Can I Drive A Motorcycle With A Car License? (Know the Truth)

Can I Drive A Motorcycle With A Car License

A driving license is a must to drive vehicles on the road. There are specific rules for two-wheeled and other heavy vehicles. Can I drive a motorcycle with a car license is a common query that the riders ask the most. 

Unfortunately, you can’t drive a motorcycle with a car license if it doesn’t include the class(M) for a motorcycle. Every state has different driving rules, and no state allows one to drive a motorcycle with a car license.

A motorcycle driving license comes with an “M” class, and a Car driving license comes with a “G” class. There is also a license with both classes (GM). Read more about this topic below –

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Drive a Motorcycle with a Car License:

States didn’t permit riders to drive a motorcycle with a car license, obviously for some logical reasons. It’s to ensure the highest safety for the riders. Have a look at 3 major reasons why it’s not permissible to ride a motorcycle with a car license –   

  1. 2-Wheeled Vehicle

Motorcycles are different from traditional vehicles. It’s the only two-wheeled vehicle on the road. The wheels and weight of the vehicle are also among the facts being evaluated while issuing a driving license.

Heavier vehicles, such as trucks or buses, have separate types of licenses available for the riders. This is to ensure the highest safety for the riders and also for the other people on the road.

  1. Different Skill

Driving a motorcycle and a car is not the same. Someone can be the best car driver with no knowledge of how a motorcycle works. It requires better control for riding a motorcycle as mistakes on a motorcycle have a higher life risk than any other vehicle. 

  1. Rules and Regulations

There are some specific rules for motorcycles. Riders should be aware of the rules, as breaching them will lead them to fines or punishment. Motorcycle riders can’t change lanes in some states. There are also specific rules available for helmets and headlights for motorcyclists.

Different States’ rules on Driving A Motorcycle With A Car License:

For example – in the USA, two different types of cards allow riders to drive motorcycles. Class M for motorcycles and class MJ for Motorcycle Junior Operators. Card owners with only these two classes are allowed to drive motorcycles in the states. Let’s have a look at the rules for popular states below – 

  • New York

The motor vehicle department of New York clearly mentioned that riders should have a class M or MJ license to ride a motorcycle. Riders are allowed to ride in New York with a license from another state, but it should be mentioned that riders are allowed to drive a motorcycle.

  • Massachusetts

Massachusetts allows its riders to drive motorcycles only if they have a valid motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on the driver’s license. To get the class M license, the rider must be at least 16 years old. 

  • California

California has two kinds of classes for motorcycles, Class M1 and Class M2. M1 is for two-wheeled motorcycles, and M2 is for bicycles with attached motors and motorized bicycles. 

The difference between California and other states is California allows you to ride a motorcycle with an attached sidecar if you have a Class C license.

  • Florida

Florida state law clearly mentions that riders are required to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driving license if they are willing to ride a motorcycle in the state.

  • Texas

Texas also requires a class M driving license to ride a motorcycle in the state for its residents. The license is provided once the rider passes the written test, road test, and safety courses. 

  • Virginia

Virginia State requires any of the valid M, M2, or M3 endorsements for your driving license to drive a motorcycle. It’s prohibited to drive in Virginia with any other state’s license. 

As you see, all the states have quite the same laws for this issue. The general driving license isn’t sufficient for driving a motorcycle. Riders must have the class of motorcycle mentioned in their license to ride a bike in the state. 

How To Get A Motorcycle License? 

If you have a general driving license, it’s not possible to drive a motorcycle in any state of the USA. So, how to get a motorcycle license?

If you know how to ride, then it’s pretty simple to get the license or class endorsement into your license card. Have a look at the following steps to get a motorcycle license –

Step 1: Go through the manual.

The first and most important step is preparing for the exam. There are manuals available for every state which will guide riders in preparing for the written exam. 

Every state has its individual site for its residents to read and prepare for the tests. Visit your state’s DMV site and read the manuals to know and prepare for the driving test.

Step 2: Prepare Documents

There are some documents required to submit for a driving license application. Collect important documents such as proof of age, resident’s information, Identification, etc. 

Step 3: Apply for the Test

Once you are ready for the test, go online or to the DMV office to submit your application. The application will ask for common information. Review and submit the application by completing the instructions.

Step 4: Written Test

This step is not applicable to every individual state. Once the application is accepted, the rider will be called for a written test. There will be common theoretical questions about motorcycles and roads. 

Step 5: Road Test

If you clear the written test, you will be asked to attend the motorcycle road test. Make sure to practice well before the test. This is the final and most important step to getting your license.  

These are the steps to get your motorcycle license. If you successfully complete the steps, the authority will issue you a temporary card. The original driving license will be delivered once it’s ready, and that doesn’t take much time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Register As A Motorcycle Rider?

Registering as a motorcycle rider doesn’t require any complex formalities. You just need to pass multiple tests to get a license for a motorcycle. There is an age restriction in different states, and it’s around 16-18 years. If you meet the age requirement and sit for the vision screening and the written exam.

There is a driver’s education course as well that needs to be completed if you want to register as a motorcycle rider.

Are Car And Motorcycle Licenses The Same?

The driving license card for different vehicles is the same except for the class or type. It’s mentioned on the card whether it’s for a car or motorbike. The endorsement of the class is the major difference between the licenses. 

Some states have detailed information about the permissible vehicles on the back.  There will be a mention of whether you can operate a heavy vehicle or not. 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Driver’s License?

Getting a driving license doesn’t take much time and is pretty easy. Though the individual states have their regulations, the procedure is almost similar for the states. It usually takes 10-20 minutes or hours to get a temporary driver’s license in the USA.

The permanent license card will be delivered within the next 30 days. The Riders are instructed to read manuals available on the DMV website before sitting for the driver’s license.  

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Driver’s License?

It’s not expensive to make a driving license in the USA. The fee for a driving license varies from state to state. It costs around 10-90$, depending on the state. 

The license fee varies because of jurisdiction. A license fee is also required to renew the driving license. Once the license expires, you need to apply for a new card by submitting the renewal fee. You may check the fee for a driving license in every individual state from this link.

Is The Motorcycle Test Same As The Car?

Riders need to pass tests for individual vehicles. The procedure of the tests is quite the same. Riders need to sit for a vision test, a written test, and complete a course on the specific vehicle.

So, for the motorcycle test, you need to sit for the written test, where the questions will be based on the parts of motorcycles. In the same way, there will be questions about cars in a car driving license test. 

Final Thoughts

So, can I drive a motorcycle with a car license should not be a matter of confusion anymore. Driving a motorcycle with a general license is not possible as they belong to a different class. To drive motorcycles, the class M for bikes should be mentioned in the card. Follow the state’s law to avoid any unwanted issues and penalties.

Mahbobur Rahman

Mahbobur Rahman is a motorcycle enthusiast who loves to ride and share his experience with others. He has learned a lot from his own experience and wants to help others do the same. If it's your first time on a motorcycle or you're looking to improve your skills, Then Candy Outdoor is the right solution for you.

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