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How To Get A Motorcycle License In New York

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Getting a motorcycle license in any state can seem a little overwhelming. If you are interested in qualifying for a motorcycle license in New York, we can help you. We researched the laws in New York from multiple professional sources so that you'll know for sure how to legally get your license.

There are multiple steps in getting your New York motorcycle license. To legally operate this type of vehicle, you need to:

  • Prepare for the written test.
  • Gather your documents.
  • Take and pass the permit test.
  • Prepare and take the road skills test.
  • Head to the DMV.

Now that we know the steps involved in getting a motorcycle license in New York, we'll examine each step. You might also be wondering what the road test is like in New York or if you need to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in this state. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead!

Suzuki Boulevard M109R parked on the corner of 32nd Street and Park Ave, How To Get A Motorcycle License In New York

Getting A Motorcycle License In New York: Explained

Getting your New York motorcycle license requires more than just a visit to the local DMV. To legally operate a motorcycle in the state, you need to set aside some time to both prepare/qualify for your new license.

Below, we discuss the proper steps you need to take to get a New York motorcycle license:

Prepare for the written test

Passing the written exam is the first step in legally driving a motorcycle in the state of New York. This state has free training materials available online for your studies.

Familiarize yourself with everything that is in the study guide.

Once you pass the online practice tests consistently, you will be ready to begin the next step.

Gather your documents

For your motorcycle license, you'll need to show proper identification. These documents must show proof of age, residence, and ID.

There are different types of state identifications in New York. These include Real ID, Enhanced, and Standard.

You will only need to have the proper documentation for the Standard ID to get a motorcycle license. But a real ID will allow you access to much more than an ID, so it's recommended to secure one of these.

New York has a side-by-side comparison of each ID type offered in the state. Use it to determine which one is right for you.

Take the permit test

Once you have studied and have the required documents in hand, you will be ready to take the written test. Passing this will give you a learner's permit, allowing you to drive under certain restrictions in the state.

You can take the test in person at the DMV or online. If you take the written test online, be prepared to upload the required documents needed to verify your identity.

You need to answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass the permit test. You'll get an email invitation to set up an appointment at the DMV when you pass.

You'll get your photo taken, hand over the original documents you uploaded, and pay your permit fee at this appointment.

Prepare and take the road skills test

Once you have completed the recommended 30 hours of permit driving, you will be ready to take the road skills test. For this, you will need to arrive at the DMV with your motorcycle and helmet.

Should you not have any other type of motor vehicle license, you will need first to complete a pre-driver's course or a driver's education class.

This requirement is waived for those who already have a driver's license.

Additionally, you want to enroll/complete the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course before taking the road skills test. Remember, more practice is always a good idea.

Head to the DMV

Did you pass the road skills test? The person who tested you will give you a temporary motorcycle license. Head to the DMV office to pay your fee and have the class "M" designation added to your driver's license.

Do I Need A Permit To Get A Motorcycle License In New York?

New York requires all residents who wish to get a motorcycle license to first get a learner's permit. No matter the age or skill level, you need to complete this step.

The good news is all you need to do to get a learner's permit in New York is have the proper identification and pass the written test.

As we said, the test study materials we discussed earlier in this post are free and available online.

Triumph Motorcycle on street on August 27, 2017 in New York City

What Is On The Road Test For A Motorcycle License In New York?

Passing a written test isn't enough to get a motorcycle license in New York.

The authorities want to be sure that you can control your bike and demonstrate that you know how to maneuver it in and around various obstacles.

According to the New York DMV, during your road skills test, you will need to:

  • Know your motorcycle and your riding limits.
  • Accelerate, brake, and turn safely.
  • Make yourself visible and communicate with others in traffic/pedestrians.
  • Adapt your speed and position to various flows of traffic.
  • Stop the motorcycle and make quick turns.
  • Make critical decisions and carry them out.

Safety factors will also be a critical component of this skills test. Your examiner will need to determine that you can safely adapt to any potential scenario while you are on your bike.

Biker driving on the road and taking a sharp curve

Do I Need A Motorcycle License To Drive A 150cc Scooter In New York?

You can drive scooters and mopeds with an engine displacement of 150ccs at more than 50 miles per hour. Under New York State law, this classifies them as a Class A moped.

Those operating a Class A moped or scooter must have a valid New York motorcycle license.

Typically, class A is any scooter or moped that can travel more than 30 miles per hour. Class B can drive between 20 and 30 miles per hour and only require a driver's license.

Class C isn't able to move more than 20 miles per hour and can also be operated on just a driver's license.

Young couple on a scooter with a safety helmet gear on

Do You Need To Wear A Helmet On A Motorcycle In New York?

Generally, helmet laws greatly vary from state to state.

Knowing what the laws are before traveling through will save you a hefty fine. New York requires that all motorcycle riders have a helmet when on a moving bike. This is regardless of age.

USA, New York, Brooklyn Bridge historical structures of NY man on motorbike

This state also mandates that anyone operating any scooter or moped that can reach speeds over 20 miles per hour wearing a helmet.

Furthermore, it's recommended that anyone wear a helmet no matter what state they are operating a bike or scooter in.

To Wrap Things Up

Suzuki Boulevard M109R parked on the corner of 32nd Street and Park Ave

Getting a license to operate a motorcycle in New York legally will take a bit of time, as they require anyone applying for one first to obtain a learner's permit.

Study carefully for your written exam and consider enrolling in an instructional course, and you will find the process easier. Like many states, New York also requires a helmet for all riders regardless of age. Ride safe!

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