It is possible to get your motorcycle-only license in another state. If you got your license in another state and it is endorsed for motorcycle operation, Florida will reciprocate the endorsement, and a motorcycle course will not be required. One exception to this rule is Alabama; Alabama riders must have a Basic Rider Course completion card to operate a motorcycle legally.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we want all riders to be safe and stay legal. So, if you are looking to get a motorcycle license in a different state, you’ll want to make sure you do your research. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations regarding licensing.
Getting a Motorcycle License in Another State
Most states have the same requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license or endorsement.
Age – All 50 states have a minimum age for a motorcycle license. You can usually get one at 16. However, many states also require signed parental consent for riders under 18.
Driver’s Licenses: Most states require you to at least take a knowledge test for a driver’s license before getting a motorcycle license.
Safety Courses: Most states require riders to take a motorcycle safety course approved by The Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Vision Test: Nearly all states require riders to take a basic vision test.
Documentation: The DMV will request documents verifying your identity, such as your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
License Fees: All states will require you to pay license fees for your motorcycle license application.
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Motorcycle insurance is required in every state except Florida. However, minimum coverage requirements are not the same. So you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of those before you purchase an insurance policy.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
All states have motorcycle helmet laws of some kind. However, the minimum age for wearing a helmet varies from state to state. For example, in Alabama, all motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear a helmet with a chin strap. However, in South Carolina, helmet laws are limited to riders, and passengers under the age of 21 have to have a chin strap or neck strap and be ‘reflectorized’ on both sides.
Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Florida’s helmet law is slightly more complicated. All motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear helmets. However, you are exempt if you are 21 or over and covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for motorcycle-related injuries.
Still, regardless of age, all motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear eye protection unless they are enclosed in a sidecar.
Florida Motorcycle License Requirements
If you want to get your license in Florida, you should know a few things. Like any other state, Florida law requires all motorcycle drivers to have a motorcycle license. Drivers have two ways to get the state’s motorcycle operator’s endorsement on their driver’s license.
To get a motorcycle license, you must be at least 16 years old and have held a learner’s license for at least a year with no traffic convictions. Drivers over 18 are eligible for motorcycle licenses or endorsements without getting a permit first.
You can go to any driver license office to take a written test made up of 20 questions. Once you pass the written test, the state will issue you a permit that is good for 60 days.
Before your permit expires, you must take a driving test. The driving test is more hands-on and will require you to show that you can operate a motorcycle safely on public roads. You can practice for the driving test by taking a motorcycle safety course.
Once you pass the driving test, you’ll get a new driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement.
A motorcycle endorsement is for drivers who already have a Florida driver’s license. To get a motorcycle endorsement in Florida, you must:
- Hold a regular Class E Driver’s License
- Complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) motorcycle safety course. You can take these courses at any authorized Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
- Go to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles or tax collector office that issues a motor vehicle license with your course certification and proper ID.
- Pay the required endorsement fee ($7) and a license fee ($48). In addition, if you are applying at a county tax collector office, you will pay an additional fee ($6.25).
No matter where you get your motorcycle license, motorcycle accidents are prevalent around the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, in 2019, over 5,000 motorcyclists suffered a fatality. Over 500 occurred in Florida. It’s important to stay safe on the road by following all traffic laws, obeying traffic signs, and wearing protective gear.
Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we support the Tampa Bay biker community personally and professionally. We understand personal injury law for motorcyclists and have committed to protecting motorcycle rider rights.
We have handled numerous motorcycle accident claims in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, and Tampa and know insurance companies’ strategies to avoid rewarding full compensation.
If you feel you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed.