Do you dream of experiencing the freedom of the open road? If you do, there's one thing you need to do first - get a motorcycle license. If you're a resident of Connecticut, the process of obtaining a license is simple enough. Pass a few tests, complete an application form, pay a small fee and your license will be yours before you know it. The one thing to bear in mind is that unlike certain other states, Connecticut doesn't offer a separate credential for operating a motorcycle. Rather, it adds a motorcycle endorsement to your regular driver's license. As such, you'll need to already hold a regular license before you can apply. Here's everything you need to know about how to get a motorcycle license in Connecticut.
How to Get A Motorcycle Permit
Some states require that you hold a motorcycle permit before you apply for a motorcycle license. Connecticut doesn't. If you want to skip straight to applying for your license, you can. However, if you would rather practice your skills in advance of taking the test required as part of your license application, it's well worth considering. Without a permit, you won't be allowed to practice riding on public roadways. Once you obtain a permit, you'll be able to hone your skills in preparation for the next step. To get a permit, you'll need to be at least 16 years of age. You'll also be required to hold an existing driver’s license.
To apply, you'll need to visit a full-service branch of the DMV. Be sure to bring along the following documents with you:
• Application for Non-Commercial Driver’s License (this can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website)
• Proof of identity
• Proof of Social Security Number
• Proof of CT residency
• Proof of legal status in the US
• Certificate of Parental Consent form if you are below 18 years old
As part of your application, you'll be required to pass a vision test and knowledge test.
Once you get your permit, you'll be permitted to operate a motorcycle on public roadways. However, it's important to note that a permit isn't a full license and carries certain restrictions. To avoid running into any trouble, keep the following rules and restrictions in mind.
• You are only permitted to operate the motorcycle in Connecticut
• You are permitted to drive your motorcycle between sunrise and sunset only
• You are not permitted to carry passengers
• You are not permitted to ride on limited-access highways
As the DMV notes, in addition to the above, you are also required to wear vision protection such as glasses, goggles or a face shield if your bike does not have a windscreen. You are also required to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) certified helmet. As DMV.org notes, a Connecticut learner's permit is valid for 60 days only and may be renewed one time for an additional 60 days. To renew the permit, you'll need to visit a Connecticut DMV office. Bring along your current permit along with your driver's license and ID. The permit will be renewed on payment of a $16 fee.
Motorcycle License Requirements
To apply for a motorcycle license in Connecticut, you'll need to be at least 16 years of age and hold a regular Connecticut driver’s license. Before you can get your license, you'll need to pass a knowledge and vision test at the DMV. You'll also need to provide a certificate of completion from a motorcycle safety course.
Motorcycle Safety Classes
Regardless of your age, you'll need to complete a motorcycle safety class such as the basic rider course offered through the Connecticut Rider Education Program (CONREP) before getting your license. Before you can sign up for a class, you'll need to hold a regular driver's license and be able to ride a bicycle. The course consists of a combination of classroom instruction and practical training. As safety courses include a riding skills portion, you won't be required to sit an additional skills test as part of your license application.
Applying for a License with a Motorcycle Permit
If you already hold a motorcycle permit, you'll need to apply for your license by visiting a full-service DMV office. Be sure to bring your motorcycle permit, your regular driver's license, and your certificate of completion from a DMV-approved motorcycle safety training course. Once you submit the application, the DMV will add an "M" endorsement to your regular license without any additional cost.
Applying for a License Without a Motorcycle Permit
If you don't hold a valid Connecticut motorcycle permit, you'll need to visit a full-service DMV office and present the following documentation:
• Your Connecticut driver's license
• Proof of completion of a motorcycle safety course
• A signed Certificate of Parental Consent (Form 2D), if you are under the age of 18 years old
• A completed Non-Commercial Drivers License application (Form R-229)
In addition to the above, you will need to pay a $40 fee to cover the required motorcycle vision and knowledge tests. The knowledge test consists of a 16 question multiple-choice exam. The test is based on the Connecticut Motorcycle Manual and the Connecticut Driver's Manual - to give yourself the best chance of success, be sure to read through the manuals beforehand. To pass the vision test, you'll need to have at least 20/40 vision with or without corrective lenses. You'll also need to have a peripheral vision of at least 140 degrees.
Once you pass the tests, you'll need to pay a further $30 fee and an $8 municipality convenience fee to receive your license. If you fail the knowledge test, you can apply to resist it at a cost of $40.
Once you get your license, you'll need to abide by a few extra rules for the first few months. If you're over the age of 18, you won't be allowed to carry passengers for the first 90 days after receiving your credentials. If you're under the age of 18, you'll need to wait 6 months before you can carry passengers.
Advice for New Residents
If you are a new resident of Connecticut with an out-of-state motorcycle license, you can apply to transfer it to a Connecticut license. As ct.gov notes, this will need to be done within 30 days of obtaining Connecticut residency. To complete the process, you'll need to visit a DMV office with the following documents:
• Your current driver's license
• Completed Application for a Non-Commercial Driver’s License
• Proof of Identity
• Proof of SSN
• Proof of Connecticut residency
• Proof of legal presence in the U.S.
If you're under the age of 18, you'll need to complete a vision test and complete an eight-hour safe driving class before receiving your new license.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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