New York State Motorcycle License
Motorcycling isn’t just a cool means of getting from one place to another – it’s a challenging sport that requires skills honed by hours of practice. The state of New York requires all motorcycle riders to hold a motorcycle license. Unlike many states, the state of New York has a tiered motorcycle licensing program – in order to get a first-time motorcycle license, you must first get a motorcycle learner permit.
Learn To Ride – NY Motorcycle Learners Permit
First-time riders are required to get a Class M or Class MJ motorcycle learners permit. To do this, you’ll need to take a written motorcycle permit test at your local NY DMV office. (You can prepare for this test by studying the online NYS Motorcycle Operator’s Manual.) When you go to take the test, you’ll need to bring a completed Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44). If you already have your NY learners permit or drivers license, bring it as well; you’ll also need to bring proof of identity and age. When you pass the test, you’ll receive your Class M or Class MJ motorcycle learner permit.
While you’re learning how to ride with a motorcycle learner permit, you’ll need to stick to the following rules:
- You must be under the general supervision of a driver who is 21 years or age or older and has a valid motorcycle license from NYS or another state
- The motorcycle driver who supervises you must remain within 1/4 mile of you at all times
- You must obey the general restrictions for learner permit holders.
- If you have a Class MJ permit, you must obey the restrictions and requirements for drivers under age 18
Although the state of New York does not require new riders to take a formal motorcycle riding course, there are definitely advantages to doing so. The first, of course, is that you’ll receive a thorough education in motorcycle operation – and the skills you’ll learn can help you avoid serious injury and even save your life. The second reason is that when you complete an approved motorcycle riding course, the New York DMV will waive the road test you’ll need to take to get your full NY motorcycle license.
Get Your New York Motorcycle License
If you don’t have another class of New York drivers license, you’ll need to take an approved drivers ed course before you can schedule an appointment for your motorcycle road test. If you do hold a New York drivers license, you simply have to schedule your test, which you can do at the NY DMV Road Test Scheduling webpage. You will need to provide your own motorcycle, which must be in good working order, registered and inspected. (Keep in mind that motorcycle road tests may be subject to the weather, so make sure you check the forecast before scheduling!)
If you’re under the age of 18, you’ll be eligible to test for your full motorcycle license after holding your permit for a minimum of 6 months. If you’re over 18, there’s no set time period – but you’ll want to be sure you’re very comfortable at the handlebars. The New York DMV recommends a minimum of 30 hours of practice time – including 10 in moderate to heavy traffic – before you take the road test. Once you’ve passed, you’ll be able to fully explore the exciting world of motorcycle riding!