How to Transfer an Out-of-State Motorcycle Endorsement

By: Staff Writer June 24, 2012
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Moving to another state comes with many tasks, including updating your operating status with your new state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This applies to all operating licenses, including motorbike and motorcycle endorsements.

After establishing residency, you will be required to transfer your motorcycle license within a certain number of days. New Jersey, for example, has a 60-day window, Illinois 90 days, and California only 10 days.

Obtain New Motorcycle License

Bear in mind that all state DMV offices govern differently. But, in general, when transferring your motorcycle license, you can expect to meet some or all of the following requirements:

  • Visit your DMV with your existing motorcycle license/endorsement and proper identification (check with the DMV before visiting for a list of acceptable identification).
  • Pass a knowledge test. This is more rare than common. If your new state requires passing a knowledge test, prepare by studying the motorcycle manual from your new state and a few online motorcycle license practice tests. You can obtain a motorcycle handbook by downloading it from the DMV's website, or by grabbing a copy from any DMV office.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pay motorcycle license fees.

Requirements might vary if your motorcycle endorsement is expired. The rules for this will depend on your state and the length of the expiration. If the endorsement has been expired for an extended period of time, chances are good you'll be required to apply for a new motorcycle license. This means passing the knowledge and road tests and completing a state-approved safety course for motorcycles.

The above requirements only apply towards motorcycle licenses. You CANNOT transfer a motorcycle license for a drivers license.

Transferring an Out-of-State Motorcycle Permit

Depending on the state, you may be required to provide proof of passing an approved motorcycle safety course (a course completion card will suffice). Indiana, for instance, requires all out-of-state transfers to have completed a course within the last year.

In addition, you may also be asked to pass a knowledge test. Again, you can use your state's motorcycle manual and online motorcycle license practice tests to prepare.

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