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How To Get A Motorcycle License In Louisiana

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Getting properly licensed to operate a motorcycle on public roadways can be a bit of a process. What to do will vary from state to state. If you are in Louisianna and want to know how to get a motorcycle license there, we can help you. We researched Louisianna law so you'll know for sure how to get a license.

To get a motorcycle license in Louisianna, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Fill out an application
  2. Pass a written exam
  3. Pass a skills test

Now that we know the steps to take, we'll take a closer look at each one. You might also be wondering if you can drive a motorcycle with a regular driver's license or if you need to wear a helmet to drive one. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has shown.

Young man sitting on his motorbike in black leather jacket and helmet, How To Get A Motorcycle License In Louisiana

Getting A Motorcycle License In Louisiana

Getting your motorcycle license in Louisianna is relatively easy. This is actually an endorsement to operate a motorcycle that is added to your regular motor vehicle license. Above, we listed the steps you'll need to take to get this endorsement added. Let's take a closer look at each step to make it easier for you.

1. Fill Out An Application

An application must be filled out and turned in to the local DMV office. You will need to present a primary form of ID and a secondary form. A $12 fee must accompany your application.

If you are under 17, a parent or guardian must accompany you to secure permission.

2. Pass A Written Exam

Just like a driver's license test, you'll need to pass a written exam to be legal to drive a motorcycle in Louisianna. This written exam will require a bit of studying. It covers motorcycle laws in the state as well as safety guidelines.

There are practice exams available online so that you can evaluate your readiness. These are free to take and have no limit on the number of times you can take them. They are endorsed by the state of Louisianna. 

3. Pass A Skills Test

Your final step in getting the motorcycle endorsement is the skills test. Here, you'll set up a time to drive your motorcycle in full view of a qualified tester. They'll make sure you can effectively operate a motorcycle and can follow basic laws that pertain to them when riding.

For this test, you will need to provide your own motorcycle and helmet. 

Though not mandated by Louisianna law, it's recommended that you take a motorcycle safety course before getting your endorsement. This will ensure that you are truly prepared to operate a motorcycle on various public roadways.

Can I Drive A Motorcycle With A Standard Motor Vehicle License?

State law in Louisianna will not permit you to operate a motorcycle in the state with just a regular driver's license. You will need to obtain the motorcycle endorsement on your Class E or higher driver's license that has been issued by the state of Louisianna.

Driving a motorcycle in Louisianna without a legal endorsement to do so can carry some stiff penalties. Be sure you have that endorsement before you climb aboard and begin riding.

A motorcycle clutch is a mechanical device that engages or disengages the drive from the engine to the transmission

Do You Need A Motorcycle License To Buy A Motorcycle?

If you need to take the motorcycle skills test, you have to have your own motorcycle. To buy one, you might be wondering if you have to have that endorsement first.

Whether buying a motorcycle from a dealer or a private party, you will not need to have a motorcycle endorsement. With a dealership transaction, you'll need to have proof of insurance and financing, however.

Many people who don't ride motorcycles will still buy them as gifts for others. Not being forced to have this endorsement on their driver's licenses makes this possible. 

Biker driving on the road and taking a sharp curve

Can I Drive A Motorcycle Without A Helmet In Louisiana?

Some states have rescinded their helmet laws, making it legal to operate a motorcycle without one. But in Louisianna, this is not the case.

The state laws in Louisianna still require anyone on a motorcycle to wear a proper helmet. This applies to not only the operator but to the passenger as well. In addition to a helmet, the law will also require you to have eye protection. This can be goggles or a face shield.

If you are traveling from Louisianna to another state, familiarize yourself with their motorcycle laws. These can vary greatly from state to state. Being well informed before you travel is a great way to get prepared.

Motorcyclist holding helmet equipment

Motorcycle Helmet Laws By State

With 50 states and 50 sets of motorcycle laws, knowing which ones have helmet laws can be confusing. Some won't require one at all, while others will make those under a certain age wear one. Here are all 50 states and their helmet laws, broken down into easy-to-follow categories:

Helmets Are Required For Everyone

Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Helmets Are Required For Everyone Under 25 And Younger

Missouri.

Helmets Are Required For Everyone 20 And Younger

Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah.

Helmets Are Required For Everyone 18 And Younger

Delaware.

Helmets Are Required For Everyone 17 And Younger

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

No Helmet Laws

Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

Even though state law might allow you to not wear a helmet, statistics from the CDC consistently show that wearing a helmet will make you safer. 

Keep in mind that these laws are subject to change. Consult the state's official website for additional information.

Motorcycle couple holding helmets in hands

Is Lane Splitting Legal In Louisianna?

Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between the lanes of cars when traffic is slowed or at a standstill. Statistically, lane splitting is safer for a motorcycle rider than being in stop-and-go traffic. The latter will more often result in the rider getting rear-ended.

Louisianna does not allow lane splitting, however. Though this technique is legal throughout most of Europe, it is not widely accepted in the United States yet.

In fact, out of all 50 states, lane splitting is only legal in the state of California. California made this legal only as recently as 2017.

How Much Distance Should I Keep Between My Car And A Motorcycle In Front Of Me?

Keeping a safe distance from other traffic on the roadways is one of the best ways to avoid an accident. While these accidents expose you to great personal injury in a passenger vehicle, the risks are much greater for those on a bike. Giving motorcycle riders plenty of attention and distance will help keep the road safer for everyone.

Experts are quick to point out the two-second rule when it comes to following distance. Any four-wheeled vehicle should be at least two seconds in front of you at all times when the vehicles are in motion. But for motorcycles, they recommend more time.

Three guys riding motorcycle on the highway

Giving motorcycle riders a four-second lead is the best safety bet. Maintaining this distance will leave a bit more room for error should you have a slowed reaction time.

Final Thoughts

Young man sitting on his motorbike in black leather jacket and helmet

Louisianna, like most other states, will have a special endorsement on your driver's license that will allow you to legally operate a motorcycle. You'll need to prove that you qualify and that you are knowledgeable about what it takes to safely ride a bike in the state.

Helmet laws vary from state to state, but no matter where you are riding, a helmet is proven to save lives. Ride safe!

We hope you found the answers to all of your questions in this post. For more helpful information, we suggest reading the following:

Can You Get A Motorcycle License Without A Driver’s License?

What To Wear As Motorcycle Passenger? [6 Items You Should Seriously Consider]

How To Load And Unload A Motorcycle In A Toy Hauler