If you live in the state of New Jersey and you're thinking about riding a motorcycle, there are a few things you need to know about the laws. Each state has its own unique requirements and rules for the legal operation of a motorcycle. New Jersey is no exception. It's not legal to operate a motorcycle without a motorcycle license or at a minimum, a motorcycle instructional permit. To eliminate any myths or misconceptions, here is everything you need to know about getting a motorcycle license in New Jersey.
Is a license required for all types of motorcycles?
New Jersey, like most other states, has definitions of what each considers to be a motorcycle. You are required to have a motorcycle endorsement to operate any motorcycle, bicycle, or tricycle that has an attached motor. Those that are low-speed with a 1.5 brake horsepower motor or less, and achieve a speed, not over 35 mph, are not included in this category. Therefore, motorcycles over 50cc, trikes, or three-wheel motorcycles, or bicycles equipped with engines that meet the definition require a motorcycle endorsement, according to the NJ MVC.
How to obtain a motorcycle endorsement
In the state of New Jersey, you are not required to possess a valid New Jersey Driver's license to be eligible to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. There are two ways that you can obtain a motorcycle endorsement. If you are under the age of 18, you are required to enrolling the basic rider course. The course must be approved by the NJ MVC. If you are age 18 or older you may apply for an endorsement without completion of the basic rider course. New Jersey is one of the few states that does not require a driver's license before gaining a motorcycle endorsement, but certain restrictions apply.
How to get a motorcycle endorsement without a driver's license
All riders who do not have a driver's license are required to get a motorcycle permit before applying for a motorcycle endorsement. To do this you must bring with you, 6 points of identification verification to the NJ Motor Vehicle Agency. You must be at least 17 years of age with the consent of a legal guardian or parent if you are under age 18. You will be required to pass the knowledge and vision tests and pass them to obtain your motorcycle permit.
How to prepare for the knowledge test
Every driver or rider must possess a basic knowledge of the rule of the road as it pertains to operating a motorcycle. This includes familiarity with the laws, rules, and street signs. The best way to gain this knowledge is to obtain a motorcycle rider manual. You can find one here. The test questions will be made up of the information that is found in this instructional guide. You should also obtain a Driver's manual to gain the knowledge needed to pass the knowledge test.
Do I need a permit to take the Basic Rider Course?
No. an instruction permit is not required for anyone taking the Basic Rider Course. You must identify an approved course that is being offered in your area and register. The basic course requires five hours of classroom attendance combined with 10 hours of riding exercises. This helps to give you the basic knowledge necessary to safely operate a motorcycle. You must complete the course and obtain a stamped waiver form. you will also be issued a completion card.
The Motorcycle Rider Education Courses
Run Tha City points out that the New Jersey Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course is offered several times a year. This course is required for all applicants under age 18, but it can be useful for riders of all ages. Successful completion of the course grants you a waiver so you don't have to take the road skills test with the MVC. the written test is also waived with proof of completion. It also helps to prepare you for the safe operation of a motorcycle on New Jersey public roads. Professional drivers teach the courses.
Getting your motorcycle endorsement
Even if you have taken and passed the Basic Riders Course, you are required to spend a minimum of 20 days practicing riding a motorcycle. This means that if you obtained a permit you must schedule your test at least 20 days after the permit was issued. It is unlawful to practice riding on the roads without a permit.
Restrictions for motorcycle permitted riders
When riding a motorcycle with a permit, you are required to practice riding a minimum of 20 days to become eligible to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. Permitted riders may only ride from a half-hour before sunrise, through daylight hours, up to a half-hour after sunset. You are not allowed to carry passengers, and you are not allowed to ride on any state toll road or highway with limited access restrictions.
Get your motorcycle endorsement
You must schedule an appointment with your local NJ MVC to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. Bring along 6 points of identification verification, proof of completion of an approved motorcycle basic skills course, and waiver forms. You will still be required to complete a vision test. The written and road tests are required if you do not have proof of the Basic Riders Course. You must pay the associated fees, and you will be granted a motorcycle endorsement.
It's not difficult to obtain a motorcycle endorsement in the state of New Jersey if you know the rules of the road and can prove you have the skills to operate a motorcycle safely. The best way to achieve an endorsement is to study the free motorcycle handbook, the drivers' manual, and attend and complete a Basic Skills Course. This can cut down on the number of tests you will be required to take.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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