Pennsylvania Motorcycle Licensing
Motorcycle License, Permits, Training & Insurance
Operating a Motorcycle in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (PA DMV) manages the Class M (motorcycle) learner’s permit and Class M license requirements. All Pennsylvania residents who operate a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle must have a Class M license.
To operate a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle legally in Pennsylvania, all riders must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Obtain a Class M learner’s permit or Class M license
- Maintain vehicle registration
- Retain Pennsylvania minimum required insurance coverage
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Permit Process
All riders must first obtain the Class M learner’s permit before pursuing an unrestricted motorcycle license in Pennsylvania. The learner’s permit is the first step toward legally operating a motorcycle on public roads in the state. A permit gives riders the opportunity to become familiar with the mechanical operation of their motorcycle and to develop road skills before applying for a Class M motorcycle license.
To obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit in Pennsylvania, riders will need to:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be a resident of Pennsylvania
- Complete a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit Application
- Pass the PA DMV’s vision screening and motorcycle knowledge test
- Pay the permit fee
Riders under 18 must hold a Class M learner’s permit for at least six (6) months from the permit issue date and have 65 hours of supervised riding before taking the road skills test in order to obtain a Class M license. In addition, underage riders are required to enroll in and complete a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Basic Rider Course, a free rider training course, which counts as 15 hours of supervised riding toward the 65-hour requirement.
All applicants under age 18 will be required to obtain parental consent before enrolling in a safety course or proceeding with the application process for a Class M permit/license.
Before attempting to pass the Pennsylvania motorcycle knowledge test, riders should study the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Operators Manual to become familiar with safety instruction and state traffic laws.
The Class M learner’s permit is valid for 12 months and costs $10.00. Riders may only reapply for a motorcycle learner’s permit no more than three (3) times within a five (5) year period (four (4) total learner’s permits within the five (5) years.) Each time you reapply, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test.
The following Pennsylvania restrictions are in place for all riders with a motorcycle learner’s permit:
- Riders with a learner’s permit are only permitted to ride between sunrise and sunset.
- If you do not currently hold another Class of License, you can only operate a motorcycle under the instruction and immediate supervision of an individual who holds a Class M license.
- Riders with a learner’s permit are restricted from carrying passengers on their motorcycle other than a properly licensed instructor.
Getting a Pennsylvania Motorcycle License
Pennsylvania is a “motorcycle only” license state, which means there is not a license endorsement program. Riders that have a Class C (regular) driver’s license will be required to obtain a Class M learner’s permit and eventually a Class M license to operate a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle legally on public roads in Pennsylvania. Restrictions will apply if the rider tests on a motor-driven cycle or a 3-wheeled motorcycle.
To earn the Class M motorcycle license in Pennsylvania, all riders will need to:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Possess a Class M learner’s permit
- Provide proof of identity and residency
- Schedule and pass the on-cycle skills test at one of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Driving License Centers; or
- Schedule training through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. At the end of training, a skills evaluation is administered. If you pass the on-cycle skills test, you will be issued a motorcycle license.
- Pay license fee
Motorcycle Education in Pennsylvania
The PAMSP offers foundational motorcycle education through third-party vendors across the state. Because of Pennsylvania’s strong commitment to safety, the PAMSP provides continued motorcycle safety instruction free of charge for riders that already have a Class M license. There are several vendors with whom the state has contracted to provide basic and intermediate courses. A list of local course instructors can be found on the PA DMV website under the training providers and location list.
Any rider that completes a course and successfully passes the road skills test on a 3-wheel vehicle (trike) will be limited to the operation of a 3-wheeled bike and will be prohibited from operating a 2-wheel motorcycle.
Pennsylvania Motorcycle Permit, License and Fees
PennDOT manages the fee schedule for motorcycle permits and licenses.
To find out the required fees to obtain Pennsylvania motorcycle permits and licenses, visit https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Information-Centers/Payment/pages/payments-and-fees-page.aspx.
By now, you should have a good idea about how to proceed in obtaining a Pennsylvania motorcycle license. If you are a new resident in Pennsylvania, or you are a new rider and you’re shopping for motorcycle insurance, click here to get a quote in minutes.
Disclaimer: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should review the links within this article, or contact the relevant state agency, for complete and current information.
The PA DMV requires motorcyclists to have current coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements on all registered vehicles. Before riding in Pennsylvania, make sure your coverage meets the state’s requirements.
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