How to get a motorcycle license with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):
- Visit your local Ohio BMV office.
- Provide the necessary proof of ID.
- Pass the motorcycle written test.
- Complete a Basic Rider's Course and/or pass the skills test.
- Pay the motorcycle license fee (varies depending on age/type).
Motorcycle license requirements vary by age and license type. See below for details.
Which Ohio Motorcycle License is Right for You?
The Ohio BMV offers several different types of motorcycle licenses:
- A TIPIC (Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card).
- A License is a restricted driver's license, which authorizes the holder to operate motorcycles only.
- A Motorcycle Endorsement is an add-on permit issued to persons who already hold a current, valid Ohio driver’s license. It authorizes the holder to operate motorcycles in addition to other types of vehicles.
Applying for an OH Temporary Instruction Permit (TIPIC)
The minimum age to receive your TIPIC is 15 1/2 years old. If you feel you are ready, follow the steps below:
- Study. Pick up a copy of the Motorcycle Operations Manual as well as the Ohio Digest Motor Vehicles Laws. Both can be found online or at your local BMV office. Try taking an Online Practice Test. Sample questions can prepare you for the written test.
- After studying, head to your local exam station to complete the motorcycle knowledge test and a vision test. Both tests are free, and no appointment is necessary, although it is always recommended to make an appointment to lower wait times.
- After completing the knowledge and vision tests, you have 60 days from your test completion date to turn in your receipt of completion to a deputy registrar agency to receive your skills test waiver. Be sure to have two acceptable forms of ID showing proof of your name, date of birth, and your Social Security number.
- Pay the $22 fee to receive your temporary packet for your motorcycle TIPIC.
NOTE: If you are younger than 18 years old, you must bring a parent, guardian, or a person who has legal custody of you to the deputy registrar’s agency.
Motorcycle Temporary Permit Restrictions
Your TIPIC is valid for 1 year. With it you will be able to ride with restrictions until you receive a valid motorcycle license. Ohio Motorcycle TIPIC restrictions include:
- Riders must wear a helmet and have eye protection.
- A TIPIC is not valid on congested roadways or interstate highways.
- Riders are not permitted to carry passengers.
- Riders may ride in daylight hours only.
Applying for a Motorcycle-Only License in Ohio
BMV requirements differ if applicants are younger or older than 18 years old.
Ohio Motorcycle License Requirements (18 years old)
If you’re at least 15 1/2 years old, but under 16 years old, the Ohio BMV requires you to have held your TIPIC for at least 6 months from the date of issuance before you can get your motorcycle-only license. To obtain, you must:
- Complete an approved driver’s education course. Information on driver's education courses can be found online, or by calling (800) 837-4337.
- Pass the Basic Rider’s Course ($50).
- Complete the Fifty Hour Affidavit (Form BMV 5791).
- Call any local exam station to schedule your skills test. (See Road Skills Test―Things you should know.) You must take and pass your skills test before your motorcycle TIPIC expires. To take the test, present your valid TIPIC and supply a street-legal motorcycle in safe working condition.
- Once you have passed your skill test, return to a deputy registrar agency, present a document verifying your Social Security number and surrender your motorcycle TIPIC. Then pay the fee to obtain your motorcycle license. BMV fees are determined by age: Age 16 – $24.25. Age 17 – $23. Age 18 – $21.75.
The BMV requires license applications for persons younger than 18 years old to be co-signed by a parent or legal guardian. A co-signer must also present forms of acceptable documents verifying identification.
OH Motorcycle-Only License Requirements
- Call any local exam station to schedule a skills test where you must present your valid TIPIC and supply a street-legal motorcycle in safe working conditions. You must take and pass this test prior to the expiration of your motorcycle TIPIC.
- Once you have passed your skills test, return to a deputy registrar agency, present a document verifying your Social Security number and surrender your motorcycle TIPIC.
- Pay the fee to obtain your motorcycle license. BMV fees are determined by your age: Age18 – $21.75. Age 19 – $20.50. Age 20 – $19.25.
Age 21 and older ― $23. The deputy will collect the fee and issue your motorcycle license, which will expire 4 years plus your upcoming birthday after it has been issued.
“Taking the Basic Rider Course” Option
If you are 18 years old or older and choose to take the Motorcycle Ohio Basic Rider Course.
- Once you have passed the course, your instructor will issue you a course completion card.
- Within 60 days of issuance, bring the card to a deputy registrar's office. If you wait longer than 60 days, you'll be required to take the motorcycle skills test.
- Pay the fee, and you'll be on your way. Ohio BMV fees are determined by age: Age18 ― $21.75. Age 19 ― $20.50. Age 20 ― $19.25. Age 21 and older ― $23.
Applying for an Ohio Motorcycle Endorsement
You must hold a valid Ohio driver’s license prior to applying for an Ohio motorcycle endorsement. To obtain a motorcycle endorsement, visit any local exam station. You will need to complete a knowledge test and vision screening. No appointment is necessary, but making an appointment may cut down on wait times. To help you pass your knowledge test, try taking these online practice tests.
When applying for an OH motorcycle endorsement:
- You must pass the written motorcycle knowledge test. You must then report to a deputy registrar agency and obtain your motorcycle TIPIC within 60 days of passing. The TIPIC expires 1 year after the date of issuance.
- You can then call any local exam station to schedule a skills test. When appearing at the exam station, present your valid motorcycle TIPIC.
- Once you have passed your skills test, return to any deputy registrar agency to pay the fee and surrender your Ohio driver's license. The deputy will re-issue your license with the motorcycle endorsement. You must obtain your Ohio license prior to the expiration date of your TIPIC.
NOTE: Unless you are under 21 years old, the expiration date of your license will remain the same. When adding a motorcycle endorsement to your Ohio license while within your renewal period, the endorsement is added at no additional charge.
OH Motorcycle Endorsement Skills Test Requirements
To take your Motorcycle Endorsement Skills Test, you must present:
- A valid Ohio driver's license.
- A validated TIPIC.
- An approved helmet.
- Eye protection.
- A street legal motorcycle in safe operating condition. The motorcycle must have a firmly attached seat with handlebars or grips not more than 15 inches higher than the seat. It must be equipped with all required safety equipment.
Failure to comply with any of the above is grounds for denial of the skills test.
Ohio Motorcycle Test-Taking Tips
The Ohio BMV has both a written motorcycle knowledge test and a road skills test. Below is some helpful information to prepare you for both tests.
Preparing for the Ohio Written Motorcycle Knowledge Test
The test will cover the basic fundamentals of your learned capabilities to be a safe and responsible motorcyclist. Listed below are several publications that will help you learn the necessary knowledge to confidently pass your written test:
- Ohio Digest Motor Vehicles Laws.
- Motorcycle Operations Manual.
- Basic Rider Course: Basic Handbook.
Preparing for the Ohio Motorcycle Road Skills Test
Ohio’s motorcycle skills test is designed to ensure that you can and will be safe while riding your motorcycle in normal riding conditions and select extreme situations. The test will evaluate:
- Your basic vehicle control and crash avoidance skills.
- Your skill in handling normal and hazardous traffic situations.
- Knowledge of your motorcycle and your riding limits.
- Safe acceleration, braking and turning.
- Your abilities to see, be seen and communicate with others.
- Abilities in adjusting speed and position to the traffic situation.
- Skills in stopping, turning and having to swerve quickly.
- Making critical decisions and carrying them out.
Examiners may score on factors related to safety such as:
- Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers.
- Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries.
- Completing normal and quick stops.
- Completing normal and quick turns or swerves.
Ohio’s Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
The BMV requires motorcyclists to have current insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements, or to have proof that the driver meets Ohio’s other financial responsibility standards. Before riding, make sure your coverage meets Ohio’s minimum requirements.