How to Get Your Pennsylvania Motorcycle License

by Zutobi · Updated Mar 31, 2022

To ride a motorcycle in Pennsylvania, you’ll first need to get a PA motorcycle license. But how exactly?

In this article, we’ll go through all of the steps and requirements you need to know.

Pennsylvania License Types

You’ll first want to understand the different types of licenses in Pennsylvania. It’s simple: Class C is a normal driver’s license and Class M is a motorcycle license.

You’ll want to note that, if you carry a class C license, the restrictions for the Class M permit will be slightly more relaxed.

Pennsylvania Rider Requirements

You’ll need to practice with a motorcycle permit before you can get your license. In Pennsylvania, you may apply for a motorcycle permit as soon as you turn 16; however, minors need the consent of a parent or guardian.

  • If you’re under 18, you’ll have to complete a few requirements before getting your motorcycle license by passing the skills test. You must hold a permit for at least six months and practice riding under supervision for 65 hours. During this time, you may not ride at night or carry any passengers other than a licensed instructor.
  • Riders over 18 may take the skills test as soon as they feel ready.

Additionally, if you don’t have a driver’s license, you may only ride under the supervision of an instructor who holds a valid PA motorcycle license.

You’ll also need to complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. You can take the safety courses through a third-party provider for a more hands-on experience. At the end of an in-person course, you’ll have the option to undergo a skills evaluation; this will waive the skills test and you’ll receive your PA motorcycle license immediately upon course completion.

Due to COVID-19, PennDOT also offers a temporary online option for the safety program. If you choose this option, you’ll need to schedule a skills test. All safety programs can be taken free of charge if you hold a valid license or permit.

Applying For a Motorcycle Permit in Pennsylvania

1. Fill Out the Application Form

First, you’ll need to fill out your application form. You’ll bring this form to the PennDOT when you’re ready to take the knowledge test.

2. Prepare for the Knowledge Test

You’ll be required to take a written knowledge test prior to getting your permit, so you’ll want to study in advance. The PA Motorcycle Operator Manual is a great resource. If you’d like a more interactive version, Zutobi is a great option as well.

3. Bring Required Documents

  • Proof of identification.
  • Proof of date of birth.
  • Social security card.
  • Proof of residency.
  • Your completed application form.
  • Parental consent form (if you’re a minor).
  • Appropriate fee.

4. Take Vision and Knowledge Tests

Once your documents are approved, you’re ready to take the vision screening and knowledge test.

The knowledge test is a 20-question multiple-choice test. Test information is taken from the driver’s manual. To pass, you need to get a score of at least 80%, or 16 questions correct.

It’s a good idea to take a few practice tests before the real deal. That way, you’ll be able to target areas of weakness and study more effectively. Here at Zutobi, we offer a number of free Motorcycle practice tests that will give you the confidence you need to ace the test.

5. Get Your Motorcycle Permit

As soon as you pass your knowledge test, you’ll be issued your PA motorcycle permit! The permit will be valid for a year. If it expires, you’ll need to apply, pay the fee, and take the knowledge test over again.

The PA Motorcycle Skills Test

The final step to getting your Pennsylvania motorcycle license is the skills test. Riders over 18 may take the skills test as soon as they feel ready. Minors must complete the following first:

  • Hold a permit for a minimum of six months.
  • Practice riding under supervision for at least 65 hours.
  • Complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program, either online or in-person.

When you’re ready, schedule a skills test appointment at a DMV that offers motorcycle testing services.

During a skills test, you’ll be asked to complete various maneuvers, such as figure eights and shifting gears. An examiner will evaluate you based on your performance.

Upon completing the skills test or its equivalent, you’ll be issued your Class M motorcycle license! Congratulations!

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