How To Get A Motorcycle License In Illinois

Beast Riders is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A motorcycle license is very important to have. It is a requirement for those who want to ride a motorcycle on the streets of their state.

With this license, you can legally ride your motorcycle on the road, even if you do not have any other form of valid identification with you. Without it, you could be in serious trouble.

One question I get a lot is how to get a motorcycle license in Illinois. The fact is that the process is not simple at all. First, you need to get a permit. Then you need to get a proper license. All of this must be done after passing tests that test you physically and mentally.

That may seem simple enough but believe me, it is not. There are many things to understand, which is why I have dedicated a whole article to explain everything.

Motorcycle License Requirements In Illinois

Learn what you need to get my motorcycle license in IL

Before we get into the details of all the steps required for getting a motorcycle license in the state, you should first be aware of the requirements.

Knowing Your Age

The first important thing to note before getting a motorcycle license in Illinois is that you should know which age group you fall into.

As different groups have different steps to follow, you need to make sure you identify yourself correctly.

Age Under 18

If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you can apply for an instruction permit to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

  • You’ll need to complete a motorcycle training course before applying for your license and keep your permit for 24 months.
  • Once you turn 18, you can upgrade your instruction permit to an Illinois license.
  • So, minors cannot get the full privileges of a motorcycle license in Illinois.

Age 18 Above

If you are over 18 years of age, you must pass the motorcycle examination to get your motorcycle license in Illinois.

  • You may also be eligible to complete the IDOT motorcycle rider education course instead of taking the written knowledge or driving test.
  • If you do, then a written or driving test is not needed.
  • It must be noted that you can use the course completion card for only one year. So, make sure that you are not too late.

Types of Motorcycle Licenses

There are two types of motorcycle licenses in Illinois: Class L and Class M.

Type 1: Class L

Class L is for motor-driven cycles under 150cc. This includes scooters, mopeds, and motorized bicycles.

Type 2: Class M

Class M is for all motorcycles and motor-driven cycles, including those that exceed 150cc. You can apply for a Class L license at age 16 or older.

Both have a massive difference, so you must make sure you choose the correct one.

I would suggest getting the M License, as it covers all sorts of two-wheelers and three-wheelers, regardless of their displacement.

How To Apply For Your Illinois Motorcycle License

I have finally arrived at the most important part of the article. So, now the question is, how does one apply for an Illinois motorcycle license? Let’s find out.

Step 1: Complete A Motorcycle Education Course

If you’re looking to get your Illinois motorcycle license, it’s important to know that there’s a step in the process that everyone has to take.

First, complete a motorcycle education course. This has to be done in person. Once you’ve completed the course, you will be exempt from taking the written exam and road test.

Step 2: Testing For Your Motorcycle License

If you don’t want to take your course and want to go through the second route, then don’t worry. I will cover the steps of taking the tests in this article section. Let’s see what you have to do.

1. Motorcycle Written Test

This test consists of 15 questions. You must answer 12 correctly to pass the DMV written test. The test measures your ability to safely operate a motorcycle in Illinois.

The test is based on the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual, which covers all aspects of motorcycling and includes information about riding gear, licensing requirements, rules of the road for motorcyclists, and safety tips.

So, make sure you study hard.

2. Motorcycle Road Test

The Illinois Motorcycle Road Test is designed to test how well you handle your motorcycle on the road.

It’s conducted in a 30 ft by 75 ft paved area, and the examiner will monitor your ability to brake, accelerate, stop, turn, make critical decisions, and more.

You’ll be given a score at the end of the test based on how well you perform these tasks.

A little mistake could cost you your chance of getting a license. So, make sure you are fully prepared to do anything and everything that will be asked of you during the test.

Step 3: Pay All Fees

If you’re considering getting your motorcycle license in Illinois, you will not have to worry about paying hefty fees.

A motorcycle license in Illinois is only $10—which is pretty good, considering how much some other states charge!

Yes, you will be charged if you are there for your instruction permit. That charge will also be $10. Even then, you only need to pay $20, which is pretty good.

Step 4: Wait For Your License

The final thing for you to do is to wait.

I know you may want to take your ride on the road and travel without any issues, but you need to ensure that you have your license with you before doing so.

You can be charged by the authorities, which is something no one wants.

Ways To Get A Motorcycle Endorsement In IL

One major thing to note is that the state of Illinois does not have a dedicated motorcycle license. Instead, your car license gets endorsed.

As the steps for this have already been covered above, I will be sharing with you the steps to get a driver’s license in Illinois, as this is the true first step.

Step 1: Provision Of Documents

If you’re a foreigner who has been staying in Illinois for at least a year, you’ll need to show proof that you still have more than six months remaining, out of at least a year, of your stay.

Residents, you should surrender your driver’s licenses from any other state. You’ll also need a liability insurance card and proof of auto insurance for your driving car.

If you don’t have these things, you can get them before applying for a driver’s license.

Step 2: Pass A Motorcycle Knowledge Test

If you decide to get a driver’s license in Illinois, you’ll need to pass the knowledge test.

It has 35 questions—that’s 20 more than the motorcycle test—and you need 80% to pass, meaning you need 28 correct answers.

The questions cover many topics, including road signs and rules of the road.

Make sure you prepare properly, as the test could be pretty difficult. With enough preparation, going through it will be a breeze.

Step 3: Take A Skills Test

When you get a driver’s license in Illinois, you’ll take a road test to ensure you’re a safe and responsible driver.

The road test assesses you in many matters, including laws and safety regulations. It will be checked that you completely stop at a stop sign, follow road signs, and don’t drive on markings, and you drive safely.

If you are a resident of another state with a valid driving license, you don’t need to give this test. But it is still the law that you need to forfeit that license to get this new one from the state of Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Long Will It Take To Get A Motorcycle License In Illinois?

If you’ve completed all the steps required to get your motorcycle license in Illinois, there’s not much left to do but wait.

The DMV will process your application and send your new license to your provided address within a few weeks. You may be impatient, but you must hold tight until your license arrives.

Q2. How Much Will It Cost To Get A Motorcycle License In Illinois?

The great news is Illinois doesn’t charge additional fees for getting a motorcycle license, so you can get yours at the standard price of $20.

There are no other charges to worry about; you will have to pay just $10 for your permit and another $10 for your license.

Q3. Should I Have A License To Ride A Motorcycle In Illinois?

The short answer is yes; you should have a license to ride a motorcycle in Illinois. There are two types of motorcycle licenses: an instruction permit and a license.

You’ll need both to operate your bike legally on Illinois roads. Make sure you have either one on you at all times.

You may also be interested in my article: Illinois Motorcycle Helmet Laws


Congratulations! You have completed the article on how to get a motorcycle license in Illinois. Now that you have all the information you need to get your license, all that’s left is to get out there and enjoy the open road.

If you have any questions about your new license, feel free to open and scan through this article once again.

Everything you need to know is present over here. So, go on and start the process of getting a new license! Hope you can get one as soon as possible, so you can start riding in the streets of Illinois.

Recent Posts