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    NC Motorcycle Manual
    Page Overview

    Verified As Of: 05/11/2015

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    Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date, accurate information about your state DMV's processes. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we've verified this information with your state DMV. When they change something, we do, too!
    SUMMARY: North Carolina Motorcycle Manual

    The North Carolina motorcycle manual provides all of the information you need to begin the motorcycle licensing process. You'll also find details about the tests required to get a motorcycle permit or license and NC road rules.

    Read below to learn more about the motorcycle manual in North Carolina.

    Using the NC Motorcycle Manual

    The North Carolina Motorcyclists' Handbook (REV 2007) is your guide to safe and legal motorcycle operation in the state.

    It gives you information on everything you need to know about riding a motorcycle, from safety equipment to handling hazardous situations.

    You'll also need to study the motorcycle manual to prepare for the tests you'll need to pass to get your motorcycle license from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    Before You Ride

    The North Carolina motorcycle manual covers key concepts that you'll need to know before getting on your bike, including:

    • Safety gear.
    • Understanding how motorcycles work.
    • Rider responsibilities.

    You'll also find information about the NC DMV tests you'll need to pass to get your motorcycle license.

    Motorcycle Operation

    Most of the NC motorcycle manual is dedicated to helping you operate your motorcycle safely and with caution. It covers basic motorcycle operation, such as controlling your bike and navigating intersections.

    You'll also find information about less common situations, such mechanical issues and riding in groups.

    Finally, you'll learn about the effects of alcohol, drugs, and fatigue on motorcycle riders.

    Motorcycle Licensing in North Carolina

    To be licensed to operate a motorcycle, you must apply for a motorcycle endorsement.

    The motorcycle endorsement can be added to your:

    • Regular NC driver's license.
    • Full provisional license.
    • Commercial driver's license (CDL).

    You can apply for a motorcycle learner's permit if you:

    • Have a full provisional license OR regular driver's license.
      AND
    • Are at least 16 years old AND younger than 18 years old.

    You must pass the required NC DMV tests to get your motorcycle license or permit.

    Tests for Motorcycle Licenses

    To get your North Carolina motorcycle license endorsement, you'll need to pass the following tests:

    • Written knowledge.
    • Road signs.
    • Riding skills.
    • Vision.

    NOTE: To get your motorcycle learner's permit, you'll take all tests EXCEPT for the skills test, which you'll take when you apply for your full license.

    Motorcycle Knowledge Test

    The knowledge exam tests your understanding of motorcycle operation practices and rules.

    You'll find all the information you need in the NC motorcycle manual.

    You can also take a DMV motorcycle practice test to help you prepare.

    Road Signs Test

    For the road signs test, you must identify and explain the meaning of road signs used in NC.

    Road signs are covered in the NC driver's manual.

    You can also take a free road signs practice test to get ready for the test.

    Riding Skills Test

    The skills test is taken on a motorcycle and allows a DMV examiner to see that you can safely operate a motorcycle on your own.

    You may be tested on your ability to:

    • Accelerate and brake.
    • Stop.
    • Turn quickly.
    • Choose a safe speed or route.

    The North Carolina motorcycle manual has more information about the skills test.

    Vision Test

    You'll take a vision test to ensure that your eyesight meets NC DMV requirements.

    You CAN use glasses or contacts during the vision test.

    Motorcycle Safety Courses

    Safety courses are offered to teach you how to safely operate your motorcycle and help you pass your NC DMV riding skills test.

    If you are younger than 18 years old, you MUST complete a safety course in order to get your motorcycle license endorsement.

    Courses are offered by the:

    • Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).
    • NC Motorcycle Safety Education Program.

    NOTE: Completing a safety course may also get you a discount on your motorcycle insurance.

    Learn more about available courses on the MSF website and the NC motorcycle safety program website.

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