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Motorcycle Licenses

A Class M driver license is needed to operate a motorcycle or moped. In addition to meeting the requirements necessary to obtain a regular driver license, individuals who apply for a Class M must also meet other criteria.

NOTE: The Motorcycle Operator’s Manual is available to help prepare individuals to get their motorcycle license.

Motorcycle Safety Course

To obtain a Class M driver license, individuals are required to take a DPS-approved motorcycle safety course. When applying for a Class M, please bring the certificate of completion to the driver license office.

If an individual has a valid motorcycle license from another state, this course requirement will be waived.

Minors
In addition to the motorcycle safety course, individuals under 18 years of age must:

  1. Have a Class C learner license or driver license; and
  2. Complete the classroom phase of a driver education course before a motorcycle safety course can be taken. (The behind-the-wheel part of driver education is not needed to take the motorcycle safety course or apply for a Class M.)

Minors from Out-of-State
In Texas, the driver education requirement applies to all individuals under 18 years of age, even if they already hold a motorcycle license from another state.

Tests

Knowledge Tests
Individuals must take a basic knowledge test and a motorcycle knowledge test. Both tests will be waived for individuals who hold a valid motorcycle license from another state.

Motorcycle Riding Test
Individuals must take the motorcycle riding test unless the individual is:

   Class M Restrictions

Sometimes a restriction code may be placed on a driver license. This is not meant to interfere with an individual’s driving but to make the individual a better driver. Individuals who wish to have a restriction code removed may contact any driver license office.

For individuals under 18 years of age, the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program enforces some restrictions on when and how a minor may ride a motorcycle during the first year they have a Class M. Phase two of the GDL Program applies to minors who currently hold a Class M.

Motorcycle Learner License (J restriction)
A motorcycle learner license allows an individual to practice riding a motorcycle if a licensed driver who is 21 years of age or older is “in sight” and watching.

To apply for a motorcycle learner license, an individual must meet all of the requirements necessary to obtain a learner license, plus complete a motorcycle safety course. (Please bring the certificate of completion to the driver license office when applying for a license.)

Minors are required to take a motorcycle riding test to remove the “J” restriction.

15 Year-Olds (I restriction)
Individuals may apply for a Class M at 15 years of age, but will have an “I” restriction placed on their license. This restriction only allows an individual to ride a motorcycle with 250 cubic centimeter piston displacement or less.

At 16 years of age, an individual may apply at any driver license office to have the “I” restriction removed. If the restriction is removed, the individual may then ride any type of motorcycle.

Moped Restriction (K restriction)
A motorcycle riding test is not required to operate a moped. A Class M with a “K” restriction allows an individual to ride mopeds, but not motorcycles.

A scooter is not a legal vehicle classification. Scooters are legally classified as either a moped or motorcycle.

To be eligible for a “K” restriction, the moped the individual is riding must be on the list of certified mopeds.

If the moped is not on the list, answer the following questions to find out if it qualifies as a moped:

  1. Can it travel more than 30 miles per hour?
  2. Does it require the individual to shift gears?
  3. Does it have a piston displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters?

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, then the moped is classified as a motorcycle and the individual is not eligible for the “K” restriction.

If the answer is NO to all three questions, download the moped affidavit and take it to the moped dealer or manufacturer for completion. Please bring the completed affidavit to any driver license office to receive the “K” restriction.

   Texas Drivers Living Out-of-State

Individuals 18 years of age or older who are currently living outside of Texas but want to add a Class M to their Class A, B or C Texas driver license, must:

  1. Complete a motorcycle safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
  2. Gather the following items and mail to the address on the application:
    1. A completed out-of-state driver license application (an application must be completed for a new Class M driver license)
    2. The motorcycle safety course completion certificate
    3. A letter from the motorcycle safety course provider that shows the knowledge and riding test grades  
    4. The required fee
      1. DPS accepts checks, money orders or cashier checks only
      2. Do not send cash
    5. Active duty military who do not have a Texas address must include a copy of their military ID (active duty military members are exempt from the Texas residency requirement)

The new Class AM, BM or CM license will be mailed within 30 days.