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How to Get a New York Motorcycle License

Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV, Driving Rules

The state of New York issues NY motorcycle licenses through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The usual process for getting a license is to first take a written New York motorcycle test to get a permit. Riders can then practice under the supervision of a licensed motorcycle rider. To get a full New York motorcycle license, most riders can take and successfully complete an approved New York motorcycle training course.

Step 1:

Access the “New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Manual.” You can get an online copy at nydmv.state.ny.us/mcmanual/mcmanual.htm or visit a local New York DMV office to get a paperback copy. The DMV has a directory of local offices at nydmv.state.ny.us/offices.htm. Of course, you will also go to the nearest NY DMV office to get your state motorcycle license (and permit).

Step 2:

Use this New York motorcycle manual to prepare for your written test. The state has a system where you first take a written test to get a New York motorcycle permit. A permit allows you to learn how to ride a motorcycle and practice under the supervision of a licensed rider who is at least 21. Because you need to pass the written test to get either a permit or license, it is best to master the New York motorcycle driving rules in the manual before doing anything else. Studying first will also help you before attending the required New York motorcycle class.

Step 3:

Download the MV-44 New York learners permit application on the New York DMV forms page at nydmv.state.ny.us/forms.htm#mv44. Take the form to your local drivers license office along with as much identification as you have (birth certificate, social security card, etc.). You will take the written motorcycle test and pay a fee that ranges from about $21 to $120. You will then receive your New York motorcycle learners permit.

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Step 4:

Practice driving. Now, the recommended course of action here is to take a motorcycle safety course. You can get the details on the New York motorcycle course at nysmsp.org/.

What is especially important about this course is that you get a waiver on your New York motorcycle driving test (road test) if you successfully complete this course.

You must have a regular New York drivers license, be at least 16 and have the motorcycle permit to get the waiver.

If you have a waiver, just go back to the New York DMV with your completion certificate and pay to get your motorcycle license.

If you do not have a waiver, then you will have to take the New York motorcycle driving (road) test at the DMV. This will require completion of a prelicensing course or driver education class. Contact local New York driving schools to take this course. Once you are ready, you need a motorcycle for the road test that is legally registered and up to date on state inspections. Pass your driving test as the last step to get your New York motorcycle license.


NYS DMV: Motorcycle License and Training Guidelines