The process of getting a motorcycle license in Pennsylvania (Class M License) is a little bit different than getting a traditional driver’s license. We want to review the steps that you need to take in order to obtain a motorcycle permit and then a license.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License
The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Operator’s Manual is the number one starting point for obtaining a Class M license. Prospective motorcyclists need to know the law surrounding motorcycle usage in PA.
The first step in obtaining a motorcycle license in Pennsylvania is to apply for the Class M learners’ permit. When obtaining the permit, individuals will be given a vision screening test and will have to pass the motorcycle knowledge test, which will be based on information in the operator’s manual linked above.
Individuals who have a permit will only be allowed to ride the motorcycle between sunrise and sunset, and they will only be able to do so while under the instruction or supervision of a person who already holds a Class M license.
Individuals who have a learner’s permit will not be allowed to carry passengers other than a motorcycle license instructor. Motorcycle learner’s permits are valid for one year.
Individuals who are under the age of 18 must have their permit for at least six months and accumulate 65 hours of supervised writing time before they are allowed to take their skills test. Additionally, those under 18 must complete a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Rider Course before they are allowed to receive the full Class M license.
Individuals who have received their permit can either schedule a skills test at a Driver License Center or go through a Motorcycle Safety Program, where the skills test will be administered as part of the program. Individuals who pass the program will not have to go to a license center to take the skills test.
There are only certain driver’s license centers in Pennsylvania that administer motorcycle skills tests. It is important to double-check online or call the center ahead of time to make sure that they do perform these tests before you show up.
Learn the Skill and the Bike
Motorcycles may be fun and exciting vehicles to operate, but motorcyclists do face more risks on the roadway. We strongly encourage anyone who wants to obtain their motorcycle license in Pennsylvania to go through the process of learning their riding skills as well as their vehicle. Taking a class with a certified motorcycle instructor is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of what it means to practice defensive driving as a motorcyclist. Additionally, motorcyclists should know how to operate their particular motorcycle, not someone else’s. In other words, practice on the motorcycle you will be operating on a regular basis.
Any motorcyclist under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet in Pennsylvania. State law does not require individuals 21 years of age or older who have two years of riding experience or who have completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT to wear a helmet. However, we strongly encourage all motorcyclists, particularly those who do not have much riding experience, to wear a helmet that is approved by the US Department of Transportation.
If you do find yourself in an accident, reach out to our motorcycle accident lawyers in Philadelphia today.