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  • Motorcycle License in Tennessee

    Although motorcycles and mopeds seem worlds apart from four-wheeled vehicles, obtaining your motorcycle or moped license or endorsement is similar to obtaining your license or endorsements for other vehicles in Tennessee.

    License and Endorsement Requirements

    You can apply for all motorcycle licenses and endorsements at your local driver license station. The fee is $20.50 for a motorcycle-only license, and $38 for both a regular driver license and motorcycle endorsement.

    All applicants will need to provide the same documentation as required for regular driver's licenses, and those younger than 18 years old without a driver license must also provide a Minor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation Form and a proof of attendance from school.

    Types of Motorcycle Licenses in Tennessee

    Motorcycle Learner's Permit (Class P-M)

    The permit is valid for 1 year, and once you turn 16 years old you can upgrade the permit to a regular motorcycle license. To get a motorcycle learner's permit, you must be at least age 15 years old. While you have your learner's permit you must:

    • Operate a motorcycle with only a 650 cc cylinder or smaller
    • Operate only during daylight hours
    • Operate only within 20 miles of your home
    • Never carry passengers
    • Never use the interstate system

    Motorcycle Only (Class M)

    The license is allows you to operate any two or three-wheeled vehicle with a 125 cc or greater cylinder, and is valid for four years. You must:

    • Be at least 16 years old
    • Pass vision, written, and on-cycle skills tests

    Motorcycle-secondary (Class M)

    This endorsement is added to and will expire at the same time as another type of license, such as a regular Class D license. You must:

    • Already possess another type of operator license
    • Pass vision, written, and on-cycle skills tests

    Motor-driven Cycle (Class M Limited)

    You must:

    • Be at least age 15 years old
    • Operate only two or three-wheeled vehicles with no more than 125 cc cylinders
    • Operate only between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. (if 15 years old)
    • Operate only within 7 miles of your home (if 15 years old)
    • Comply with the restrictions set forth by the Examiner (if 16 or older)

    Testing

    Before you can obtain your motorcycle license, you must pass a knowledge test which will consist mostly of situational, multiple choice questions; and an on-cycle skill test to demonstrate your riding skills.

    Motorcycle Training Courses

    Riding a motorcycle offers a degree of freedom when you hit the open road, but that freedom comes with a price. The lack of metal protection that a car affords you means that you need to be even more careful as you straddle your bike and merge into traffic.

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides Motorcycle RiderCourses to help you learn to operate your motorcycle safely and sharpen your riding skills. The MSF offers a Basic RiderCourse (BRC) and an Experienced RiderCourse (ERC).

    For more information, visit Tennessee's Motorcycle Rider Education Program website.

    Additional Education

    The Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) offers the Tennessee Motorcycle Manual both online using the free Adobe Reader or at any driver license station.

    The manual provides everything you'll need to know, as well as a sample practice knowledge test and possible requirements during your on-cycle test.

    For registration information, visit our Motorcycle Registration section.

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