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How to Get a NY Motorcycle License (New York – Step by Step)

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In order to legally ride a motorcycle as a resident in New York state, you’ll need to hold a valid Class M or Class MJ license.

We’ll go over the process to get your NY motorcycle license, plus some tips and tricks to make it as easy as possible – so you can get riding as soon as possible.

NY Motorcycle License Overview

The minimum age to apply for a Class MJ or M motorcycle license in New York is 16 years old.

You do not need to have a car license to apply, but if you don’t, other application requirements will apply to you.

To apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement in New York, you’ll need to:

Please visit https://dmv.ny.gov/ for official application information and to schedule appointments. 

Applicants under 18 years old will need signed parental consent.

For more information regarding other types of 2 or 3-wheeled vehicles in NY State, visit our pages on:

Step 1. New York Motorcycle Learner’s Permit

Regardless of your age, the first step towards getting your motorcycle license in New York is to apply for a motorcycle permit.

You can apply online or in person.

To start your application online, visit: https://digital.dmv.ny.gov/home/original-permit/login

Note that if you don’t already hold another type of New York driver’s license, you’ll also need to complete a pre-licensing course or Driver’s Education as part of the application process.

Step 2. NY Motorcycle Knowledge Exam

To get your motorcycle permit, you’ll need to pass the New York motorcycle written test.

If you start your application online, you’ll be able to take the test at home on your own computer.

Questions are based on information found in the NY Driver Handbook and the Motorcycle Operator’s Manual.

To pass, you’ll need a score of 80% overall.

You’ll need to answer at least 50% of the road signs questions correctly, and at least 60% of the motorcycle-specific questions correctly.

After passing the test, you’ll receive a temporary permit that you can use until your official motorcycle permit arrives in the mail (about 2 weeks later).

Step 3. NY Motorcycle Permit Rules

Your NY motorcycle permit will allow you to begin practicing riding in preparation for the skills test.

However, you’ll need to obey the learner’s permit rules:

  • You must be supervised by a rider who is at least 21 years old with a valid motorcycle endorsement.
  • The supervising rider must be within 1/4 miles of you at all times.
  • No riding within any street within a park in NYC.
  • No riding on bridges or tunnels within the Tri-borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.
  • No riding on Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, or Taconic State parkways.
  • No riding within a DMV road test area.
  • No passengers other than your supervisor.

If you are under 18 years old, the standard junior operator restrictions will also apply.

Riders under 18 years old will need to have the permit for at least 6 months before taking the skills test.

Step 4. NY Motorcycle Skills Test

The next step is to pass your on-cycle skills test.

You have two options here:

  1. Schedule an appointment and complete the test through the NY DMV.
  2. Complete an approved NY State Motorcycle Safety Course.

For more information about the New York Basic Rider Course, visit: http://www.nysmsp.org/

You’ll need to present your skills test waiver within 2 years of completing a course. Courses completed outside of New York are not accepted.

Transfer an Out-of-State Motorcycle License When Moving to New York

If you’ve recently moved to New York, you can transfer your out-of-state motorcycle license or endorsement. To do so:

  • Visit your local DMV office.
  • Surrender your out-of-state license.
  • Complete the application and provide proof of your identity, residency, and legal presence. 
  • Pay the required application fees.
  • Pass an eye exam.
  • Pass the New York motorcycle written exam.

If your out-of-state motorcycle license/endorsement is valid you typically will not need to pass a road test or complete another motorcycle safety course.

Once you’ve received your motorcycle license, be sure to come back to MotorcycleZombies.com to learn how to title and register a motorcycle in New York.

How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in NY?

If you’re over 18 years old, most new riders take a few weeks to a few months to receive their NY motorcycle license.

For riders under 18 years old, the process will typically take at least 6 months (unless they complete a BRC).

NY Motorcycle License Fees

The cost of your NY motorcycle license or permit depend on your age and whether or not you already have another type of license.

As a general guideline, the fees for your NY motorcycle license may be up to the following ammounts:

  • Class M or MJ learner’s permit: up to $136.
  • Class M: up to $98.50.
  • Change information on your existing license: $12.50.
  • Add a Class M or MJ to existing license: $21 to $120.

To see your exact fees due, you’ll need to start your application with the NY DMV.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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