In the state of Florida, you need to have a motorcycle license to avoid getting in trouble while on the open road. In some places, the process to get a motorcycle license is long and filled with red tape. But what does the process look like in Florida? We researched all of the state government resources to provide a clear answer here in this post.
To get a motorcycle license in Florida, you must follow these steps:
- Be 16 years of age or older and possess a learner's permit for at least one year, or be above 18.
- Take the general roadway knowledge test required to get a class E driver's license if you don't already have one.
- Complete a motorcycle safety course called Basic RiderCourse, or BRC.
- Go to the DMV to provide documentation and pay fees to get your motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement.
Those the main steps to follow to get a motorcycle license in the state of Florida. Still, there are more details that you need to know for each step. Continue reading to find out details like how long it takes to get the license, how much it costs, and what happens if you are caught driving a motorcycle without one.
Getting a Motorcycle License in Florida
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, there are strict rules on operating motorcycles in the sunshine state. These rules include needing a license to operate all two and three-wheeled motorcycles above 50 CCs of power. This license can either be a motorcycle-only license or a motorcycle endorsement on your existing driver's license in Florida.
Step 1: Meet the Requirements
To get a motorcycle license in the state of Florida, you must first meet the age requirement. Just like with a regular Class E driver's license, you must be either 16 years old with one year of learner's permit or above the age of 18. There is no learner's permit requirement for people over the age of 18. Learner's permit holders cannot have any traffic convictions on their record during their one-year learning period.
Step 2: Take the Roadway Knowledge Test
The Class E Knowledge Exam is required for all types of driver license registration processes in Florida. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, and you must get at least 40 correct to pass. You can take the Class E Knowledge Exam at your local DMV.
Step 3: Complete the Motorcycle Safety Course
People who take the BRC need to understand the basic rules of the road before taking the course. The course builds on the information covered in the basic knowledge exam and corresponding study materials, giving students real-life practice on operating and driving motorcycles. One benefit to these classes is that some insurance companies offer discounted rates upon their completion.
To know the locations that offer the BRC, visit this webpage that has a list provided by the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Step 4: Complete the Registration Process
The last step in the process is the easiest; going to pick up your physical license. The easiest place to complete the process is the Driver's License office, also called the DMV. You can also visit the Tax Collector's office to complete the registration process for your motorcycle license, but there is an extra $6.25 fee at these locations. You'll need a photo ID like an existing valid driver's license or passport at either location.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Motorcycle License in FL?
If you are already a licensed driver with a Class E license, getting your motorcycle license won't take long at all. Additionally, if you are 16 years old and have had your learner's permit for one year, the process is simple. In both cases, you have to take the Basic RiderCourse, which takes around two days - 15 hours total across the two days. After that, it's just a matter of scheduling your appointment and completing the process, which doesn't take long at all.
If you are younger than 16, the earliest you can get your learner's permit is your 15th birthday, making it a one-year wait time before you are eligible to obtain your motorcycle license likewise if you are above the age of 16 but have never had a learner's permit. This rule applies until you are 18 years old.
How Much Does a Motorcycle License Cost in FL?
If you already possess a Class E driver's license in Florida and only need to get the motorcycle endorsement, it will cost $7 at the DMV. However, if the full motorcycle license is your first license, then the fees are greater. For a regular Class E or regular motorcycle, the fee is $48.
How Much is a Motorcycle Safety Course in FL?
Motorcycle safety courses like the BRC are usually completed in just two days alongside other students, making them low in cost. Most Basic RiderCourses in Florida cost between $199 and $250 for the 15 hours of course time. These prices are pretty uniform and don't vary much from county to county.
What's the Difference Between BRC and BRCu?
Another type of motorcycle safety course called the BRCu stands for the Basic RiderCourse Updated. This course has the most up-to-date curriculum for learning to drive a motorcycle. The coursework for the updated course includes real traffic scenarios.
There is also a special course for three-wheel motorcycle certifications called the 3-Wheel Basic Rider Course or 3WBRC. Please note that this license or endorsement comes with a limitation that only allows you to drive a three-wheel motorcycle.
What Happens if You Get Pulled Over Without a Motorcycle License in FL?
As we've mentioned a few times throughout this post, it is necessary to have a license to operate a motorcycle in Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida has strict rules and punishments for people who drive motorcycles without a license. The penalty for doing so is a hefty fine of a maximum of $500 and the possibility of 60 days of jail time. The crime is a second-degree misdemeanor that can also leave you with six months of probation.
Does Florida recognize the Motorcycle Licenses of Other States?
What good is a motorcycle if you can't drive it cross country? Just like driver's licenses, most states in the USA recognize the driving certifications of other states. Florida is no different with motorcycle licenses and endorsements. However, when you move to Florida, you legally have 30 days to change your address to update your driver's license.
If you are moving from out of state, that means getting an FL license for the first time. If your previous license already has a motorcycle endorsement, Florida will recognize it when issuing your new license.
That means you won't have to pay extra to take another course or get an additional certification when moving to Florida from another state. The only exception is the state of Alabama. To replicate your Alabama endorsement on an FL license, you must also have a Basic RiderCourse completion card.
Can You Buy a Motorcycle Without a License in FL?
Legally, you can buy a motorcycle without a license in the state of Florida. But, doing so is ill-advised since you cannot legally ride it after you purchase it. But if you found a steal of a deal and can get it shipped or brought to your home where it can wait for you to finish your BRC and license registration process, then it's within the limits of the law to do so.
One other thing you need to take care of before you start driving your motorcycle around the streets of Florida is to register it. You can do this at the DMV, and it doesn't take much time at all. The fee to register a motorcycle with the state of Florida is $10, according to the FLHSMV website.
Before You Hit the Road
You need a motorcycle license to be able to drive a motorcycle in Florida. The good thing is that this license is not terribly difficult to acquire. All you'll need to do is meet the age requirements, take the safety test, sign up for a course, and complete your registration. Don't risk driving your motorcycle in Florida without a license; the fines and other punishments aren't worth the risk.
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