Can You Buy a Motorcycle Without a License?

A collage of a motorcycle dealer and a client and a man in leather jacket checking a new motorcycle, Can You Buy a Motorcycle Without a License?Are you thinking about buying a motorcycle, but don't have a motorcycle license? Many people find themselves in this spot every day. After some research, we found an answer to ensure you can coordinate your next step.

Buyers will not need a motorcycle license to buy a motorcycle. Dealerships and private sellers won't require you to show your motorcycle license during the transaction. But it's illegal to ride your newly purchased bike without one. 

There's more to know about this subject, so keep reading and make sure you're prepared to buy a motorcycle without a license.

Buying a Motorcycle Without a License

The laws related to motorcycles are often extensive and excessive. But this area is one of the least strict about owning a motorcycle.

As we mentioned above, a person need not have a motorcycle license to buy a bike. You might want to purchase a bike for a loved one as a gift, or plan on getting your motorcycle license later.

But there are some rules a buyer must know before buying a motorcycle.

Dealerships will often ask for a photo I.D. This I.D. should be a regular driver's license. They just need some indication and verification of who's buying the bike. They couldn't care less whether you intend on riding or locking it inside a garage for years. There's no rule or regulation out there, making them confirm whether you have a license to operate such a vehicle.

That being said, we must remind you it's not legal to drive the motorcycle home after purchase without a license. Your regular driver's license doesn't permit you to ride it, either. If you get pulled over, this action could result in a hefty fine,  so make sure you have an alternative plan to get the motorcycle home.

Can You Buy A Motorcycle via A Loan Without a License?

Buyers looking to buy a motorcycle without licenses often ask this question next. Banks are very strict about what a person can't and can buy using these loans. But this situation shouldn't be much of a problem.

Banks will not require a person to have a motorcycle license for buying a bike. However, you must have a regular driver's license. It's also a requirement to be 18 years or older, which is a necessity for getting a loan.

Because of this, having a regular driver's license is a necessity for filling out the required paperwork. These rules come from the bank, wanting to ensure their investment remains protected. It's a way to ensure the customer remains responsible for the bike.

A buyer who's getting a loan through the dealership shouldn't have any issues, either. It's the same situation as getting one via a bank. These dealerships won't care about whether the buyer has a motorcycle license. Their concern lies with ensuring you can keep up with the payments.

Can You Buy a Motorcycle With a Learner's Permit?

Handsome young bearded man in black leather jacket is examining motorbikes in a motorbike salon

Buying a motorcycle with a motorcycle learner's permit is the same situation as buying one without a motorcycle's license. As long as a buyer has a regular driver's license, they can purchase as many bikes as they want.

The learner's permit will end up being a necessity for anyone that plans on riding their new bike. It's why we recommend getting one first before buying a motorcycle. It's the most logical and cost-effective way to ensure you don't end up regretting this investment.

Can You Register a Motorcycle Without a License?

The answer is less straightforward than a person might assume. It'll depend on a few factors, such as where you live. Many states won't require buyers to have motorcycle licenses to register their bikes, such as California.

But most of these same states will require some proof of insurance to register your bike. Insurance companies usually won't insure a driver to ride motorcycles without having a license. Some exceptions exist to this rule, but these companies are hard to find.

Places like New York and California will require insurance before registering the bike within their states. It ends up being a catch-22 where you don't need a license. But the entire registering process will go much smoother with one.

Can You Buy Motorcycle Insurance Without a License?

Client shaking hands with a salesman having deal in the showroom with sports motorcycles, close-up

Buying motorcycle insurance without a license is possible. There might even be a few cases where you'll need insurance on a bike, even when you don't have a license. Here are a few examples:

  • You have a vintage bike that you don't ride.
  • You have a suspended license.
  • The bike was purchased in your name for another person.
  • You bought the motorcycle before getting a license.

Getting insurance without a license could be a little tricky, though. Insurance companies use driving records to determine acceptable rates. You might also have difficulty finding one who accepts policyholders without a license.

You'll probably need to speak to an insurance representative. These representatives should then be able to provide an answer about whether the company will offer coverage. Some of these companies will require that you have a state-issued photo I.D. to get insurance.

If you find yourself in this predicament, there are a few ways to increase your chances. Taking these following three actions could be pivotal in obtaining insurance:

1. Name a Primary Driver 

Naming another person as the primary driver on the policy would be a practical move. This would mean your insurance company uses their driving record to determine the rates. It's an easy way to avoid getting a motorcycle license yourself, especially for people who don't intend on riding one.

2. Exclude Yourself

Another way would be to exclude yourself from the insurance policy. It'd mean you won't get coverage for riding the actual bike. But you also won't be factored in as a risk for unlicensed driving. It could bring down the policy's rates and make it more affordable. You can then update the info after getting or regaining a license.

3. Waiting to Obtain Insurance

A person who expects to have their license soon and is sure no one will drive the bike right away can wait to get the necessary coverage. Wait until passing the test or regaining your license to get an insurance policy for your motorcycle. You might have to pay a little extra if a lapse occurs in coverage, but it'll still be much easier to get with a motorcycle license than without one.

We hope our discussions on motorcycle licenses provided enough insight to answer all your questions. But if you're still a little confused, let us know in our comment section. We'd love to help in any way possible.

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