Owning and riding a motorbike is a very exhilarating and liberating experience. For some, nothing beats the thrill of flying down a long strip of road on a two-wheeled vehicle. However, similar to driving a car, there are particular requirements that one needs to fulfill before he or she can legally drive a motorcycle down any road. Next to registering it with the state and paying for the necessary insurance, one should obtain the proper permits or license in order to ride the bike. Here are some of the general steps that you should follow in order to get your motorcycle permit.
- Find out if you are eligible to apply for a motorcycle permit. The requirements and eligibility for applying for a Class M Permit vary from state to state. Most states require that an individual be at least fifteen and a half years (15 ½) of age in order to qualify for application. If you already have a valid driver’s license, some states require that you add a motorcycle designation as well. Additionally, some states require that all applicants successfully accomplish a safety training course specifically for driving a motorcycle. Lastly, persons who have had their license taken away or suspended for any legal cause shall not be allowed to apply for a motorcycle permit.
- Prepare for the written and road skills test. Get a copy of the correct motorcycle handbook from any of your state’s licensing agency. Some local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) websites also offer online sample exams that you can study in order to prepare for the written exam. You can also download a copy of the Motorcycle Operators Manual (MOM) from said sites. The actual riding test involves exercises that test your ability in handling a motorcycle. This includes starting, braking, accelerating, swerving, and shifting. It is best that you ask a relative, friend, or teacher to assist you in preparing for this test. Remember that only individuals with a valid motorcycle license can help you ride with you during your practice runs.
- Take and pass the necessary exams. Go to any of the local licensing centers and obtain the correct forms for applying for a motorcycle permit. Do not forget to bring all the necessary documents and proof of identity with you to the testing center. Remember, if you are under eighteen (18) years of age, you must first secure a teenage affidavit or parental consent and bring with you your driver’s education completion certificate. Photocopies of the documents and identification cards will not be accepted. Pay for the application and then take the written knowledge exam. You will also have to undergo a vision screening. Make sure to bring a helmet with safety goggles or face shield and your motorcycle. The vehicle should have a valid inspection sticker and a legitimate license plate. If you pass all the tests, you will need to pay specific fees in order for you to claim your permit.
Most motorcycle permits are valid for a year, during which, you can apply for a motorcycle license. Permit holders are allowed to drive their motorcycle only during the day (from sunrise to dusk). They are not allowed to carry passengers besides a qualified instructor with a valid motorcycle license. You should have your motorcycle permit for at least half a year before you can qualify to apply for a motorcycle license. During this period, it is best that you study the appropriate motorcycle license manual and enroll in a safety program. Ask a relative or friend to help you prepare by conducting practice tests.