How To Get A Motorcycle License In North Carolina

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Are you ready to hit the open road on two wheels? Before you can hop on your motorcycle and hit the highway, you’ll need to get a motorcycle license.

Having a particular licensing document, it will allow you to legally operate your ride and proves to the state that you can ride it and will not be a hazard to others.

If you live in the States and are interested in getting to know how to get a motorcycle license in North Carolina, then you have come to the right place.

As an overview, when signing up for a license, you must complete tests, submit documents and pay all required fees.

That is a general summary of the process, which can get extensive and hectic, especially if you don’t know the steps.

Today, you are in luck! This article will cover everything you need to know, from the required documents and fees to the skills and road tests.

By the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a licensed motorcyclist in North Carolina.

Motorcycle License Requirements In North Carolina

Can you get a motorcycle license in North Carolina? Let's find out

In order to get a motorcycle license, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. These necessities vary based on your age and the type of ride you want to get a license for.

Let’s take look at the most important things that must be met before proceeding!

Knowing Your Age

The first step in determining your motorcycle license requirements is to know which age category you fall into.

Although the difference is not too substantial, it is enough for both to be discussed separately rather than under a single title.

Age Under 18

If you plan to get a license to drive a car or a bike, one needs to get a permit and the minimum age for the permit is 16.

People that fall under the 16 to 18 age group are classified as youngsters or minors, which means they cannot do anything without the consent of their parents or guardians.

A signature is needed from one, which establishes that they know their kid is getting a license.

For youngsters, the state also requires that they not only have a full driving license, but they also have to complete a motorcycle safety course that has been approved by the North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Program.

Age 18 And Above

However, things are much simpler for adults. They reach this category when they get to the age of 18. They are legally adults and don’t require parental or guardians approval.

As they are mature enough to learn how to ride a motorcycle on their own, there is no requirement to complete a safety course.

It must be noted that it is still required for applicants that are older than 18 years to possess a driver’s license.

A commercial or regular license, either one, must be held by the applicant before applying for a motorcycle permit in the state.

Types Of Motorcycle Licenses

In North Carolina, only one type of license has been specifically designed for operating motorcycles. If you meet the requirements mentioned above, you are eligible to get a motorcycle license.

If you want to operate a moped in North Carolina, you do not need a driver’s license or any other type of license. However, you must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet. The moped must also be registered.

The same law that applies to mopeds also applies to auto cycles. These vehicles cannot be classified as either bikes or cars, which put them in a very unusual spot.

Regardless, the state decided to re-implement the moped law on this one, too, so no license will be required when driving it in this state.

North Carolina has pretty easy types of licenses. There are no different classes, meaning there will be no confusion and no debating on which one will suit your criteria.

How To Apply For Your North Carolina Motorcycle License

You probably clicked on this article to learn more about getting a license in the state. Now that you know other things that are also important to understand, we can finally get down to the important part of the article.

Let’s look at the process!

Step 1: Get A Driver’s License

As mentioned above, the first step is getting a driver’s license. Although it is not the article’s focus to discuss how to get one, I will still summarize things for you.

  • You need to take all important documents of the NCDMV with you.
  • This includes those that verify your age and identity. Proof of residency is also required.
  • It must also be proved that you have liability insurance from a licensed firm.
  • If you are under the age of 16, then you need to have a supervisor with you.
  • This can be a parent or a guardian. They must have a driver’s license for at least five years and should always be seated with you.
  • If you are older than 18, then you don’t need to get a permit. It will be issued to you after passing a sign and vision test.
  • You can also take the on-road driving test. Then you will get a temporary license, which can be used until you receive your official license.

Step 2: Testing For Your Motorcycle License

After you have a driver’s license, you’ll need to take a written test and a road test to get your motorcycle license. This section will look at what is present in these tests, so you can prepare for them.

1. Motorcycle Written Test

The motorcycle written test is a multiple-choice exam that covers the rules of the road and safe motorcycle operation. You’ll need to study the North Carolina Motorcycle Operator’s Manual to prepare for the test.

It has 25 questions, of which one should get a minimum of 20 to pass. So, you need 80% or higher to pass this test.

The best way to prepare for it is to use the Motorcyclist’s Handbook, published by the NCDMV. Online practice tests can also be utilized.

2. Motorcycle Road Test

The motorcycle road test is a practical exam that allows you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in a real-world setting.

Moreover, the test will involve a variety of maneuvers, including starting and stopping, turning, and changing lanes. Even your ability to make critical decisions will be put to the test.

Step 3: Pay Required Fees

Along with all the testing, you will also need to pay fees when required. When getting a permit, you will have to pay $21.50.

And for the license itself, all you need to do is pay $2.55 every year. That is pretty cheap. So, getting a license in the state will not require too much money.

The state also accepts all major ways of payment, such as VISA and MasterCard. They take cash, too, at any NCDMV office. This makes the process pretty convenient.

Step 4: Wait For Your License

Your new license will be issued to you within 20 days, which will pass in no time. You will get a temporary license to start your motorcycle journey without waiting too long.

Ways To Get A Motorcycle Endorsement In NC

To get a motorcycle endorsement, you will need to follow almost a similar process as getting a license.

I will explain in detail the steps that you need to take below:

Step 1: Provision Of Documents

The most important documents you need to carry with you on your first visit to the NCDMV include the following:

  • Proof of identity and residency
  • Your driver’s license
  • Proof of liability insurance and,
  • Guardian consent if you are under 18

Step 2: Pass A motorcycle Knowledge Test

The test comprises of 25 questions, out of which you must get 20 correct. I have provided details of this test in the information mentioned above.

Step 3: Pass A Skills Test

If you are over 18, a skills test is necessary for you. However, if you’re a minor, you need to enroll in a motorcycle safety course approved by the state.

Step 4: Wait For Your License

The state will take your existing driver’s license when applying for an endorsement, and they will provide you with a temporary one until your newly endorsed driver’s license is shipped out to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How Long Will It Take To Get A Motorcycle License In North Carolina?

The state requires twenty days to mail your license to your registered address. Although this number has been mentioned for driver’s licenses and not for motorcycle ones, it can be safe to assume that the time frame will be the same. You will be issued a temporary one until your official license arrives.

Q2: How Much Will It Cost To Get A Motorcycle License In North Carolina?

The cost of getting a motorcycle license in North Carolina is not steep. A motorcycle learner permit costs $21.50, and maintaining a motorcycle license costs $2.55 per year. As I said, getting a license in this state is pretty economical.

Q3: Should I Have A License To Ride A Motorcycle In North Carolina?

Yes, you should have a motorcycle license to legally ride a motorcycle in North Carolina. Although you can purchase a motorcycle without a license, driving it is a different story. You can be fined and charged, which will certainly not be cheaper than getting a license. So, act wisely!

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


Happy riding! Congratulations on making it to the end of this article! I hope you finally have the answer to your question about how to get a motorcycle license in North Carolina. By now, you should understand the steps you need to take to get your motorcycle license.

So go ahead and gather all the necessary documents, study for the tests, and get ready to hit the road on two wheels. With a little preparation and practice, you’ll be well on becoming a licensed motorcyclist in the state.

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