Motorcycle License In Texas: Types of Permits & Procedure

In Texas, obtaining a proper motorcycle license is not only a legal requirement but also a vital measure for your safety on the roads. This is incredibly important as you’re not the only one on the road. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 8.6 million registered motorcycles in 2021, almost more than double the number recorded in 2002. In addition to motorcyclists, automobiles also circulate heavily throughout the state.

As a motorcycle accident lawyer, experience and earning a motorcycle permit are vital for aspiring motorcycle riders before hitting the open road. In this article, we will guide you through the process of:

  • Acquiring a motorcycle license in Texas;
  • Understanding the different types of licenses;
  • Providing step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a motorcycle license.

A Walkthrough of Different Types of Texas Motorcycle Permits

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issues several types of motorcycle licenses and endorsements based on your specific needs and the particulars regarding your situation.

Class M License

A Class M License is designed exclusively for operating a motorcycle. To obtain a Class M License, applicants must pass both a written exam and an on-cycle skills test – or complete an approved motorcycle safety course that waives the testing requirements. The applicant also needs a currently valid class C driver’s license.

Class CM License

A Class CM License allows full driving privileges for both motorcycles and regular passenger vehicles. To secure this license, applicants must hold a valid Class C learner permit and either pass the required tests (testing both vision and knowledge) or complete an approved motorcycle safety course.

Motorcycle Endorsement

Riders who already possess a valid Class A, B, or C driver’s license can add a motorcycle endorsement to their existing license by passing the required exams or completing an approved motorcycle safety course. Upon successful completion, the motorcycle designation (either “M” or “CM”) will be added to their current license.

Age Limits and Restrictions for Motorcycle Drivers

motorcycle ridersTexas imposes age-related restrictions on motorcycle licensing, ensuring that only age-appropriate applicants can operate motorcycles. Understanding these limits and restrictions is essential in promoting better road safety throughout the state, especially in metropolitan areas like Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

Minimum Age Requirements

  1. 15 years old: Texas permits riders as young as 15 years old to obtain a restricted Class M license (also referred to as an “MR” license). This type requires a motorcycle safety course completion certificate and is subject to certain power restrictions.
  2. 16 years old and above: Riders who are 16 years or older qualify for a regular Class M, Class CM, or motorcycle endorsement on their existing driver’s license after completing the necessary testing requirements or approved motorcycle safety course.

Restricted Class M License

The Restricted Class M License (MR) is available to 15-year-old riders, allowing them to operate a motorcycle with no more than 250cc engine displacement. Additionally:

  • A high school driving eligibility certificate must accompany the application.
  • To receive a Restricted Class M License, you must have held a valid Class C learner permit for at least six months without any traffic violations.
  • You must not have had your provisional license suspended or revoked during this period.

Note that upon turning 16 years old and providing proof of a completed motorcycle safety course, riders can apply to remove these restrictions and acquire a standard Class M License. For minors out-of-state, they must mandatorily pass the driver education requirement even if they obtained a motorcycle license elsewhere. To find the nearest location to complete your training, you should consult the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Obtaining Your Motorcycle License: A Step-By-Step Process

Earning your motorcycle license in Texas may require effort and patience, but it’s ultimately achievable by following the steps outlined below.

1. Obtain a Motorcycle Safety Course Certificate

Enroll and complete a DPS-approved Motorcycle Safety Course. Different states have varying traffic laws especially on issues like motorcycle lane splitting, which highlights the importance of these state-sponsored courses. Upon successful completion, the participant will receive a certificate that can be used to waive the written and on-cycle skills tests at the DPS office. However, it is important to note that the course covers both theoretical and practical aspects of safe motorcycle operation and is recommended for beginners and experienced riders alike.

2. Apply at the Texas DPS Office

With your valid ID, proof of citizenship or legal presence, Social Security number, and motorcycle safety course completion certificate in hand, head to your local Texas DPS office. Pay the appropriate application fees (which vary depending on the type of license or endorsement you seek), fill out the necessary forms, and sign the application.

3. Pass Vision Test (if required)

In some cases, applicants may need to pass a vision test to ensure their ability to operate a motorcycle safely. This usually depends on whether you have already passed a vision test since obtaining your prior class of driver’s license.

4. Obtain Your New License

Upon approval of your application and the necessary tests being waived by your approved motorcycle safety course certificate, you will be granted your new Class M or CM license, or an endorsement added to your existing license.

Acquiring a motorcycle license in Texas involves understanding the various types of motorcycle licenses available, exploring the associated age limits and restrictions, and completing an approved motorcycle safety course. By successfully navigating these steps and requirements, you’ll soon be ready to hit the sprawling landscapes that Texas has to offer!

However, it’s always important to never forget the rules of the road. Disobeying traffic laws can result in severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or even death. If you need additional information with regard to motorcycling laws and obtaining your license, schedule a free consultation with a professional to ensure you have the right and accurate resources.




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Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., rooted in Christian values, exclusively handles personal injury cases, advocating for the rights of accident and negligence victims. Our Houston-based team, dedicated to compassion and excellence, handles cases across car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other types of cases with a commitment to personalized care. Upholding integrity and client-focused service, we strive for impactful legal outcomes. For a detailed understanding of our approach and team, visit our attorneys page.

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