Each state has its requirements for motorcycle riders who seek to ride legally on state and county roads. If you live in the state of Alabama and you're wondering how to go about getting your motorcycle license, you're in the right place. We have all of the information that you need to know about the process.
Motorcycle laws have recently changed in Alabama
The FRP Legal team informs us that it's important for riders in the state of Alabama to check on revisions to the laws to remain current. Some legislation regarding motorcycle operation has changed. To legally ride on public roads, there are several things you need to know.
Every motorcycle rider is now required to have a class M endorsement
Alabama was the last state that did not require a motorcycle endorsement on top of the traditional license to operate a motor vehicle. This law has changed and now every rider must have a regular driver's license to legally ride a motorcycle. You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible to hold a class M endorsement. Also, you are required to wear a motorcycle safety helmet when riding. Passengers are also legally required to use a safety helmet. The helmets must conform to the established specifications of the law to qualify. They must meet minimum safety standards for the shell, padding, cradle, and chin-strap.
How do you get a motorcycle endorsement in Alabama?
You are required to pass a test to receive your Class M Driver License Endorsement. You must read The Alabama Motorcycle Manual, and become familiar with all of its contents to pass. The manual informs you about the rules of the road along with information that is specific for motorcycle drivers. Some of the information is already presented in your driver's test for a regular license, but because motorcycle driving is different than operating a car, you must become familiar with the differences between driving cars or trucks, and motorcycles. You will learn about the safe operation of your motorcycle, what the law currently requires regarding equipment and accessories, and about inspecting your motorcycle before you take it out on the road. The manual provides all of the information that is necessary to complete the written portion of the motorcycle endorsement test, but you must also know how to handle the motorcycle and operate it safely and responsibly. The manual is available online and in printed form at no charge. It is your responsibility to read and understand all the contents of the guide before taking your endorsement exam.
There are resources to help you prep in advance of the test
If you're uncertain about your knowledge base, there is a useful resource that is provided free of charge to test your knowledge. Driving Tests Alabama offers an online test that covers some rules of the road and other useful information. You will have the opportunity to take a test that asks a series of questions. Each question offers four different choices and you must choose the correct answer. Hints are also provided to help you jog your memory. There are 25 questions. If you miss a question, a full explanation of the correct answer is provided so you can study and improve your chances of passing the real test. The practice test is a tool to help you prepare for the exam, but it is not the real test. To pass the practice test you must correctly answer 21 of the 25 questions.
How long does the Class M test last?
According to the Alabama DMV, The test for earning your Alabama motorcycle endorsement is a two-fold test. The first part of the test is a knowledge test. You are given a set of 30 questions that are based on information provided in the DMV Motorcycle Operator Manual for Alabama. You must answer 24 of the 30 questions correctly for a minimum score of 80 percent to pass. The second part of the test requires you to take an on-cycle skills test. You will physically demonstrate your ability to handle the motorcycle in the presence of an AL DMV license examiner who will request that you perform a series of driving maneuvers. The examiner will rate your performance and give you an overall score for your knowledge about the motorcycle, how to handle the bike in traffic along with other tasks that are similar to the driving test you take for your initial driver's license.
Although Alabama was lenient in their laws about motorcycle requirements, the last 2 years brought about significant changes in the laws. You are now required to possess a traditional driver's license, and to additionally possess a Class M endorsement to legally operate a motorcycle on the road. To receive this endorsement you are required to take a written exam that tests your knowledge of motorcycle operation and the rules of the road as it pertains to motorcycles. The state DMV provides a free manual with all the information that you need to pass this portion of the test. The second part of the test requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of how to ride a motorcycle and how to interact with traffic on public roads. A licensing examiner administers this part of the test and grades your performance. It is at the discretion of the examiner to determine if you are skilled enough to safely operate a motorcycle on public roads, so it pays to practice in advance. Free online tests are available if you want to test your current knowledge base or identify the areas where you need more work.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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