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Motorcycle License in New York

While sitting in New York traffic, do you envy motorcyclists who are able to quickly and easily weave through cars and get to their destination on time? Would you like that same sort of freedom?

If so, consider applying for a New York motorcycle license. Keep reading for more information on how to go about doing so.

New to New York?

If you recently moved to New York and already have your motorcycle license/endorsement from another U.S. state, you may be able to transfer it with the Department of Motor Vehicles fairly easily. For your out-of-state license/endorsement to be eligible for transfer, it must:

  • Show the following:
    • Your photo.
    • The date of issue—must be at least 6 months prior to your application date.
  • Be either valid, or expired within the last 24 months.
  • Is NOT:
    • Suspended or revoked.
    • Lost or stolen.
    • A hardship or “employment only" driver license.
    • Indicated as “non-renewable" or “non-transferable."

If you're eligible, you'll follow the same process as transferring your regular driver's license—head over to our New York licensing guide for details.

New York Motorcycle License Eligibility

The minimum age requirements for a NY motorcycle license are:

  • 16 years old: Limited, junior motorcycle license (Class MJ).
  • 17 years old: Standard motorcycle license with driver's education (Class M).

Holding a Class MJ license allows you to ride motorcycles under certain restrictions as outlined in New York's New Driver Program.

The NY Department of Motor Vehicles will upgrade your Class MJ license to a standard Class M license when you:

  • Are at least 17 years old and can provide the New York DMV with a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) from an accredited driver's education program. The form is not available online.
    OR
  • Turn 18 years old.

The steps to earning your full NY motorcycle license are as follows:

NY Motorcycle Permits

The first step to earning your New York motorcycle license is applying for a motorcycle learner permit.

Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office and:

The DMV will then issue you either a Class M or Class MJ motorcycle permit!

The validity of your motorcycle permit will vary, based on whether or not you already have a license in another class:

  • DO NOT have another class of license:
    • Valid for 5 years.
    • No renewals.
  • DO already have a license in another class:
    • Valid for 1 year.
    • Can be renewed once.

If you were issued a Class MJ learner's permit, you must hold your permit for at least 6 months before testing for your Class MJ license.

Permit Restrictions

Although you may be excited to get out on the New York roads and ride, you'll need to keep certain restrictions in mind.

While you practice riding with a NY motorcycle learner permit, you're prohibited from riding:

  • Without someone who's at least 21 years old and holds a valid motorcycle license.
  • Further than a 1/4 mile from the supervising adult at all times.
  • With passengers.
  • In certain areas of New York State.

Get Your NY Motorcycle License

The next steps to getting your official New York motorcycle license will differ depending on if you already have a NY driver's license in another class or not. If you already have a license, they'll also vary based on whether you've taken an MSF Basic Rider Course or not. Read on for details.

First-Time Licensees

If you don't already hold a New York driver license in another class, you will need to take the following steps in order to get your NY motorcycle license:

After passing the road test, the DMV will mail your official NY motorcycle license within about 2 weeks. Your motorcycle license will be valid for 8 years from the date of issuance.

Already-Licensed Applicants

If you already hold a NY driver's license, you'll need to pass the MSF Basic Rider Course or pass the DMV's road exam. You can schedule a motorcycle road test using the NY DMV's online road test appointment system. After you pass your road test, you'll receive a temporary license—don't lose this! You'll need it when you go to apply.

When you're ready, go to your local New York DMV office branch and provide:

The DMV will issue you an updated New York driver's license, which will include your new motorcycle endorsement. It should take about 2 weeks for the official license to reach you by mail. Your updated license will expire on the same day as your previous one.

Motorcycle Education in New York

Even though enrolling in motorcycle education isn't required to get your New York Class M or Class MJ license, taking a course can still be extremely helpful.

If you already have a NY license in another class taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course will waive the DMV's road test requirement.

If you aren't already licensed in New York and are required to take the NY Department of Motor Vehicles' road skills exam, a MSF course is the best way to prepare for your test.

Taking the beginning Basic Rider Course will teach you skills like:

  • Communicating and sharing the road with other drivers.
  • Making smooth stops and turns.
  • Finding the safest path for riding.
  • Dealing with emergency situations.

If you'd like to learn more about MSF classes in New York or are interested in enrolling, check out the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP) website.

NY Motorcycle License Fees

The fees associated with getting your NY motorcycle license will vary depending on:

  • Whether or not you already have a New York license in another class.
  • Where you live.
  • How old you are.

The fees listed below are estimates of how much you'll have to pay in total (i.e. application, regional, licensing fees) for your Class M or Class MJ New York license:

If you're between the ages of:

  • 16 and 16 1/2 years old: $85 to $95.
  • 16 1/2 and 17 years old: $81.25 to $90.25.
  • 17 and 17 1/2 years old: $97.50 to $107.50.
  • 17 1/2 and 18 years old: $93.75 to $102.75.
  • 18 and 18 1/2 years old: $85 to $95.
  • 18 1/2 and 21 years old: $81.25 to $95.
  • 21 years old and older: $68.75 to $82.50.

For full details on the NY motorcycle license fee assessments, visit the DMV's guide to licensing fees.

Forms

MV-44

Application for original OR replacement NY learner's permit, identification card, OR driver's license.

MV-285

Submit this form to the New York DMV after completing a Driver's Ed course (classroom AND behind-the-wheel education) to be eligible for an unrestricted license. Must be obtained from your Driver's Ed provider. Not available online.

Contact your local DMV

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