Motorcycle License in New York
If you want to ride a motorcycle in New York, you must first obtain a license. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, a New York State resident must have a Class M
or Class MJ
driver's license or learner permit to drive a motorcycle. To obtain a motorcycle license in New York, a state resident must first obtain a motorcycle learner permit.
Get a Class M or Class MJ License
Motorcycle riding is more than just a fun way to get around – it's a difficult sport that requires hours of practice. All motorcycle riders in New York are required to have a motorcycle license. Unlike many other states, New York has a tiered motorcycle licensing program, which means that you must first obtain a motorcycle learner permit before you can get your first motorcycle license. A Class M or Class MJ motorcycle learners permit is required for first-time riders.
Step 1: Apply For A Motorcycle Learner's Permit
According to the DMV, when practicing driving with a motorcycle learner permit, the individual must be supervised by a driver age 21 or older who has a valid motorcycle license from any state; the supervising motorcyclist driver must be within a quarter-mile of the applicant at all times; the applicant must obey the general restrictions for permit holders; and if the applicant has a Class MJ permit, they must follow the restrictions and requirements for drivers under age 18.
Step 2: Prepare For The Road Test
The next step is to get ready for the motorcycle road test. Before taking the test, the DMV recommends that the applicant have at least 30 hours of motorcycle riding experience. The DMV also suggests that the applicant have at least 10 hours of practice in medium to high volume traffic and consider taking the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course
or receiving instruction from a commercial driving school. According to the DMV, when practicing driving with a motorcycle learner permit, the individual must be supervised by a driver age 21 or older who has a valid motorcycle license from any state; the supervising motorcyclist driver must be within a quarter-mile of the applicant at all times; the applicant must obey the general restrictions for permit holders; and if the applicant has a Class MJ permit, they must follow the restrictions and requirements for drivers undeclared.
Step 3: Schedule the Road Test
According to the DMV, the third step is scheduling and taking a motorcycle test. Although New York does not require new riders to take a formal motorcycle riding course, there are numerous benefits to doing so. The first is that you'll get a thorough education in motorcycle operation – skills that can help you avoid serious injury and even save your life. If you complete an approved motorcycle riding course, the New York DMV will waive the road test required to obtain your full New York motorcycle license.
Step 4: Recieve Your NY Motorcycle License
The fourth and final step is to obtain your New York motorcycle license. According to the DMV, if the applicant already has another type of New York State driver's license, they will receive the motorcycle license with a photo about two weeks after passing the road test. Suppose the applicant does not have another type of New York State driver's license. In that case, they must wait at least seven days before applying for a motorcycle license at a DMV office, and certain paperwork must be completed. The DMV will issue a temporary license with a photo, and the applicant will receive the new license in the mail within two weeks.
Rules on Getting Your Motorcycle Learner's Permit
You must follow the following rules while learning to ride a motorcycle with a learner permit:
- It would be best to be under the general supervision of a driver who is at least 21 years old and has a valid motorcycle license from New York or another state.
- The motorcycle driver supervising you must always stay within 1/4 mile of you.
- It would be best to abode by the general restrictions for holders of a learner permit.
- You must follow the restrictions and requirements for drivers under 18 if you have a Class MJ permit.
Keep In Mind
If you are under the age of 18, you will be able to test for your full motorcycle license after having held your permit for at least 6 months. If you're over 18, there's no set time limit – but you should make sure you're very comfortable behind the handlebars. Before taking the road test, the New York DMV recommends a minimum of 30 hours of practice time, including 10 hours in moderate to heavy traffic. You'll be able to fully explore the exciting world of motorcycle riding once you've passed!