Riding motorcycles has many potential benefits. It can save on gas money or just be a fun pastime for millions of riders. Regardless of your reason for learning how to ride a bike, you will generally need to take and pass your state’s version of the motorcycle license test. Each state has the sovereign right to make its own motorcycle rules for the operation of these potentially deadly machines on state roads and highways. Safety and competence in operating a bike are always the primary concerns.
To prepare for any state motorcycle license test, you first want to find out what the requirements are for your state’s motorcycle. In almost all cases, the first thing you need to do is pass a state written motorcycle test (sometimes called a “knowledge” motorcycle test because it is written only). The second part of the test is a state hands-on motorcycle test that requires you to actually drive on the road. However, you need to check with your state to see if you can get a waiver of this hands-on driving portion of the test.
Whether you can get a waiver for the hands-on portion sometimes also depends on your age. In many states, you cannot get a waiver for the state motorcycle driving license test if you are under 18. If you are at least 18, though, the usual way to get a waiver is to take an approved motorcycle training course. In fact, in many states (particularly if you are under 18), it is mandatory to take a state-approved motorcycle training class.
At any rate, the best way to get started in preparing for your state’s exam is to get a copy of the state motorcycle manual (often called a “motorcycle operators manual”) or access it online. You can normally just go to the local drivers license office to get this manual, as the agency that conducts the drivers license test for cars, trucks and buses is generally the same agency for motorcycle license testing.
Many states have a state DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for driver licensing, but many states also use a completely different term. For example, Texas uses the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to run its licensing programs for motorcycle riders. Find the proper agency’s website by searching for your state’s name plus “drivers license office” in Yahoo! or another search site.
Study your state’s motorcycle manual to get ready for the written license test. In some states, just passing the written portion is enough to get a motorcycle permit. Thus, you can then start practicing for your hands-on test by riding motorcycles under the supervision of a licensed motorcycle rider.
Speaking of practice, this is obviously going to be the best way to get ready for any hands-on motorcycle license exam. Thus, whether you get a waiver or not for completing a state motorcycle class, you can attend a class to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
Each state has its own approved motorcycle schools and classes. Before randomly looking online or in the Yellow Pages for a school, check with your state DMV or other licensing agency to find approved schools. For example, the state of Texas requires applicants to complete a motorcycle training course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the leading curriculum provider of motorcycle safety courses throughout the United States. You can see where to attend one of these courses by running a course search at MSF-USA.org.
So, the core goals are to use your state motorcycle manual to prepare for the written part and to attend a state-approved training course to pass your state motorcycle license course. By completing both parts of the test or getting a waiver by completing a course, you can successfully obtain your state motorcycle license.
Texas Motorcycle Testing and License Requirements