificate. Keep this, as you'll need it for your Texas motorcycle license application.
2. Gather Documents Required by DPS for a Texas Motorcycle License
If You're a Minor
If you are between the ages of 15 and 17, you'll need proof of your identity and citizenship. Bring your Social Security card, motorcycle registration, and motorcycle insurance.
Texas also requires young motorcycle drivers to prove that they are attending high school and are passing their classes. You can get a Texas Verification of Enrollment Form (VOE) from your high school or GED administrator.
You'll also need a provisional license or learner permit and form DE-964. This proves you completed 32 hours of classroom work in driver's ed. Drivers under the age of 18 who had a motorcycle license in another state still must complete driver's ed in Texas before they can get a Texas license.
Motorcycle drivers under the age of 16 can drive a bike with a maximum of 250 ccs. This restriction automatically lifts on the driver's 16th birthday.
If You're Over 18
Motorcyclists over the age of 18 need to bring proof of identity and citizenship. Texas also requires a Social Security number and proof of residency. Finally, you'll need proof of motorcycle insurance or your motorcycle registration.
If you don't have a driver's license, you'll need to bring proof that you completed the classroom part of driver's ed instruction.
3. Texas Motorcycle Written Test
Texas requires vision and knowledge tests for motorcyclists. Or, you can provide a certificate showing you've completed a motorcycle safety course since January 2015. Applicants under the age of 18 must pass a written test to get their motorcycle license.
4. Take the Texas Motorcycle Road Test
The Texas motorcycle road test requires you to bring a motor vehicle, a motorcycle, and a licensed driver. Cyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. During the motorcycle road test, your driver will follow in the car.
If you are under the age of 18, you must complete a road test to get a motorcycle license in Texas.
The motorcycle road test is waived in Texas for cyclists over the age of 18 who have an unrestricted motorcycle license in another state or Canada.
Practicing your riding skills will help you pass the road test. Here are some important driving skills included on the road test:
Safely changing lanes using arm signals
Merging with traffic
Obeying all traffic signs
Staying under the posted speed limit
"Attend a motorcycle safety school where you can practice controlling the weight of your body and bike through a series of emergency scenarios," recommends Liam Ridings of Sparesbox. "You won’t be able to predict when you’ll need to use your newfound skills, but at least you’ll know how your bike and your body needs to maneuver to keep you safe."
Get Your Texas Motorcycle License Today
Your Texas motorcycle license costs between $8 and $33. While the written test isn't difficult, some questions can be tricky. You can practice taking sample motorcycle license tests and motorcycle permit tests at I Drive Safely.