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Michigan Motorcycle Licensing

Motorcycle License Endorsements, Permits, Training & Insurance for Michigan

Operating a Motorcycle in Michigan

To operate a motorcycle in Michigan, individuals must at least 16 and have a valid driver’s license with a CY endorsement or have a valid Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP).

Michigan residents transferring an out-of-state or Canadian license must secure residency and employment before beginning the process of obtaining a Michigan driver’s license and CY endorsement.

After establishing employment and residency, visit a local Michigan Secretary of State office and take the following steps:

  • Present the following documentation:
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship
    • Proof of Identity
    • Proof of Residency
    • Social Security Number
  • Get Photograph Taken
  • Pay the Secretary of State fee
  • Pass Vision Screening
  • Pass Written Motorcycle Exam
  • Pass On-Cylce Skills Exam

Upon completion of the above steps, you will be given a Temporary Operator’s Permit, which lets you drive in Michigan until your license arrives by mail. Once you obtain your Michigan driver’s license, you can add a CY endorsement.

Teen drivers will need to obtain a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL).

Michigan Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP)

In Michigan, the Department of State issues beginning motorcycle riders a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP). A TIP will allow the operator to practice riding a motorcycle on public roadways before obtaining the CY motorcycle endorsement.

TIP Requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years
  • Valid Michigan Driver’s License (Applicants under 18 years old must have a Level 2 or Level 3 Graduated Driver’s License)
  • Pass Vision Screening
  • Pass Written Motorcycle Test
  • Pay $16 Fee

A Temporary Instruction Permit stays valid for 180 days. A TIP can be renewed but you must complete the application process again.

Applicants 16 and 17 years old must take a motorcycle safety training course to obtain a permit. When applying for a TIP, you need to show proof of enrollment in an approved motorcycle safety course OR a completion card from an approved motorcycle safety course.

Michigan Temporary Instruction Permit Restrictions

When operating a motorcycle with a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP), the following restrictions apply:

  • Daytime Riding Only
  • Passengers are prohibited
  • Must be supervised by a licensed motorcycle rider at least 18 years of age.

Michigan Motorcycle Endorsement

After you have obtained your permit and feel confident in your riding skills, it is time to apply for CY motorcycle endorsement at a local Secretary of State office. CY endorsement requirements vary by the age of the rider.

Ages 16 & 17 CY Endorsement Requirements

  • Must hold a Level 2 or Level 3 Graduated Driver’s License
  • Certificate of Completion of approved motorcycle safety course (waives on-cycle skills exam)
  • Pass Written Exam - Pay $16 Fee

Ages 18 & Older CY Endorsement Requirements

  • Valid Michigan Driver’s License
  • Pass Written Exam
  • Pass On-Cycle Skills Exam or Certificate of Completion of approved motorcycle safety course
  • Pay $16 Fee

In order to take the on-cycle skills test, you will need a properly equipped, registered motorcycle and a helmet. If you ride the motorcycle to the exam, you must hold a TIP and be supervised by a licensed motorcycle operator who is at least 18 years old.

A certificate of completion from a motorcycle safety course will allow you to waive your skills test. Also note that if you fail your on-cycle skills test 2 times, you must complete a motorcycle safety course.

Renewing A Michigan Motorcycle Endorsement

The Department of State lists a $5 fee for renewing a CY endorsement. However, it does not distinguish between the process of renewing a driver’s license and a motorcycle endorsement.

Motorcycle Endorsements for Military Members

Stationed out of state as a member of the military may still obtain a CY endorsement on a Michigan license by taking the following steps:

  • Successfully complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course.
  • Obtain Certificate of Completion
  • Contact the Michigan Department of State, Special Services Branch at (517) 322-1473 for information regarding mailing certificate of completion

Michigan Motorcycle Safety Courses

The Michigan Motorcycle Safety Program offers motorcycle rider training courses to motorcycle operators 15 years old and older looking to gain experience and improve their riding skills.

Safety Course Completions is required under the following circumstances:

  • Anyone age 16 or 17 with a graduated driver’s license applying for a CY license endorsement
  • Anyone 18 or older who fail to pass the on-cycle skills exam twice.
  • Anyone looking to waive the on-cycle skills test requirement for the CY endorsement

The Michigan Motorcycle Safety Program offers a full list of public and private sponsored classes. Several course levels are offered. The course should be chosen based on level of ability and experience.

Safety Course Costs:

  • Class (Public Sponsor): $50 (non-refundable)
  • Class (Private Sponsor): Fee Determined by Sponsor

Out-of-State Courses

In most cases, you can use a completion card from a motorcycle safety course taken in another state. However, cards from Idaho and Oregon will not be accepted unless the card indicated the program meets or exceeds the requirements of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic or Experienced Rider Course. Your out-of-state completion card is valid for 1 year from the date you completed the course.

Required Course Gear

  • Helmet
  • Eye Protection
  • Leather or Thick Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Sturdy Long Pants
  • Boots that go above the ankle
  • Gloves

Motorcycle License Training

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

The Michigan Secretary of State requires motorcyclists to have current insurance coverage that meets the state's minimum requirements. Before riding, make sure your coverage meets Maryland’s minimum requirements. Get a motorcycle insurance quote in minutes here.

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