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  • Motorcycle License in Texas

    The first step in getting a Class M motorcycle license is to apply for an instruction permit. This will allow the new operator to ride a motorcycle while within sight of an accompanying licensed driver 21 years old or older. The minimum age for an instruction permit is 15 years old, and there are no exceptions to this rule.

    Getting a permit is essentially the same process as getting a license, minus the testing procedures. You need to show the same proofs of identity. No matter how old you are, you'll need to go in person to a driver license office to begin the application process.

    How to Apply (Age 18 and Over)

    • Provide proof of identity and verification that you're a U.S. citizen or have lawful presence.
    • Provide proofs of Texas residency.
    • Supply proof of your Social Security number.
    • Provide proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance, if you own your motorcycle.
    • Provide proof of completing a motorcycle safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
    • Have proof of registration and insurance on all motorcycles you own.
    • Complete the necessary application forms.
    • Pay the required fees.
    • Pass the written (road rules, signs, and motorcycle), driving (motorcycle operation), and vision examinations (if applicable).
    • The application must include a photograph and thumbprints.

    How to Apply (Under 18)

    Here's how to get a license to ride, all summed up in a useful checklist:

    • Be at least 15 years old. At this point, you will be restricted to 250 cc motorcycles. The good news is that when you turn 16 years old you can drop the restriction from the license.
    • Provide proof of identity and verification that you're a U.S. citizen or have lawful presence.
    • Supply proof of your Social Security number.
    • Present your driver education completion certificate (DE-964 Classroom).
    • Present a completion certificate for the motorcycle safety course. The school providing this course must be approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
    • Submit either a completed Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form, or a letter from your school administrator. If you opt for the letter, it must contain the same information as the VOE form.
    • Obtain a parental authorization signature. If you enrolled in a Parent Taught Driver Education course, your parent must accompany you and sign in the presence of a driver license official.
    • Proof of Texas motorcycle registration and liability insurance, if you own the motorcycle
    • Complete the required application forms.
    • Pay the required fees.
    • Pass the written and vision exams. How do you pass the written exams? We strongly recommend devouring the motorcycle manual.
    • Pass the on-road motorcycle riding test.
    • The application must include a photograph and thumbprints.

    For the road test, applicants for a motorcycle license must not only provide themselves and the motorcycles, but they must also provide a following vehicle and a licensed driver to operate it so that the examiner can ride as a passenger in the car during the testing. (It's hard to imagine an examiner trying to make notes on a clipboard while operating a motorcycle.)

    Getting Professional Training

    The State of Texas urges all potential motorcycle riders to receive professional training from state-approved instructors. They include training on avoiding obstacles, turning safely, and learning street strategies that could save your life in potentially gnarly traffic situations. For full information on these courses, contact the Texas Motorcycle Safety Unit.

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