How to Get Motorcycle Driver’s License in Michigan

Michigan Motorcycle Driver’s License

Michigan Motorcycle Driver's License

Have an exciting motorcycling experience in Michigan where there are an abundance of great places of interest, great coastline, and an array of small towns and villages that you can enjoy as you pass by.

Despite a short riding season, it is reported that more than 200, 000 motorcycles are registered in Michigan – it’s a hearty crew riding bikes there; especially in the UP, eh.

In the state of Michigan, motorcycles are defined as any two or three wheeled vehicle with a gasoline engine which is bigger than 50c, and has a seat or a saddle.

In order to legally ride a motorcycle, you need to register it, get it insured and also you need an endorsement on your driver’s license. However, getting an endorsement requires you to pass a written test given by the Secretary of State then complete a safety course and road skills test administered by road skills testing organizationcertified by the state.

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When can you apply for a Michigan motorcycle endorsement?


You can apply for an endorsement once you turned 16. However, it is very important to have at least a Level 2 Graduate Driver License and passed the written test and vision screening of the Secretary of State.

But if you older than 18, you only need to have either a valid driver license or a Temporary Instruction Permit though passing the written test and completion of motorcycle skills test or a motorcycle safety course is still an important requirement.  The State of Michigan has a motorcycle rider’s handbook that will give you a lot of the test info before you take the exam.

There are different safety courses offered by both public and private sources. You can get basic rider course in public sources at $25 while fees at private organizations may vary. On the other hand, a TIP which is given to applicants of more than 18 is valid for 180 days. The permit will allow you to practice as long as there is a motorcycle operator supervising you but you are not allowed to practice at night or to carry passengers.

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The road test

Before taking the required road test, which is the last step in getting an endorsement for your driver’s license, you need to make sure that your bike is legally equipped and registered. The test will last for 15-20 minutes only which includes a five minute inspection of your vehicle and a 10 minutes actual riding test. The examiners will test if you have the required motorcycling skills and are ready to ride on the road alone. Examiners will make you take sharp turns, U-turns, weave through a series of cones,  execute a normal stop, abrupt turn-around an obstacle and to perform a quick stop.  All of this is done to test your proficiency. When everything goes well with your test, you will be issued a certificate which you have to take to the Secretary of State to apply for endorsement which is an extra. After you earned your endorsement you can now have your motorcycle driver’s license.

Other Michigan Motorcycling Laws

Michigan is a helmet state so you and your passenger must wear a USDOT, ANSI or Snell approved helmet.

Aside from that, you need to wear eye protection such as shatterproof goggles, face shield and windshield when riding around the state.

Those are the basic steps to get your Michigan motorcycle driver’s license.

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