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How to Get a Motorcycle License in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania motorcycle license is required before you can legally operate a motorcycle in the state. Getting your motorcycle license requires taking knowledge tests, getting a driving permit and passing a skills test to get your full bike license. A full motorcycle license for experienced drivers is similar to getting a motorcycle endorsement on a driving license. However, applying for motorcycle license credentials is still an option if you are younger than 18 years of age or if you have never held a drivers license of any kind before. Motorcycle drivers license rules vary depending on your age and driving experience when you apply for a license. Regardless of your experience, studying for a motorcycle license online and taking a safety training course will improve your chances of passing your tests and getting your license. Below, learn all of the motorcycle license requirements in Pennsylvania, including motorcycle helmet regulations, and find out where to get motorcycle license credentials.

How can I get a motorcycle license in Pennsylvania?

The steps for getting a motorbike driving license in Pennsylvania include paying an application fee, getting a motorcycle permit, taking vision tests, passing knowledge tests and practicing driving. The motorcycle license cost varies based on the type of license you receive. You can apply for a motorcycle license after you have gained enough experience and practice driving your motorcycle. Motorcycle licenses are issued at certain Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices.

Getting your motorcycle permit in Pennsylvania is required regardless of your age and prior driving experience. To get your motorcycle learners license, you must pass a knowledge test and vision test. Once you have your permit, you may then begin practicing. The rules for permits vary based on your age. If you are younger than 18 years of age when you apply for your motorcycle license, then you must complete 65 hours of supervised motorcycle driving and hold your permit for at least six months. If you are an adult, then you can practice driving your motorcycle without supervision. With a learners motorcycle license, you cannot operate your motorbike between dusk and dawn, no matter how old you are. Only an instructor who holds a PA motorcycle license can ride with you when you have a permit. No other passengers are allowed.

Additionally, to get motorcycle license credentials, you may take the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP). You may qualify to get your motorcycle license automatically upon completion of the PAMSP course. If you are eligible, then your permit will be stamped as an official license. You will receive your full bike license in the mail later and may continue using your permit until it arrives. If you are not eligible to get your license through the PAMSP course, then you will only receive a certificate of completion. You must then visit a PennDOT location to take your tests when you are ready.

How to Pass Pennsylvania DMV Motorcycle License Tests

Having a license for motorcycle operation requires that you first pass vison, knowledge and skills tests in Pennsylvania. Unless you receive your full motorcycle license through the PAMSP course, you must visit a PennDOT or PA DMV location to take these tests in person. Motorcycle license vision tests can be completed at a Pennsylvania driver license office or by a medical professional. To get a motorcycle license in PA, you must have 20/40 vision or better, with or without corrective lenses.


To pass the knowledge test for getting your PA motorcycle license, you may study the materials in the PennDOT Motorcycle Operator Manual. Practice motorcycle license tests are available in the back of the manual. The written test will gauge your knowledge of operating a motorcycle, understanding motorcycle laws and driving safely with other traffic on the road. Even if you already have a regular drivers license when applying for a full bike license, you will still want to review the motorcycle manual.

Next, a PA motorcycle drivers license test requires that you demonstrate your driving skills. This portion of the motorcycle licensing test takes place on a secure driving course or in regular traffic, whichever is available at your testing location. Note that not all PennDOT locations are equipped to give skills tests for three-wheeled motorcycles. Schedule a motorbike driving license test ahead of time to guarantee an appointment and to ensure that the location you choose can offer the tests you need. When you visit the licensing location, be sure to bring the following items:

  • Your motorcycle learners license
  • A completed motorcycle license application
  • A parent or guardian with a valid drivers license and a signed certification form, if you are younger than 18 years of age
  • Your motorcycle insurance card and proof of vehicle registration
  • A motorcycle helmet that meets PennDOT safety standards

Pennsylvania Helmet Requirements for Getting a Motorcycle License

When applying for your motorcycle license in Pennsylvania, be aware that the state has certain requirements for motorcycle helmets that you must follow. These rules are important when taking your motorcycle drivers license test, but you must also follow them when practicing with your permit and using your full license. Pennsylvania requires that you wear a helmet if you are younger than 21 years of age or have less than two years of motorcycle driving experience. PennDOT must also inspect all protective headgear to ensure it meets basic safety requirements, after which you will receive a DOT sticker that you must affix to the helmet.

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