New Hampshire has 1 motorcycle for every 18 people, making it one of the most motorcycle-heavy states in the US. If you want to add to that number, you’re in luck. While applying for a motorcycle license is never going to be as much fun as actually riding a bike, New Hampshire has made the process as straightforward as possible. Providing you can work your way through a multiple-choice test, can operate a motorcycle without endangering your life or anyone else’s, and have enough dollars in your wallet to stretch to the application fee, the freedom to ride will be yours before you know it. Keen to get started? Then here’s everything you need to know about applying for a motorcycle license in New Hampshire.
If you’re aged 15, then you’ll need to wait till next year before you can apply for your license. New Hampshire will only accept motorcycle license applications from people aged 16 or over. If you’re under the age of 18, you’ll need to follow some additional requirements in order to get your license. This includes successfully completing a Basic Rider Class and getting parental consent beforehand.
Some states will let you ride a motorcycle even if you’ve never slid behind the wheel of a car in your life. New Hampshire does things differently. Regardless of whether you want to apply for a motorcycle permit or a full license, there’s one thing you’ll need to do first: pass your driving test. If you don’t already hold a valid New Hampshire driver’s license, the DMV won’t think twice about declining your application.
Motorcycle Learner’s Permit
While some states require you to hold a motorcycle permit for a minimum period before applying for a full license, New Hampshire doesn’t. Whether or not you apply for a permit prior to applying for a license is entirely up to you. While it’s optional, applying for a permit in the first instance carries a number of benefits, not least the opportunity to practice and hone your motorcycle skills. As nh.gov notes, to apply for a permit, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old. If you’re under 18, you’ll need to have successfully completed an approved driver education course and got parental approval to apply.
Once you get your permit, you’re free to practice riding on any New Hampshire road during daylight hours. You won’t, however, be allowed to drive after dark or carry any passengers. As the DMV notes, permits are valid for 45 days from the date of issue. If you obtain your full license within that period, you’ll need to surrender the permit. As the permit isn’t renewable and will only be issued once, be sure to apply for your license in good time.
How to Apply for a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit
If you decide to apply for a permit before a license, you’ll need to submit to a vision screening test and a motorcycle knowledge test. The test is based on the Motorcycle Operator Manual. The test isn’t complicated, but it’s worth swotting up on the text in advance. When you attend your appointment with the DMV, you’ll need to provide a completed ‘Application for Motorcycle Endorsement’ and a copy of your New Hampshire driver’s license. Be sure to bring your wallet when you attend: you’ll need to pay $30 to the DMV for them to process your application. If you pass the vision and knowledge test, you’ll be issued with a 45-day learner permit immediately. If you want, you can also schedule your motorcycle skills test (the next step in the process) during your appointment.
The Motorcycle Skills Test
To apply for your motorcycle license, you’ll need to book an appointment for a motorcycle skills test. The test is designed to ensure you can operate a motorcycle safely and have the necessary skills to perform basic functions. When you attend the test, be sure to bring along your own motorcycle. You’ll either need to arrange for it to be taken to the test site independently or, if you already hold a learner’s permit, you can ride it there yourself. The motorcycle will need to be registered and insured. The motorcycle test isn’t designed to trip you up, but you will be expected to show basic riding competency. If you fail the test, you’ll be giving the opportunity to repeat it. If you fail on two consecutive occasions, you’ll need to successfully complete a motorcycle rider training course before you can get your license.
Motorcycle Training Program
If you don’t perform well under pressure, there’s an alternative to sitting the motorcycle skills test. Riders who prefer courses over tests or who simply want to brush up their skills can opt to take a Motorcycle Training Program instead of a skills test. The courses are run from various venues across the state, and are open to both new and experienced riders. As per permit.bike, the program consists of a combination of book instructions and hands-on motorcycle riding experience. Equipment and motorcycles are provided. During the course, you’ll cover essentials such as controls, safety rules, clothing instructions, and maneuvering practices. If you’re below the age of 18, you don’t get a choice in the matter. If you want your license, you’ll need to show successful completion of a training program before anything else.
Applying for a License
Once you’ve passed your skills test or completed your training program, you can book an appointment with the DMV to complete your application for a state license. When you attend the appointment, bring along a copy of your NH driver’s license and either your completion card from the training program or your motorcycle skills tests results. After you pay the necessary fee (this will be waived if you’ve already paid for a permit), you’ll be issued with your motorcycle endorsement.
The fees to apply for an NH motorcycle license, endorsement, or permit for 2021 are as follows:
• Motorcycle learner’s permit: $30.
• Motorcycle license (endorsement ): $30.
• Motorcycle license only: $55.
If you have already applied for a permit within the past year, you won’t be required to pay again for your motorcycle endorsement.