Want to have the best road trip in the Lone Star State using your motorcycle? Before you get too excited, it’s important to learn how to get a motorcycle license in Texas to ensure safety and avoid legal problems.
To secure a motorcycle license (Class M) in Texas, you must take an approved motorcycle safety course and pass the vision test, knowledge test, and motorcycle road test. If you already have a regular driver’s license, you only have to apply for a motorcycle endorsement.
Steps To Getting Your Texas Motorcycle License
If you’re a Texas resident and you have a driving license already, you just need a motorcycle endorsement to legally ride your motorcycle. This additional license proves that you’re eligible to drive a car and ride a motorcycle in Texas.
However, if you don’t have a valid driver’s license but want to ride a motorcycle in the state of Texas, you should complete a driver’s education course first.
Requirements for Riders Above 18
If you’re getting your Class M motorcycle license as an adult, you need the following:
- Proof of residency
- Proof of citizenship or identity
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- An accomplished application for Texas Driver’s License or ID Card
- Motorcycle registration
- Motorcycle insurance
- A certificate of completion for Texas Driver Education if you don’t have a Texas driver’s license
- A certificate of completion of a motorcycle safety course approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge test
- Pass the vision test
- Pass the motorcycle road test
Requirements for Riders Below 18
If you’re 15 years old, you can apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit. Once you’re 16 or 17, you can get your Class M endorsement. You must visit the driver’s licensing office in person and submit these requirements:
- Proof of identity or citizenship
- Proof of residence
- Social Security number
- Motorcycle registration and insurance
- Certificate of completion of a Motorcycle Safety Foundation and DPS-approved motorcycle safety course
- Enrollment verification from your high school
- Class C provisional license, a Driver Education form (DE-964) proving completion of 32 classroom hours or a completion certificate, or Class C learner permit and a DE-964 proving completion of 32-hour driver education course
- Provide a Parent Taught Driver Education form or PTDE-964 (if your parents taught you) to confirm 32 hours of Driver Education
- A guardian or parent who will sign and authorize
- A filled-out application for Texas Driver License or ID Card
- Pass the motorcycle knowledge test
- Pass the vision test
- Pass the road skills test (You only have to take this when applying for a motorcycle endorsement.)
If you’re 15 years of age, you will get an I Restriction. This means that you can’t ride a motorcycle with over 250 cubic centimeter piston displacement. After your 16th birthday, this restriction is lifted. If you get a J Restriction, a licensed experienced rider over 21 years old should supervise you.
Taking a DPS-Approved Motorcycle Safety Course
Finishing a DPS-approved motorcycle safety course allows new riders and motorcycle endorsement applicants to get a motorcycle license according to Texas law. Note that the Motorcycle Safety Course completion certificate is valid for 24 months only. Hence, secure your license within this period so you won’t have to repeat the course.
The course involves a 10-hour motorcycle skills training. It includes motorcycles’ basic controls. You will know to safely brake, turn, and serve. You can choose from a basic rider course, advanced rider course, or ultimate bike bonding rider course depending on your skills and needs. Upon finishing the safety course, you’ll obtain a Motorcycle Safety Course completion certificate.
Passing the Motorcycle Written Test
Motorcycle drivers need to pass the written knowledge exam and the vision exam too. If you’ve finished a state-approved motorcycle safety course after January 2015, you can skip these tests. However, if you’re below 18 years old, you should pass the written exam before you can apply for a motorcycle driver’s license.
The vision screening is a basic test to determine your fitness to drive. Meanwhile, the knowledge test includes the information that you learned during the motorcycle safety course. This includes traffic laws, safe driving practices, and road rules.
Passing the Motorcycle Road Test
The final step is to pass the road skills exam. You need to bring a motorcycle, a motor vehicle, and a licensed driver. Motorcycle riders below 18 are required to take the road test to secure a Texas motorcycle license. Those who are above 18 with an unrestricted motorcycle license from other states won’t have to take the test.
In the road exam, you’ll be tested on how you merge with traffic safely and then change lanes using arm signals. Then, you’ll have to follow all traffic signals and stick to the suggested speed limit. Remain calm and focused when accomplishing the road test.
How To Ride a Motorcycle Safely in Texas
Apart from learning how to get a motorcycle license in Texas, you should ensure a smooth and safe riding experience. Whether you’re a first-time owner or a motorcycle club member, follow the motorcycle laws in the Lone Star State like the following:
- When you’re on public roads, always turn on your headlight.
- Wear a DOT-approved helmet every time you drive a motorcycle.
- Lane splitting or riding between rows of parked vehicles is not allowed.
- Utilize turn signals when you turn or change lanes.
- Do not use handheld mobile devices when riding a motorcycle.
- Do not ride on sidewalks.
Before you can start exploring the beautiful views of Texas with your motorcycle, you need to obtain a Class M driver’s license. You should finish an approved motorcycle safety course and then pass the knowledge and vision test as well as the motorcycle road exam. If you have a valid Texas driver’s license already, you just need to get a motorcycle endorsement.
Once you have a Texas motorcycle license, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your ride. As a fellow motorcycle enthusiast, I wish you a safe and exciting riding experience!