Motorcycle License in Utah
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If you were born to be wild, you still need proper training and testing to be licensed to ride a motorcycle in the state of Utah. Motorcycles are inexpensive to operate and fun to drive, but for you, the vulnerable rider, they are more dangerous than cars and require different skills and knowledge to operate safely in traffic.
You must receive a special license from the Utah Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division (DLD) to legally ride a motorcycle. If you already have a Class D driver license for regular passenger vehicles, you will need only a motorcycle (M) endorsement.
Rules are now in place that require motorcycle riders to be restricted to riding a motorcycle based on the cc size of the motorcycle they are tested on. The three restrictions are:
- O = 90 cc or lower motorcycle
- 2 = 249 cc or lower motorcycle
- 3 = 649 cc or lower motorcycle
If you are tested on a motorcycle of 650 cc or greater, there will be no restrictions. You will be able to ride any size motorcycle.
You aren't required by law to complete a rider training course in order to get a motorcycle license or endorsement; you just need to pass the written and riding tests based on the Motorcycle Operator Manual. However, according to the Hurt Report (a comprehensive study of motorcycle accidents), 92% of all motorcycle accidents involved riders who were self-taught or learned from family or friends.
As we mentioned before, motorcycle riders face a completely different set of challenges on the road from those driving cars. For one thing, cars can't see you, and they can't stop as quickly as you can. Common crashes include oncoming cars turning left right in front of you when you're going straight at full speed, cars cutting you off when changing lanes, or cars rear-ending you when you stop on a dime and they are just too heavy to stop quickly.
Formal motorcycle training helps keep you out of trouble by educating you on the most effective―but not necessarily intuitive―responses to dangerous situations like these that you will encounter every day.
There are other benefits to training, too. The Driver License Division usually waives the riding portion of the licensing exam for graduates of a basic riding course, insurance companies usually provide better rates for graduates, and some motorcycle manufacturers will help you with the tuition. The decision to take a course before getting your license should be a no-brainer.
For information about motorcycle training courses, contact any driver license field office or call (800) 532-7691.
One option is the 15-hour Basic Rider Course ($200) offered by Utah Rider Education, which comprises five hours of classroom training and up to 10 hours of riding (the school provides the bikes and helmets). The school is certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and offers more advanced courses for those who want to hone their skills even further; classes are held in the Salt Lake City area (Murray and Taylorsville), Ogden, Orem, and Provo.
If you already have a Utah driver license, you will merely need to take the written and skills test to receive a motorcycle endorsement (or just the written test, if you can provide proof of completion of a motorcycle rider education course approved by the Driver License Division).
A motorcycle endorsement to your existing license costs only $9.50 and is available to any licensed driver, regardless of age. However, the law says that riders under 18 must always wear approved headgear.
If you do not have a Utah driver license, then you may get a motorcycle-only license if you are 16 or over. Your parent or guardian will need to sign your application if you are under 18, and all applicants will be required to pass at least a written test.
The Driver License Division may choose to waive the road skills portion of the test if you completed an approved rider training course. A learner's permit is available if needed. A motorcycle-only license costs $27.50. Again, riders under 18 are required by law to wear approved headgear.
The steps to get your motorcycle license are essentially the same as those for getting a regular driver license:
- Complete a motorcycle rider training course if desired (highly recommended).
- If you are under 18, have a parent or guardian sign your application.
- For an endorsement, show only your current driver license. For a motorcycle-only license, show proof of name, birthday, resident address, legal presence if necessary, and Social Security or individual tax ID number (ITIN)―choose from the DLD's approved list.
- Pay the applicable fees ($34.50 for a motorcycle-only license, or $9.50 for a motorcycle endorsement on your driver license).
- Complete a medical questionnaire and vision test at the driver license field office where you apply (may not be required for an endorsement).
- Pass the required written and/or road test.
For more details, see Applying For a New License on this site.
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