Riding a motorcycle can be great fun and save on gas money at the same time. However, motorcycle riding can also be dangerous to the rider and others on the road. As such, Texas follows the common state practice of requiring a motorcycle license to operate these vehicles on the public roads. In this state, the general Texas motorcycle license requirements include an approved motorcycle training course and written and driving tests dealing with motorcycle safety and operation. Successful applicants can enjoy driving their motorcycle on the streets and open highways of the great state of Texas.
The first thing you should do is start to learn the applicable Texas motorcycle driving laws. To make this simple, the Texas Department of Public Safety–the agency that issues Texas driver licenses–publishes a Texas motorcycle handbook. This Texas DPS “Motorcycle Operator’s Manual” will tell you which motorcycles require a license and Texas motorcycle driving rules. Study this manual both for preparing for your required motorcycle training course and preparing for your motorcycle driving and written tests. You can access this manual at txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/documents/DL-8.pdf.
Now that you are familiar with the Texas driving laws that you will need to follow when driving a motorcycle in this state, you need to put this new-found knowledge to practice by attending a Texas motorcycle course. It is very important to successfully complete a motorcycle training course. First, the state requires a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course to get a Texas license. Second, if you are at least 18 years of age, the state waives the Texas motorcycle driving test if you have a course completion certificate.
Find a motorcycle school in Texas approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation by going to the MSF website home page at online2.msf-usa.org/msf/Default.aspx. You will see a map on that page. Click on Texas. On the next page, you will see a directory of approved courses run by motorcycle shops, colleges and other training sites.
Call and make arrangements to attend either an MSB-8 or MSB-8R motorcycle training course. Keep your certificate to present to your local Texas DPS driver’s license office.
Go to the nearest Texas driver license office. You can find one using the map at txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/search.asp.
Complete all the paperwork. Now, you will need to take your written Texas motorcycle test. Make sure you have reviewed your Texas motorcycle manual again before going in to take your test. Open up the “Apply for Driver License” page at the Texas Department of Public Safety website at txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/ApplyforLicense.htm. You can use that page to see all of the general Texas driver license requirements. These general procedures also apply to applicants for a Texas motorcycle license. You may also get information on that page about getting a Texas motorcycle permit if you are not quite ready for your license.
Unless you have a waiver, you will also have to take a Texas motorcycle driving test. This is much like a test when seeking your standard drivers license test for a car. You need to supply your own motorcycle for the test. Make sure the motorcycle you take has currently meets all Texas registration, insurance and inspection requirements.
Now, by this time, you should be ready to take your driving test after having studied your Texas motorcycle manual and taken an approved motorcycle training school course. As always, practice makes perfect if you are having trouble getting the hang of riding a motorcycle. Ride along with a friend or family member to get more practice until you are confident you can pass the motorcycle driving test.
Texas Motorcycle License Requirements