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Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Texas? Facts & FAQs

touring motorcycle harley davidson_Harley Davidson_Unsplash

Every state has its own laws regarding cars and other motor vehicles, like motorcycles. In Texas, for example, you need to get a Class M driver’s license in order to legally drive a motorcycle. In Florida, though, you just need to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on top of a regular driver’s license.

To get a Class M license in Texas, an applicant must be over 16 years old, and they have to have completed a basic motorcycle safety course approved by the Texas Department of Safety.

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How to Get a Motorcycle License in Texas

What you need to bring to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) depends on your age. Getting a motorcycle license often requires proof of citizenship, your social security card, motorcycle registration, and motorcycle insurance.

Underaged motorcyclists will also need proof that they’re enrolled and in good standing with their high school. Typically, a Verification of Enrollment form can be obtained from a guidance counselor. If you’re under 16, you can’t drive a motorcycle with an engine over 250cc, but this restriction goes away automatically when you turn 16.

In addition, underaged motorcyclists must present their provisional license or learner’s permit with the DE-964 form. The form proves that you completed your required classroom training in driver’s education. Underaged drivers with a permit or license in another state that move to Texas must still take and complete driver’s education to drive in Texas, motorcycle or not.

point of view of a motorcycle rider
Image Credit: Jakub Sisulak, Unsplash

Are Tests Required?

Yes. Texas requires all motorcyclists to take a vision test and a road knowledge test. Alternatively, some motorcyclists can present a certificate from a valid motorcycle safety course. You’ll still have to take the vision test, though!

The major road test to obtain a Texas motorcycle license is the Texas Motorcycle Road Test. If you’re under 21, you must wear a helmet during the test, but doing so is recommended for drivers of all ages. Your examiner will follow you in a car during the test. The Texas Motorcycle Road Test will test the following essential motorcycle skills:

Texas Motorcycle Road Test
  • Merging into traffic
  • Correctly using turn signals or arm signals
  • Understanding and obeying all road signs
  • Staying at or under the posted speed limit

The driver will need to understand how to maneuver by using their body weight, which is a critical skill that should be developed in a qualified motorcycle safety course.

Motorcyclists with a valid motorcycle license in another state do not have to retake the street test, but they may be required to take a vision test. They won’t have to take the safety test, though.

young man took a motorcycle test
Image Credit: ALPA PROD, Shutterstock

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Texas Motorcycle License?

There are various costs involved in getting a motorcycle license in Texas.

First, a qualified motorcycle safety course typically costs about $200. The cost of a driver’s license and a Class M license together runs about $48, while a current Texas driver can add the Class M license for just $16. Annual motorcycle registration costs about $30, plus whatever fees your county requires.

Do I Need a Motorcycle License to Drive a Moped or Scooter?

No, you don’t need a motorcycle license to drive a street-legal moped or scooter, as long as the vehicle is under 50cc. If the vehicle is over that, you will need a valid Texas Class M license.

For a moped or scooter 50cc or under, you need a regular valid Texas driver’s license as well as scooter insurance and scooter registration. Scooter drivers must always wear a helmet unless they take a qualified safety course to demonstrate their understanding of scooter safety.

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Motorcycles provide some of the most exhilarating driving experiences possible, but for the sake of safety, you’ll need a license in most states. In Texas, that means getting a Class M license as well as a regular driver’s license.

Featured Image Credit: Harley Davidson, Unsplash


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