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  • Motorcycle License in Colorado

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    Introduction

    Colorado does not issue separate motorcycle licenses―rather, they issue an endorsement to add to your existing CO driver’s license. There are two types of motorcycle endorsements in Colorado: An “M” endorsement allows you to ride any type of motorcycle, while a “3” endorsement allows you to ride three-wheeled motorcycles only.

    Note: While low-power scooters―defined as being self-propelled vehicles without a manual clutch―are not categorized as motorcycles, you are required to have a valid Colorado driver’s license to operate one. Learn more on our Colorado Scooters and Mopeds page.

    New to Colorado?

    If you have just moved to Colorado, you will need to trade in your out-of-state motorcycle permit or license for a Colorado version.

    Transferring an Out-of-State Permit

    If you currently have a motorcycle permit, visit your local CO DMV office with:

    NOTE: If you are a minor and hold an out-of-state motorcycle permit, you may be allowed to take the Colorado tests to get your motorcycle endorsement without first having to get a Colorado permit. If you are given this option and do not pass the test, you will then be given a Colorado motorcycle permit and will have to go through the standard Colorado graduated licensing process.

    Transferring an Out-of-State License

    To transfer your driver’s license, follow the same steps listed above for transferring a permit, including payment for the $23 license fee.

    Obtaining a Colorado Motorcycle Permit

    A permit is recommended for all Colorado motorcyclists, and required for all applicants under 18 years old. To obtain your permit, go to your local Colorado DMV office and:

    There are additional requirements for applicants under 18 years old:

    CO Motorcycle Permit Driving Restrictions (under 18)

    • You may only ride under the supervision of an adult 21 years or older who also holds a Colorado motorcycle-endorsed driver’s license.
    • If that adult is not your MOST instructor or your parent/guardian, they must have your parent/guardian’s permission.
    • If you are under 16 years old, you may only ride under the direct supervision of your MSF motorcycle instructor.

    Colorado Class “M” Motorcycle Endorsement

    In Colorado, you must be at least 16 years old before you can add the M endorsement to your CO driver’s license. If you’re under 18 years old, you must also have held a motorcycle instruction permit for 12 months.

    It’s also a good idea to study the Motorcycle Operator Handbook and take a practice test or two before going to the DMV.

    To apply for your motorcycle endorsement, visit your local Colorado DMV office and:

    • Pass the written exam (if you did not get a motorcycle permit) and vision test. If you do not already have a Colorado driver’s license, you will also need to pass the basic written test requirements and show proof of identity.
    • Pass the on-cycle driving test. You can do this either at the DMV, or beforehand with a certified third-party tester and bring your receipt to the DMV for your written exam. If you are taking your test at the DMV, schedule an appointment online.
    • Pay the $23 fee for a new license with the M endorsement ($37 for a CDL).

    NOTE: If you complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation training course, you are exempt from taking the written and driving exams at the DMV. Submit your MSF certification card, and pay the appropriate licensing fee for your new license.

    With your Class M endorsement, you may ride both a standard motorcycle and a three-wheeled motorcycle.

    CO Class “3” Motorcycle Endorsement

    Three-wheeled motorcycles (or trikes) are considered a separate class of motorcycles in Colorado. With a Class 3 endorsement, you may only ride a trike―not a standard two-wheeled motorcycle. A Class M endorsement allows you to ride either.

    The process and the fees for obtaining a permit and/or license for a Class 3 endorsement are the same as they are for Class M, with one noticeable difference: The Motorcycle Safety Course that allows you to skip taking the on-bike and written tests is replaced by a Sidecar/Trike Education Program (S/TEP). In other words, S/TEP is the three-wheeled motorcycle equivalent of an MSF course.

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