How to Get a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

Motorcycle License in North Carolina

If you live in the state of North Carolina, or you’re planning to move there, you are required to have a motorcycle license to legally ride your bike on the roads in this state. Each state sets its own rules and requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license. They also provide regulations regarding the gear and safety equipment that is required. There are a few ways to obtain this license. If this is a goal of yours, you’re in the right place. Here is everything that you need to know about getting your motorcycle license in North Carolina.

North Carolina Motorcycle License Laws

A full provisional or regular driver’s license is required to operate a motorcycle on North Carolina roads according to Strickland Law. What this means is that at a minimum, you must possess a license in the state of North Carolina to operate a motor vehicle. Also, you must have either a valid motorcycle permit or a motorcycle endorsement as well. This law extends to all motor vehicles that fall under the definition of a motorcycle. It does not include mopeds in this state.

Eligibility to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit

While you are learning to ride a motorcycle, you are required to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit in advance of getting your motorcycle endorsement. There are a few requirements for eligibility. You must be at least age 18 and possess a current driver’s license. If you are between the ages of 16 to 18, you must have a full provisional driver’s license. Also, you will need to have signed consent from your parent or legal guardian.

How to get your motorcycle learner’s permit in North Carolina

There are three requirements for obtaining your motorcycle learner’s permit in North Carolina. You must make an appointment and take three tests to verify eligibility. These are in addition to the other requirements for a regular driver’s license, and parental consent for minors. You are required to pass a vision test to confirm your eyesight meets the requirements. You must also pass a road sign test and pass a knowledge test. This confirms that you know what the street signs mean and that you have the basic skills to safely operate a motorcycle on the roads. Motorcycle learner’s permits are only valid for 12 months after the date of issue, but they may be renewed for a period of six extra months. Riders holding a learner’s permit are not allowed to carry passengers with them. The cost of the permit is $20. Also, helmets are required for all motorcycle riders.

Special requirements for applicants under age 18

All applicants that are under the age of 18 must enroll in an approved motorcycle safety course, and pass the course. There are two options for doing this. Approved courses through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or N.C. Motorcycle Safety Education Program are accepted.

How do you study for a motorcycle learner’s permit?

The best way to study in advance of applying for your motorcycle learner’s permit is to obtain a copy of the Motorcyclist’s Handbook. This guide is available through the North Carolina Department of Transportation website. You can find a copy here

Where can I find Motorcycle Safety courses?

Lawyer NC, recommends checking with your local department of licensing to learn more about courses that are offered in your area. These courses are often sponsored by local Harley Davidson dealerships and some motorcycle clubs in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Riders of all ages can benefit from taking a motorcycle safety course because completion and passing all of the components makes it possible for you to avoid the riding course component to get your endorsement through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

What does the Motorcycle course consist of?

The Motorcycle Safety course is made up of two parts. The first part is classroom-based. This is where you learn the basics of motorcycle safety on the road. It includes North Carolina rules of the road as they pertain to motorcycles along with an overview of the structure and functions of the bike, safety tips for correctly handling and operating the bike, the rules about equipment standards and safety gear, and tips for avoiding accidents while riding a motorcycle on the public roads.

The second component involves actually riding and handling the motorcycle. This gives you a feel for what it’s going to be like riding in real-life situations. It helps you to build your riding skills. The riding component may be intertwined with classroom activities.

Motorcycle tests

Unless you complete a Motorcycle Safety course, you will be required to take a Motorcycle on-Cycle Skills/Road test. This is the last test to pass after passing the vision, road signs, and motorcycle knowledge test. These are all required to become eligible for a motorcycle endorsement in North Carolina.

Duration of the endorsement

Licenses are issued for varying periods, depending on your age. If you are between the ages of 18 through 53, licenses are routinely issued for 8 years with other age brackets receiving licenses for 5 years. The endorsement is an added fee that is charged on a pro-rata basis.

Final thoughts

Getting a motorcycle license in the State of North Carolina comes with quite a few requirements. The best way to prepare in advance is to obtain your free copy of the Motorcyclist’s Handbook, and study it before you apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit. The best way to obtain your license regardless of your age is to complete a Motorcycle Safety course. This allows you to bypass the road skills test for your motorcycle endorsement, and it provides you with some excellent tips on riding safely on public roads, as well as enhancing your knowledge of requirements for equipment and gear.


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