The Centennial State, Colorado, is home to arid deserts, great plains, canyons, and the Rocky Mountains. Naturally, the state has a lot to offer for travelers, especially motorcycle riders.
In Colorado, you need a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to ride a motorbike legally.
The state of Colorado does not have a separate motorcycle license. Instead, it has a motorcycle endorsement.
To get a motorcycle endorsement, you must pass a written exam as well as a motorcycle driving skills test. The other way is to complete a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course.
Please note you must have a valid Colorado driver’s license before you apply for an endorsement.
Applying for a motorcycle endorsement in Colorado
You must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid Colorado license to apply for an endorsement. You can get an instructional permit at the age of 15. But you can only ride under the direct supervision of your MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) instructor.
You can add a motorcycle endorsement to your valid driver’s license at a driver’s license office. Make an appointment first before going in. You cannot do this by mail, online, or over the phone.
Colorado has two types of endorsements that allow you to drive a motorcycle.
- Class M – This allows you to drive two- and three-wheel motorcycles.
- Class 3 – This will enable you to only drive three-wheel motorcycles.
There are two ways you can add the endorsement.
Pass a written test and motorcycle driving skill test.
The first way to get an endorsement on your license is to apply and sit for the motorcycle written exam. You can even sit for the exam online.
You must submit proof of identity, age, and residency to apply for a permit. See the list of documents you can use here. An instruction permit currently costs $18.52.
Once you pass the exam, you will get a motorcycle instruction permit. Permits are recommended but not mandatory for those above 18 years.
Once you pass, pay the $30.87 fee for a new license and $2 for the motorcycle endorsement. You will get a temporary license valid for 30 days while the DMV mails you your permanent one.
Check the State of Colorado DMV Fees for current fees. You can pay the license fee by cash, check, or credit card.
By completing a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course
You can also get a Colorado motorcycle endorsement by completing a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course. If you complete a MOST course, you don’t have to pass a written exam or motorcycle skills test at the DMV.
MOST offers three types of courses.
- Basic Rider Course (BRC). This is a two-day motorcycle safety course for new riders.
- Experienced Riders Course. This is a one-day course for riders who already have basic skills.
- Three Wheel Course. This is a two-day licensing course for those interested in driving three-wheeled motorcycles.
Once you pass your chosen course, you will get a completion certificate or license waiver card. When you have this, make an appointment to go into the local DMV office along with a valid license. The certificate will allow you to buy a new driver’s license and add a Class M endorsement.
Note: Colorado does not accept out-of-state Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) cards. It makes an exception only for those acquired on a military base (must have a valid military ID).
Class 3 endorsement for a three-wheeled motorcycle
Motorcycles with 3 wheels (trikes) are considered a separate class of motorcycles in Colorado.
You can ride both a two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorbike with a class M endorsement. But if it’s only a trike you are interested in, then you can get a Class 3 endorsement (which is only for trikes).
The process and the fees for a Class 3 endorsement are the same as they are for a Class M.
What if you are under 18 years old?
Colorado law allows motorcycle operators above 16 years to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. But if you are under 18, there are some additional requirements.
- You must purchase and hold a valid motorcycle permit for 12 months. Only after that can you apply for a motorcycle endorsement to add to your license.
- You must submit an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (Form DR 2460). A parent or guardian has to sign it.
- Applicants between 15 and 16 years of age must also complete a MOST course. You must show proof of completion to the DMV.
If you are under 18 years, you can also only ride under the supervision of an adult who is 21 years old or older. The adult must also hold a Colorado license with a motorcycle endorsement.
License validity and renewal
The validity of a Colorado license is 5 years. You can renew online, by mail, or in person, depending on various factors. The DMV should mail you your new license within the next 30 days. If you have not received it after 30 days, contact the DMV office where you applied for it. Or call +1-303-205-5948.
Do you need a motorcycle endorsement to drive a scooter?
Colorado does not consider mopeds and scooters that have engine capacities of 50cc and below to be motorcycles. So you can drive them without a motorcycle endorsement. But you do need a valid driver’s license.
Do you need motorcycle insurance in Colorado?
Yes. You must show proof of motorcycle insurance in Colorado before registering your bike. You must have insurance that provides minimum motorcycle liability coverage as per the following:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury.
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
Unlike many other states (like California) that have separate motorcycle licenses, Colorado does not. What it has are two types of motorcycle endorsements – Class M and Class 3. Class M is for both two and three-wheelers, while Class 3 is only for trikes.
To get an endorsement, you must have a valid Colorado driver’s license. You can get an endorsement in two days. One way is to pass a written test and a road test. The other way is to complete a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course.