EARNING YOUR LICENSE
Safe riding requires knowledge and skill. Licensing tests are the best measurement of the skills necessary to operate safely in traffic. Assessing your own skills is not enough. People often overestimate their own abilities.
In Missouri, you must have a Class M motorcycle license or permit, or a driver license with the M endorsement if you operate a motorcycle or motortricycle on public roadways.
You may apply for a temporary motorcycle instruction permit at 15 1/2 years of age (15 years and 182 days). This permit will only be issued if you have successfuly completed an approved motorcycle rider training course (MRTC). You must also pass the Class F and Class M written, vision and road sign tests and have the written consent of your parent or legal guardian. The cost of the permit is $3.75 ($2.75 of this fee applies to the motorcycle rider training course).
NOTE: The following restrictions apply to all Missouri motorcycle instruction permit holders that are under age 16:
- Engine with a displacement of not greater than 250 cc
- No passengers
- 50 mile limit from the operator's home address
- Daylight driving only
- If you are 16 years of age you may apply for a temporary motorcycle instruction permit. You must pass the Class M written test, but you do not have to take the motorcycle rider training course. The cost of the permit is $1. If you apply for a license or a permit at a fee license office, you must pay an additional $2.50 handling fee. If you do not have a driver license, you can take the Class F and Class M written tests to receive a motorcycle permit (Class F permit with an M endorsement).
NOTE: The following restrictions apply to all Missouri motorcycle instruction permit holders that are age 16 or over:
- No passengers
- Daylight driving only
- When you are ready, you may take the motorcycle skills test (MSHP or MRTC) to be motorcycle qualified. The cost of a Class M motorcycle license is $7.50 for a 3-year license and $15.00 for a 6-year license. If you apply for a license or a permit at a fee license office, you must pay an additional $2.50 handling fee for a 3-year license and a $4.00 handling fee for a 6-year license.
To earn your license, you must pass a knowledge test and an on-cycle skill test. Knowledge test questions are based on information, practices, and ideas from the Missouri manual. They require that you know and understand road rules and safe riding practices. An on-cycle skill test will either be conducted in an actual traffic environment or in a controlled, off-street area.
On-Cycle Skill Test
Basic vehicle control and crash-avoidance skills are included in on-cycle tests to determine your ability to handle normal and hazardous traffic situations.
You may be tested for your ability to:
- Know your motorcycle and your riding limits.
- Accelerate, brake, and turn safely.
- See, be seen and communicate with others.
- Adjust speed and position to the traffic situation.
- Stop, turn and swerve quickly.
- Make critical decisions and carry them out.
Examiners may score on factors related to safety such as:
- Selecting safe speeds to perform maneuvers.
- Choosing the correct path and staying within boundaries.
- Completing normal and quick stops.
- Completing normal and quick turns, or swerves.
- To receive a motorcycle license with full privileges, most states require that maneuvers be performed as designed.
On-cycle skill tests are not designed for sidecars or three-wheel vehicles. Those vehicles maneuver differently than a two-wheeled motorcycle. Depending on the state, a driver examiner may follow you on a car test-route. Restrictions (sidecar, three-wheeled vehicle) may be added until completion of a two-wheel cycle test.
Motorcycles make sense...so does professional training
They are inexpensive to operate, fun to ride and easy to park. Unfortunately, many riders never learn critical skills needed to ride safely.
Professional training for beginning and experienced riders prepares them for real world traffic situations. Motorcycle RiderCourses® teach and improve such skills as:
- Effective turning
- Braking maneuvers
- Protective apparel selection
- Obstacle avoidance
- Traffic strategies
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan to take a Motorcycle Rider Training Course (in addition to, or in lieu of testing by the Missouri State Highway Patrol), please note that only Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program courses are acceptable for the purpose of obtaining a Missouri motorcycle license/permit.
To locate an approved course near you, please contact the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program (MMSP) at (800) 801-3588, or visit their website at www.mmsp.org.