If you purchase a motorcycle in Maryland, the law requires you to apply for a Class M license before riding your motorcycle on public roads and streets. The process of obtaining a Class M license is almost similar to that of a regular driver’s license.

Applying for a Motorcycle License

Before you apply for a motorcycle license, you will need to study the Motorcycle Operator Manual. This manual contains useful information on how to apply for a Class M license, motorcycle safety precautions and motorcycle regulations. In fact this guide will answer all the questions you have about operating a motorcycle in Maryland. Obtaining a Maryland motorcycle license involves similar process as that of a regular driver’s license. There is only a slight difference; the tests that are involved.

Age Requirements

The law requires you to be at least 18 years old when you apply for a motorcycle license. However, applicants under 18 years old can also apply for a motorcycle license but they have to enroll and successfully complete additional safety programs. They will also need to get authorization from their parents or guardians. You will be required to hold a valid Maryland driver’s license at the time of applying for a motorcycle license. If you don’t have a Maryland driver’s license, you will be required to pass the rider safety course and other tests.

Identification Requirements

You must present documents that show proof of identity such as age, name, and place of residency.

Where to Apply

You can visit the nearest local MVA office to apply for a motorcycle license. You will be required to fill out some documents and provide proof of identity and place of residency. However, you will have other options if you take and pass the motorcycle safety course. This course is offered at various locations throughout Maryland. If you successfully complete this course, you will be issued with a certificate of completion. Once you present this certificate, the MVA testing process will be waived. If you present this certificate to any local MVA office, you will be issued with a license.

Testing

The testing for applying for a motorcycle license in Maryland is a bit complex. The testing processes involve exams and physical evaluations. You will need to pass each of them to move to the next level. These are some of tests involved:

  • Vision test: If you pass the other tests, but you already wear eyeglasses, you will be issued with a restricted license.
  • Road sign and marker identification test: This test is designed to measure how you differentiate color and road markings.
  • Written exam: If you are applying for a license for the first time, you will be required to take both the general driving exam and the motorcycle-specific test. These tests come with multiple choices and are taken from motorcycle manuals.
  • Motorcycle skills test: This test is designed to evaluate your motorcycle handling skills during critical situations such as the quick stop, sharp left turn, balancing in a straight line and other skills. If you fail this test, you can still retake it after a week.

Motorcycle Safety

The safety course is not mandatory if you are older than 18 years old. But taking this course will help you stay safe and avoid compromising the safety of other road users.