Do I Need A Special License To Drive A Motorcycle In Florida?
Topics: motorcycle safety
Florida is the perfect place for bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts who love to ride year-round. Obtaining legal authorization for those rides is important, though. If you ride a two or three-wheeled motorbike with an engine of 50cc or more, you must have a motorcycle endorsement on your regular driver's license, or a motorcycle-only license.
Motorcycle License Versus Motorcycle Endorsement
So, you ask, what is the difference between a motorcycle license and a motorcycle endorsement? Good question. An endorsement goes on a normal driver’s license and shows that you have been approved by the state of Florida to operate a motorcycle (plus, it only costs $7). A motorcycle-only license, on the other hand, costs $48 and doesn’t require you to take a driving test in a typical automobile. It does, however, hold you to the following eligibility and testing requirements:
- You must be at least 16 years old.
- You must have at least a regular Class E driver's license.
- You must complete the Basic Rider Course, regardless of age.
Applying for a Motorcycle License
To apply, you'll need to complete a written exam with multiple-choice questions about basic road safety and motorcycle laws. You'll also have to take a driving test on your motorcycle, as well as a vision and hearing test. Check out the Florida Motorcycle Handbook for specifics about rules of the road and basic skills.
For the Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP), every motorcycle rider must complete a basic motorcycle safety course before obtaining a motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle-only license. The course must be one that is approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF):
- Basic Rider Course (BRC): 15 hours of entry-level skills for responsible riding. Training includes starting, stopping, turning, swerving, and cornering. Bikes, safety gear, and handbooks are provided. You'll need at least a Class E learner's license to sign up.
Of course, there are more options to take on the road than cars and motorcycles. For mopeds and scooters like Vespas, you’ll need a regular Class E driver's license or higher. A motorcycle endorsement is not necessary. You'll still need to register your moped or scooter with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and all passengers younger than 16 will be required to wear protective headgear.
If you're at least 21 years old and have a minimum medical insurance policy of $10,000, you can choose not to wear a helmet at your own risk. Otherwise, the laws are pretty clear. All riders must have some sort of eye protection, such as goggles or glasses, or have a windshield on the bike.
Have Any Other Questions About A Florida Motorcycle Driver’s License?
You can make an appointment for your written or skills test for a motorcycle license or endorsement by contacting the Florida DMV. They’re a great resource for any rider. Also, feel free to watch our informative video on motorcycle accident laws or contact our office of experienced personal injury attorneys for more information.