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How to Get a Motorcycle License in Kansas

Motorcycle License in Kansas

Are you a Kansas resident with a passion for motorcycles? Before you can enjoy the freedom of the open road, there's one thing you need to do first: get your license. Fortunately, the process is much easier than you might think. After you've followed a few simple steps, you'll be free to ride the road to your heart's content. Here's everything you need to know about getting a motorcycle license in Kansas.

Are There Any Age Restrictions?

If you want to apply for a license, you'd better have enough birthdays under your belt. Licenses will only be issued to people aged 16 years old and over. If you're aged 21 or over and already hold a driver's license, you can get a motorcycle endorsement added onto it by passing a vision test, a knowledge test, and a skills test. If you're under 21, you'll need to apply for a separate M Class license.

Do I Need a Permit First?

In most states, you'll need to get a motorcycle permit before you can even think of getting a license. Kansas takes a different approach. While a permit is encouraged (if you're not quite up to speed on your motorcycle skills, holding a permit will let you practice on public roads before you submit to the skills test needed to get your license), it's not a strict requirement. If you decide to apply for a permit, you'll need to be at least 14 years old. If you're between 14 and 16 years old when you apply for the permit, you'll need to provide written approval from your parent or guardian.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply For A Permit?

As per, permit applications will need to be accompanied by the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military KS card (if applicable)
  • Kansas ID card
  • Social Security Number
  • Parental Consent Form (for applicants under the age of 16)

If you've previously provided this information to the DOR (e.g. if you've already applied for a driver's license), you won't need to provide it again.

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

Once you have all the documents you need to apply for a permit, you'll need to present these at a DOR driver's license station. If you're under 16, you'll need to make sure your parent or guardian comes along so they can sign your application. Once you've handed in the documents, you'll be asked to sit a vision test and a written exam. The written exam requirement will be waived if you're already enrolled in driver's education: in this case, you'll need to present a DE99 form completed by your instructor instead.

The permit will last for a year, but can be easily renewed if needed.

Are There Any Permit Restrictions I Need to Be Aware Of?

While holding a permit gives you the chance to practice your motorcycle skills before applying for a license, it's not quite the ticket to ride some people think it is. For a start, you'll only be permitted to use the motorcycle when you're accompanied by someone aged 21 years or older who holds a valid M class license. As carrying passengers is strictly off-limits before you graduate to a full license, your supervisor will need to ride on a separate motorcycle while staying in close enough proximity to you to offer support.

How Do I Get a Licence?

If you're over 21 years old and hold a valid commercial or regular driver's license, your motorcycle endorsement will be added to your license, rather than issued as a separate entity. As per, once you pass the necessary steps to get your motorcycle endorsement, your original license class will get a new 'M' credential. This will let you ride a motorcycle in addition to the existing vehicles your current license supports. If you are below 21 years old and don't already hold an existing license, you'll be issued with a Class M license.

The process of applying for an endorsement/ Class M license is simple enough. You'll simply need to sit a vision test, pass a knowledge test, and undertake a skills-based test. Once you pass all the elements involved and pay the appropriate fee (details to follow), the DOR will issue your endorsement. Regardless of whether you apply for a separate license or an endorsement, the DOR will issue you a new card. This will be sent by mail and will usually take around 45 days to arrive.

Is There an Alternative to the Skills Test?

If you'd rather skip the skills test portion of your license application, you can. If you successfully complete a motorcycle safety course offered through the Kansas Department of Education, the requirement to sit the skills test will be waived. In many cases, it'll also let you skip the written segment of the test.

What Should I Do if I'm a New Resident?

As Permit. Bike notes, if you're new to Kansas, you have 90 days to transfer your current motorcycle license once you've established residency. To start the process, you'll need to provide evidence of your identity and residence (mail sent to your home, a voter registration card, or other paperwork that shows your address will suffice). You'll then need to surrender your out-of-state license (holding two licenses from two different states isn't permitted) and pass a vision exam. You won't usually be expected to complete a written or skills test in the way you would if you were applying for a new license. Once you've paid the processing fee, your new license will be issued. Bear in mind that the transfer will only be completed if your out-of-state license is in good standing. If it's been revoked, suspended, or canceled in any state, you're going to run into problems.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Licence?

Regardless of whether you're applying for an M Class license or an endorsement, don't expect the DOR to issue your freedom to ride without charging a fee for the privilege. Depending on the type of license you apply for, you can expect to be charged the following:

  • $10 for a motorcycle instruction permit
  • $32 for a four-year CM license
  • $31 for an under-21 license
  • $36 for a four-year CDL with an M endorsement
  • $41.50 for a six-year CM license
  • $47.50 for a six-year CDL with an M endorsement

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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