To legally operate a newly purchased motorcycle in New York, you must obtain a learner’s permit, Class MJ driver license or a Class M license.

Are you new in New York?

If you already have a valid Motorcycle License from another state, to obtain a New York motorcycle license, you will need to complete Form MV-44 (Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card). You will need to take this form to a local DMV office to apply for your New York license. Be sure to:

  • Provide proof of identity and date of birth.
  • To surrender your out-of-state license.
  • Pay the fee.
  • Provide a photo ID.

Your temporary New York motorcycle license will be processed within the same day and given to you. You will obtain the permanent one through mail after two weeks of submitting your applications.

Do you have a New York Learner’s Permit or Driver License?

If you have a New York learner’s permit or driver’s license, you may not be required to take pre-licensing driver education courses. Instead, you will proceed to take the written motorcycle test when applying for motorcycle license. To pass this test, it is recommended that you master the New York Motorcycle Manual. You will need to visit your local DMV office to take the test. Remember to take with you a completed Form MV-44 (Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card), identification documents and pay the required fee ($21 to $120). The New York learner’s permit is valid for one year.

Learner’s Permit

The motorcycle learner’s permit comes with some restrictions:

  • You must be supervised by an experienced licensed rider over 21 years old. He or she must remain within ¼ mile from you.
  • No riding of motorcycle at night.
  • No carrying of passengers.

Commercial motorcycle riding school

Enrolling in a commercial motorcycle riding school is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended by the DMV. If you enroll in a commercial motorcycle riding school, you will learn special skills that you require to ride comfortably and safely. The New York DMV recommends that you complete 10 hours of riding a motorcycle in high-volume traffic and 30 hours of riding practice, before taking your riding test. Taking this course may make the DMV to waive your riding test. To enroll in this school, you will need to:

  • Provide a registered and inspected motorcycle.
  • Come with correct safety gears and equipment.
  • Come with a registered and inspected car driven by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old. The car is meant to transport the license examiner.

Road test tips

Since you are adding a new New York Class M motorcycle license to a current New York regular driver’s license (Class D license), once you pass the road test, the procedure involved is unique. You will be issued with a temporary motorcycle license. You will be required to hold the permit for at least 7 days after receiving it. You will then be required to present your temporary motorcycle license, motorcycle learner’s permit and current New York driver’s license to the New York DMV officials. At DMV office, you will also be required to complete Form MV-44 (Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID) and pay $12.50 document fee. After submitting the required documentation, you will be issued with a new driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement.

No New York Learner’s Permit or Driver License

If you don’t have a valid New York learner’s permit or regular driver’s license and you plan to apply for a motorcycle license, you must meet the same requirements and undergo the same procedure of obtaining a regular driver’s license. This is because you share the road with car drivers, and so you will need the same training. Therefore you will need to master both the Motorcycle Manual and the Driver’s Manual if you want to pass the driver’s tests.

Road Test Waiver

If you complete a New York approved rider course, the DMV will exempt you from taking the motorcycle road test if you are applying for a motorcycle license or endorsement.