How to Get a Motorcycle License in Texas: Step-by-Step Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Mar 31, 2022

In Texas, you’ll find some of the most beautiful and scenic motorcycle routes you’ve ever ridden. It’s no wonder that, as a TX resident, you’re itching to get on the road. Riding a motorcycle is an invigorating hobby that, with the proper precautions, can be safer than most people think. That safety starts with making sure you’re riding legally.

The motorcycle licensing process in Texas is mostly straightforward. In this guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know, whether you’re a teen or an adult.

Types of Motorcycle Licenses in Texas

Texas offers only one type of motorcycle license: a Class M license. However, it can be restricted in a number of ways:

  • J restriction: This restriction essentially turns a motorcycle license into a motorcycle learner license. If you have the J restriction, you can only ride while being supervised.
  • I restriction: This restriction is for 15-year-olds only. It applies when teens get a Class M license at 15 and restricts them to only riding 250cc motorcycles or less.

Restrictions

If one of the restrictions applies to you, it will appear on your motorcycle license. To ride safely and legally, you need to obey the requirements below.

  • For the J restriction: You may only ride while supervised by a licensed motorcyclist over the age of 21. This supervisor must remain in sight at all times. To remove the J restriction, take the motorcycle riding test.
  • For the I restriction: You may only ride a 250cc motorcycle or less. To remove the I restriction, turn 16 years old and apply for a license at the licensing office.

How to Get Your TX Motorcycle License

1. Get a Driver’s License

To apply for a motorcycle license in Texas, you must first:

  1. Hold a Class C learner license or driver license (either provisional or unrestricted).

OR

  1. Complete the classroom portion of driver’s ed.

If at least one of these applies to you, you’re ready to move on to the next step!

2. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course

All new motorcyclists are required to complete an approved motorcycle safety course. The courses are provided at various locations throughout Texas. Some motorcycle schools/courses may provide a motorcycle and insurance to students, so you don’t necessarily need to buy a motorcycle to learn to ride one.

Before enrolling in a motorcycle safety course, minors must be at least 15 years old and complete one of the following requirements:

  • Hold a Class C learner license and you’ve completed the classroom phase of driver’s ed; or,
  • Show a certificate of completion for the classroom part of driver’s ed; or,
  • Present a provisional driver’s license.

The following motorcycle courses are offered at motorcycle schools throughout Texas:

  • Basic RiderCourse: This course requires no previous motorcycle experience and the motorcycle school will provide a motorcycle, helmet, and gloves. During the classroom time, you’ll learn how to handle riding situations and reduce risk. During the riding time, you’ll learn basic skills such as clutch/throttle control, riding in a straight line, shifting, turning, and stopping. As you progress, you’ll move on to learning how to stop quickly, corner, and swerve.
  • Basic RiderCourse2: To take this course, you need to already have a motorcycle license. You also need to provide your own motorcycle, helmet, and gloves. The Basic RiderCourse2 helps further develop your maneuvering skills.
  • Advanced RiderCourse: Again, a TX motorcycle license is required and you must provide a motorcycle and safety gear. This course is designed to develop better risk management, riding strategies, decision-making, and rider behavior.
  • Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse: For this course, you must provide your own motorcycle. The course aims to provide practice in maneuvering skills, particularly in developing smooth and precise control.

3. Start Application at a Texas Driver License Office

After completing the Basic Rider Course, you’re all set to finish your application at a Texas driver licensing office.

  • Present your Class C license (a provisional license if you’re a teen); or,
  • To verify that you’ve completed 32 classroom hours, show a driver education form, completion certificate, and/or parent-taught driver education form, if applicable; or,
  • Present a Class C learner’s license along with a driver education form verifying completion of 32 classroom hours.

Minors must also:

  • Submit a high school Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form, signed by a school official.
  • Be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is willing to provide an authorization signature.

4. Take Vision and Knowledge Tests

When you apply for your motorcycle license, you will be required to take a vision and knowledge test.

The vision test is a simple screening to ensure that you can see well enough to ride. You may wear contact lenses or glasses if you need them.

The motorcycle knowledge test covers basic motorcycle information. It covers the information you’ve learned in the motorcycle safety course. As a result, if you present a completion certificate for the TX Basic Rider Course, your knowledge test will be waived.

5. Take the Motorcycle Skills Exam

All riders wishing to obtain an unrestricted motorcycle license have to pass the motorcycle skills test. You can schedule an appointment at a testing office to take your skills exam. You must bring a motorcycle to ride, in addition to a vehicle and driver to follow you during the test.

During the skills test, you’ll ride under the supervision of an examiner. You may be asked to complete specific maneuvers. You’ll be graded on overall control and safety.

If you fail your test, reschedule and retake it. You’ll get your motorcycle license as soon as you pass the skills exam.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting a motorcycle license in Texas! If you want to prepare for your Basic Rider Course or you simply want to supplement the material in the course, take advantage of Zutobi. We help you remember essential information about maintaining visibility, controlling your motorcycle, and staying safe, everything is presented in an interactive way that makes for enjoyable study sessions.

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