PA Motorcycle Permit Test – PennDOT Class M License

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Free Motorcycle Permit Practice Test

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Each test contains questions based on information in the motorcycle manual.

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Are you preparing to get your PA motorcycle permit, license, or endorsement? 

One of the first steps towards your Class M license or Class M learner’s permit is passing the PA motorcycle permit test.

This page will provide you with some free practice test questions to help you study. 

We’ll also provide you with an overview of what to expect for the test, as well as your options for taking it. 

Remember, be sure to read and review the Pennsylvania motorcycle handbook to make sure you know everything you need to know. You can find a PDF link to the official rider handbook here: https://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DVSPubsForms/BDL/BDL%20Manuals/Manuals/Motorcycle%20Operators%20Manual/English/PUB%20147.pdf 

Sample Questions for the PA Motorcycle Test

Each sample question is based on information you may find on the Pennsylvania motorcycle permit test. Choose the best answer. Go to the bottom of the page to find the answer key. 

1. When riding your motorcycle at night, you should do all of the following, EXCEPT:

  1. Ride in a single lane position at all times.
  2. Slow down.
  3. Increase your following distance. 
  4. Wear highly visible and reflective clothing. 

2. When riding in a group, what does it mean when the lead rider extends their left arm, index finger, and middle finger straight up?

  1. Shift to second gear. 
  2. Staggered riding formation. 
  3. Single file riding formation.
  4. Double file riding formation.

3. If you need to downshift while riding downhill or shift into first gear, you may need to:

  1. Squeeze the clutch to coast before downshifting.
  2. Use the throttle to speed up before downshifting. 
  3. Use the brakes to slow down before downshifting. 
  4. Upshift before downshifting. 

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course

Taking a motorcycle safety course is one of the best ways to prepare yourself to get a Pennsylvania motorcycle endorsement and become a safe rider. 

These courses are designed for any new motorcyclists, even if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before. 

The course consists of a classroom portion and on-bike training. 

You’ll learn about safe motorcycle operation and valuable information to keep you safe on the road.

Plus you’ll get to practice riding with a professional instructor there to help you.

New riders under 18 years old are required to complete the course.

If you are 18 years old or older, completing an approved motorcycle training course will satisfy the requirements for the cycle skills test.

Continue reading to find out whether or not you’ll be able to skip the DMV motorcycle tests by completing a basic rider course. 

Learn more about the details for motorcycle rider education and training here. 

In addition to learning how to be a safe rider and having the opportunity to waive your DMV motorcycle tests, completing an approved Basic Rider Course may also earn you a discount on your motorcycle insurance policy

About the Motorcycle Permit Test in Pennsylvania

Passing the written exam, or motorcycle knowledge test, is one of the major steps towards getting your Pennsylvania motorcycle license

The test is designed to check your knowledge on a number of topics related to operating a motorcycle safely. 

All questions and answers you’ll see on the real test can be found in the official Pennsylvania Motorcycle Operator Manual.

How many questions are on the motorcycle permit test in PA?

In Pennsylvania, the motorcycle learner’s permit test consists of 20 questions.

You’ll need a score of 80% to pass.

Note that you will still need to take the PennDOT motorcycle written exam if you complete a rider training course. 

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Skills Test

After completing the permit test and satisfying any motorcycle permit requirements, you’ll also need to pass a skills test. 

The motorcycle skills test will evaluate your ability to control your motorcycle and complete a number of key maneuvers. 

The examiner will be looking to see that you can demonstrate basic motorcycle control skills, the ability to avoid obstacles, and the ability to properly navigate a curve. 

Other techniques that you can expect to be tested on include:

  • Weaving through cones. 
  • Figure 8s in a box. 
  • Normal stops. 
  • Quick stops. 
  • Turning from a stop. 
  • U-turns. 
  • Swerves. 
  • Cornering. 

If you complete a motorcycle training course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the techniques and practice all of the necessary skills. 

Completing a rider training course will satisfy the PennDOT motorcycle skills test requirements. 

Pennsylvania Motorcycle Learner’s Permit (Class M)

The motorcycle learner’s permit is the first step in getting your full Class M motorcycle license.

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Visit your local Pennsylvania driver license center.
  • Complete a motorcycle learner’s permit application (Form DL-5).
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) motorcycle knowledge test.
  • Pay the $10 motorcycle permit fee.

The permit is valid for up to 1 year, and can be renewed no more than 3 times within 5 years.

Permit holders under 18 years old must:

  • Hold the permit for at least 6 months.
  • Complete 65 hours of supervised riding.
  • Complete a Basic Rider Course (counts for 15 hours of supervised riding).

A motorcycle permit will allow you to practice riding between sunrise and sunset under the supervision of a current Class M license holder (unless you already have a valid driver’s license).

Permit holders cannot ride with any passengers.

Learn more about getting your motorcycle license in Pennsylvania.

Answer Key: Pennsylvania Motorcycle Test Sample Questions

Refer to the answer key below to see which questions you answered correctly and which topics you’ll need to study some more. 

Follow the questions’ links for an explanation on the correct answers. 

1. When riding your motorcycle at night, you should do all of the following, EXCEPT: A. Ride in a single lane position at all times.


2. When riding in a group, what does it mean when the lead rider extends their left arm, index finger, and middle finger straight up? D. Double file riding formation.

3. If you need to downshift while riding downhill or shift into first gear, you may need to: C. Use the brakes to slow down before downshifting.

Need more practice? Check out our large list of motorcycle permit test questions and answers, and explanations