Get a motorcycle license
A New York State resident must have a Class M or Class MJ driver license or learner permit to drive a motorcycle. To get a motorcycle license, you must first get a motorcycle learner permit.
Note: If you plan to apply for a motorcycle learner permit and another class of learner permit, apply for the other learner permit first. When you have the other learner permit, you can apply for your motorcycle permit.
IMPORTANT: DMV offers 3 types of documents. Learn about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents.
How to get a motorcycle license
Step 1: Apply for a motorcycle permit at a DMV office
Here is what do
- study the NY State Motorcycle Operator's Manual (MV-21MC) to prepare for the written test
- complete the DMV Document Guide to make sure you have the documents and proofs of identification you need
- if you already have a New York State learner permit or driver license, bring the document
- bring payment for the $10.00 application fee and the motorcycle license fee 1
Step 2: Prepare for the motorcycle road test
Before you schedule your road test, we recommend that you have at least 30 hours of practice on a motorcycle, with or without formal instruction. We also recommend that you
- have at least 10 hours of practice in medium to high volume traffic
- consider taking the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course or instruction from a commercial driving school
When you practice driving with a motorcycle learner permit
- you must be supervised by a driver age 21 or older who has a valid motorcycle license from any state
- the motorcycle driver who supervises you must be within 1/4 mile of you at all times
- you must obey the general restrictions for permit holders
- if you have a Class MJ permit, you must obey the restrictions and requirements for drivers under age 18
Step 3: Schedule and take a motorcycle road test
- if you do not already have another class of New York State driver license, you must complete a pre-licensing course or a Driver Education course before you can schedule a road test 2
- if you already have another class of New York State license, you do not need a pre-licensing course or Driver Education certificate
Step 4: Get your motorcycle license
If you pass the road test, the examiner will issue a temporary motorcycle license to you.
- if you do not have another class of New York State driver license, you will receive your motorcycle license with your photo by mail about 2 weeks after your road test (you do not have to visit a DMV office)
- if you already have another class of New York State driver license, wait at least 7 days after your road test to apply for your motorcycle license at a DMV office, and be sure to
- complete an Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (pdf) (MV-44)
- mark the "Change" box at the top, and write in “Add Class M (or MJ)" in the "Other Change" box
- bring your temporary motorcycle license, your motorcycle permit and your current photo license
- pay the $12.50 fee to amend your driver license
Both driver license classes will be listed on your new document (for example, Class DM). Your new license expires on the same date as your previous one.
The DMV office will issue a temporary license without a photo to you. Allow two weeks to receive your new license by mail.
Can I get the motorcycle road test waived?
We can waive the test if you are qualified and you complete an approved course. To get information about approved courses in your area, visit the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program website or call toll-free at 1-800-446-9227.
To qualify for the waiver you must
- be 16 years of age or older
- have a valid NY State license (Class A, B, C, D, DJ or E)
- have a valid class M or MJ motorcycle learner permit
- present either a Basic Rider Course (BRC) or a Basic Rider Course 2 License/Waiver (BRC2-LW) Course completion card issued by the NY State Motorcycle Safety Foundation within two years of completing the course
You cannot get a waiver for a motorcycle road test if you completed a rider course given in another state.
There are waivers available in some cases for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 3
Can I drive in New York with an out-of-state motorcycle license?
If you have a valid motorcycle license issued by another state where you are a resident, you can drive motorcycles in New York State.
Can I exchange an out-of-state motorcycle license for a New York motorcycle license?
If you become a resident of New York State, you should exchange your out-of-state motorcycle license for a New York State motorcycle license. See Exchange an out-of-state driver license.
Where can I learn more about motorcycle safety?
Motorcycle safety information is available from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and for returning veterans from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
The fees you pay when you get your first motorcycle license depend on
- whether or not you currently have another class of NYS driver license and
- your exact age when you apply.
The fees for a Class M or MJ driver license, or to add class M or MJ to your current driver license, can range from $21 to $120, but we cannot calculate your exact fee until you apply.
- 2. A Pre-licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) is valid for one year. A Driver Education Certificate (MV-285) is valid for two years. See Prepare for your road test for more information about these certificates.
- 3. A member of the US Armed Forces who completes the MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC) through the military while on active duty outside of New York State can qualify to have their military BRC converted into a NY BRC and receive the road test waiver. See the instructions on the website of the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program or call 1-518-384-0045.