Home / How to Get a Motorcycle License in Texas

For most riders, getting a motorcycle license is a life-changing event. It opens up a variety of new worlds and opportunities, but for some people, the process of getting a license comes with some minor challenges when it comes to the requirements.

With that in mind, let’s review. What follows is a rundown of how to get a motorcycle license in Texas, and some of what you’ll need to have to get ready for the test.

We’ll also talk about some of the opportunities Harley Davidson offers once you get your license, especially if you consider the offerings at Harley-Davidson of Kingwood. These include taking a safety course at the dealership’s Riding Academy, so it’s well worth doing the follow-up work.

The Texas Process: The Safety Course

In Texas, the appropriate classification for a motorcycle license is a Class M license. Prior to applying for this kind of license, applicants must pass an approved motorcycle safety course and bring the certificate of completion with them to the office where they’re applying.

It’s important to note that the certificate for this safety course is only valid for two years after the date the certificate is issued.

Specific Procedures for Minors

Getting a motorcycle license for minors is slightly more difficult. The age definition for minors in Texas is 15-17, and they must have a Class C license—which is colloquially known as a learner’s permit—and they must also have completed the classroom phase of a sanctioned driver education course, which typically consists of 32 hours.

Presenting the certificate of completion for the classroom phase is optional in order to take the motorcycle or apply for a Class M motorcycle license. Minors can also use a provisional driver’s license to enroll in the motorcycle safety course.

Also, there are specific restrictions for minors who are 15 years old. Specifically, the motorcycle they operate can’t have more than 250 cubic centimeters of piston displacement. Once they reach their 16th birthday, this restriction is removed.

Minors and the Application Rules

There are also specific rules for minors when it comes to the application process. They must appear in person at a Texas Driver’s License office and fill out the application there, along with presenting the certificate for the safety course, which is designated MSB-8 or MSB-8R. This certificate can be earned through the Riding Academy offered at many dealerships, including Harley-Davidson Kingwood. 

They must also present the provisional license (Class C), the paperwork verifying 32 classroom hours or a completion certificate for the safety course. Minors who have been taught by their parents have to present a different form, PTDE-964, that verifies 32 hours of parental driver’s education.

Finally, they must also present a Class C license along with a DE-964 that shows that they’ve completed 32 hours of driver’s education.

There are academic requirements pertaining to high school, specifically forms that show that they’ve enrolled and attended high school. This paperwork is known as the Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form, and it requires either a signature, stamp, or an electronic signature from a school official.

Being accompanied by a parent is mandatory, and minors must also provide both a motorcycle and a car and driver to follow the applicant during the motorcycle driving test.

These requirements apply to all minors, even if they have an existing motorcycle from another state. There is no exception to this rule, even if that license is current and valid.

Both knowledge and vision tests may be required to get a motorcycle license, but the knowledge test can be waived for applications who have completed the appropriate safety course.

motorcycle driving test

The Motorcycle Driving Test

The driving test is the heart of the process to secure a valid motorcycle driving license in the state of Texas. It can’t be waived for anyone under the age of 18, but there are a few exceptions for those who are over that age.

For those over 18, it is possible to transfer a valid license from either another state or a Canadian province if that motorcycle license is both valid and unrestricted.

Applicants can also skip the driver’s test if they’ve completed a motorcycle safety course and they hold a valid Texas license with one of three classes: A, B, or C.

Motorcycle License Restrictions

One issue for those who have trouble operating a motorcycle safely is that they may have a restriction code placed on their license for any number of valid reasons.

These restrictions can be removed by contacting any driver’s license office in Texas after an appropriate period of time has passed and they have shown an appropriate mastery of any safety issues.

Minors may also face some restrictions during their first year of operation with a Class M license. This restriction involves being placed in a Graduated Driver’s License Program. The program is divided into phases, including one that applies specifically to minors holding a Class M license.

The Motorcycle Learner License

The learner license makes it possible for an individual to practice riding while being observed by a licensed operator who is at least 21 and is actively observing the trainee.

Trainees must have completed a motorcycle safety course to get this license. They will also have the restriction that comes with this license, which is also known as the J restriction, until they’ve successfully passed the motorcycle riding test.

Out of State Requirements

For Texas drivers who are currently living out of state, it is possible to add a Class M motorcycle license to their existing Texas A, B, or C license, but there is some paperwork involved.

They must complete a sanctioned motorcycle safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and they also have to fill out an out-of-state driver’s license application.

They must also provide proof of Texas residency, along with a certificate that shows that they’ve completed a motorcycle safety course, plus the required fee or military ID.

Harley Davidson motorcycle rider

Harley Davidson and Your Motorcycle License

Once you get your Texas motorcycle license, one of the best ways to put it to good use is to visit the Kingwood dealership if you live in the Houston area.

Our salespeople and techs can fit you with a new Harley that completely fits the riding conditions you’re looking for, and we can help you get appropriate upgrades as well.

Feel free to check us out and see what’s possible with your new motorcycle license.

Harley Davidson of Kingwood

Harley-Davidson of Kingwood is your #1 Texas Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer. Our full-service facility offers new and pre-owned motorcycles, parts, maintenance, riding apparel, and everything else you need to get your Hog on the road. As a winner of the Harley-Davidson Gold Bar & Shield Circle of Excellence, we’re committed to providing top-notch customer service every day of the week. Stop by and visit the Harley-Davidson of Kingwood Showroom on Northpines Drive in Kingwood, TX!