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Motorcycle Manual in New York

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SUMMARY: New York Motorcycle Manual

To legally ride a motorcycle in New York, you'll need to obtain a motorcycle license by passing written and skills tests. Reading the NY Motorcycle Manual can greatly increase your chances of passing your exam on the first attempt. Your motorcycle must be properly registered and insured, and it must pass a safety inspection every year. You must follow all motorcycle safety laws and road rules or risk being penalized.

Continue reading this page to learn more about riding a motorcycle in New York.

Apply for a Motorcycle License in NY

If you want to ride a motorcycle in New York, you'll need to first apply for a motorcycle learner's permit. Visit your local NY Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office with various items, including:

  • Proof of your identity.
  • Proof of your age.
  • Your NY driver's license or learner's permit, if applicable.
  • Payment for the $10 application fee.
  • Payment for the motorcycle license fee (varies).

You'll need to pass a written knowledge exam, which you can study for by reading the Motorcycle Manual. Once you pass the exam and receive your learner's permit, you can practice riding your motorcycle on public roads, under certain restrictions.

Need Help Studying For Your Motorcycle Exam?

Try taking a motorcycle practice test. It will help test your knowledge on NY motorcycle rules and traffic laws and get you ready for your DMV exam.

When you're confident when riding on the road, you will need to pass a driving exam to obtain your full motorcycle license.

For more information about restrictions and obtaining your NY Class M license, visit our Motorcycle License page.

NY DMV Motorcycle Tests

To obtain your NY motorcycle license, you'll need to pass both a written knowledge and skills test.

The written exam will test your knowledge of New York road rules, safe riding techniques, and other practices that can be found in the Motorcycle Manual.

The skills exam will test your ability to control your motorcycle in various situations. You will be asked to perform various maneuvers, including:

  • Stopping.
  • Turning.
  • Swerving.
  • Accelerating.
  • Adjusting speed and position within traffic.

Registration, Insurance, and Safety

Motorcycles must be registered with the NY DMV and be covered by liability insurance.

NOTE: While New York has minimum insurance requirements, you may wish to purchase additional coverage just in case.

You must also have your motorcycle safety inspected every 12 months. For more information, visit our Safety Inspections in New York page.

In addition to the above requirements, you must follow these safety rules when operating your motorcycle:

  • You and any passengers must wear an approved helmet.
  • You, as the operator, must wear approved eye protection, such as goggles or a face-shield.
  • Keep the headlight and taillight on at all times.
  • Only 2 motorcycles are allowed to ride next to each other in a single lane.
  • Do not ride next to another vehicle in the same lane (except for another motorcycle).

The Motorcycle Manual has additional information about safety equipment to wear when riding a motorcycle in New York.

NOTE: As a motorcycle rider, you must obey all other general rules of the road as well as any specific to motorcycles.

New York Motorcycle Equipment

To legally ride your motorcycle on public roads in New York, it must have the following working equipment:

  • Lights:
    • Headlight.
    • Taillight.
    • Brake light (stop lamp).
    • License plate lamp.
    • Rear red reflector.
    • Directional signals (some vehicles may be exempt).
  • Brakes (some models require brakes on both wheels).
  • Horn.
  • Rearview mirror.
  • Muffler.
  • Handlebars (should be no higher than your shoulder).
  • Proper seating.

For more information, read the NY Motorcycle Manual.

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