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Can You Test Drive A Motorcycle Without A License?

When people are planning to buy a new vehicle, such as a motorcycle, they always look for the specifications such as the design, motor quality, horsepower, engine, gas, and the like. A test drive is a must to make sure that the vehicle is functioning well. You might wonder if you need a motorcycle license to test drive a bike. We've researched this to get an answer for you.

In order for the dealer to allow you to conduct a test drive, you must have a license first. Otherwise, the dealer will not allow you to even buy the vehicle of your choice. The same rule applies when you plan to buy a motorcycle. 

If you do not have a driver’s license, then you cannot test drive a motorcycle. Furthermore, driving without a license may be illegal. Keep reading to learn what other requirements are needed to test drive and purchase a motorcycle, as a responsible driver.

Driver riding motorcycle on empty road in beautiful autumn city - Can You Test Drive A Motorcycle Without A License

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Motorcycle Test Drives

Male buyer testing motorbike in salon, transport store customer choosing moped

Most motorcycle dealers always look for a driver’s license as a primary requirement alongside a permit to ensure that the person has enough skills and knowledge about driving to operate the vehicle.

Other requirements needed to purchase a motorcycle are as follows:

  • Sufficient finances.
  • Motorcycle gear and safety equipment.
  • Your ideal design as well as the perfect fit of the motorcycle for you.
  • Motorcycle insurance.

Read: "What's The Average Cost For Motorcycle Gear?"

How old do you have to be to have a motorcycle license?

Young man in a helmet on the motorbike is showing driving license

To ensure that a person is skilled enough and of legal age, they have to get a motorcycle license. The minimum eligibility criteria in terms of age when it comes to getting a motorcycle license is at least 18 years old.

However, in some instances, a 16- or 17-year old can be issued a license, called a provisional license. It is a license only given to teens ages 16 to 18. They are allowed to drive motorcycles but only under certain circumstances, such as:

  • Attending school
  • Attending work
  • Other important errands or activities like sporting activities

In Texas, Pennsylvania, California, and Florida, a provisional license can only be issued to teenagers aged 16 to 18 years old after they have completed a driving course and provided proof of parental permission in the form of a letter with their signature. In New York, however, the minimum age to get a provisional license should be at the age of 18 years old.  When they turn 19, they are now eligible to upgrade their license to the adult version that has no provisions or restrictions.

Read: "Can You Get A Motorcycle License Without A Driver's License?"

Do you have to have a motorcycle license to buy a motorcycle?

Female student with helmet taking motorcycle lessons and practicing ride. In background traffic cones and instructor with checklist rating and evaluating the ride. Motorcycle school of driving.

You might be confused about the difference between buying a motorcycle and conducting a test drive. To simply answer the question, you don’t have to have a license when you buy a motorcycle.

However, you will need the license as soon as you purchase the motorcycle of your choice to get it registered with an insurance company since the registration requires a license, and you need insurance to ensure your and others' safety.

Although some of the motorcycle dealers might really ask if the buyer maintains a license or not, most of them will usually ask what kind of motorcycle you are going to purchase and proceed to close the deal right away; their target is to sell motorcycles. The responsibility of being a good driver will now depend on the person who purchases the bike.

Being a license holder is both an honor and a responsibility. You have the privilege to roam around the road freely. At the same time, you have to be responsible not to cause accidents and inconvenience other drivers. Other motorcycle drivers might find having a license a nuisance, but the law is the law, and vehicle owners should get a license for their own safety.

What happens when you ride a motorcycle without a valid license?

Driver riding motorcycle on empty road in beautiful autumn city. 

One of the things that we need to ensure when buying a motorcycle is the license to make the purchasing process as smooth as possible. You cannot enjoy your newly bought motorcycle if you do not have a license to drive it outside.

Driving without a license, on the other hand, could be punished by law. In New York and Florida, aside from the $1,000 fine that you are going to pay, you might end up staying in jail for a few days.

On the other hand, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania will require you to pay a fine as a first offense for your violation. Regardless of the country that you are in, you cannot drive any vehicle without a license. Aside from identity, it will also serve as your protection on the road. 

On the other hand, there is also a difference between what we say "right to travel" and having a driver’s license. The right to travel, in constitutional terms, states that everyone has their own right to travel freely without the need for a license.

In contrast to this is the need for vehicle owners to get a license to identify if they are authorized to drive, regardless of how skillful they are at driving. Everyone should comply with the law proposed by the government as long as it does not intend to trample on each one’s rights. 

Bottom Line

Being on the road means you are responsible enough to follow the rules and to make yourself accountable for whatever might happen while you are traveling. Owning a motorcycle also means that you are liable for your life as well as for the lives of other people. By saying so, you should always consider getting a license to comply with the law and to give yourself protection while you are on the road.

It is good that we have our own vehicle for traveling, for lessening the burden of commuting to work and make our lives easier. However, we should always think that whenever we are driving on the road, especially on our motorcycle, we always need to be careful not to cause accidents and inconvenience to ourselves and other people. After all, safety should always be our number one priority when we are on the road.