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Motorcycle AccidentsHow Old Do You Have to be to Ride a Motorcycle in Texas?

December 18, 2023by Crystal Henry

To ride a motorcycle in Texas, individuals must be at least 15 years old to apply for a Class M license, with specific restrictions and requirements in place for minors and different procedures for adults.

This article explores these age requirements and the process for obtaining a motorcycle license in Texas, as set forth by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Motorcycle License and Safety Course

To legally operate a motorcycle in Texas, riders must obtain a Class M license, in addition to meeting the requirements for a standard driver’s license.

A critical step in this process is the completion of an approved motorcycle safety course. This course, designed to impart essential riding skills and safety knowledge, is mandatory for obtaining a Class M license.

However, individuals with a valid motorcycle license from another state may be exempt from this requirement.

Related: Different Types of Motorcycle Licenses in Texas: A Complete Guide

Minors Aged 15-17

Aspiring riders between the ages of 15 and 17 must fulfill specific prerequisites before obtaining a Class M license. Options include holding a Class C learner license, completing the 32-hour classroom phase of a driver education course, or presenting a provisional driver license.

Accompanied by a parent, these minors must also provide a high-school Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form and successfully pass the mandatory skills exam.

The restriction on operating motorcycles with no more than a 250cc piston displacement can be lifted on the applicant’s 16th birthday, marking a key milestone in their motorcycle journey.

Also Read: What Age Can a Child Ride on the Back of a Motorcycle in Texas?

Out-of-State Minors

Even if minors from out-of-state possess a motorcycle license, Texas mandates adherence to its driver education requirement for individuals under 18.

Vision and knowledge tests may still be required, with the motorcycle knowledge test waived for those presenting a valid Motorcycle Safety Course completion certificate. This ensures that regardless of prior licensing, all young riders adhere to Texas-specific safety standards.

Class M Restrictions

For individuals under 18, the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program imposes specific restrictions during the first year of holding a Class M.

The Motorcycle Learner License (J restriction) allows for supervised practice under the guidance of a licensed motorcycle operator. To remove the “J” restriction, minors must successfully complete a motorcycle riding test, further ensuring their readiness for independent motorcycle operation.

Specific Age Restrictions

At 15, individuals may apply for a Class M but will have an “I” restriction, limiting them to motorcycles with 250cc piston displacement or less.

Upon reaching the age of 16, these riders can visit any driver license office to have the “I” restriction removed, granting them the freedom to operate any type of motorcycle.

Texas Drivers Living Out-of-State

Texas drivers aged 18 or older living outside the state can enhance their driving credentials by adding a Class M to their existing license. This process involves completing an approved motorcycle safety course, providing the necessary documentation, including proof of Texas residency, and submitting the required fee. Active-duty military members without a Texas address are exempt from the residency requirement.

Conclusion

This comprehensive guide serves as an indispensable resource for individuals navigating the age requirements and regulations set by the Texas DPS for motorcycle riding.

By adhering to these guidelines, riders can ensure a safe, legally compliant, and enjoyable experience as they explore the scenic roads of Texas on two wheels.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newcomer to the world of motorcycles, understanding and following these guidelines ensures a responsible and fulfilling journey on Texas roads.

Motorcycle Riding Laws in Texas: Your Legal Resource

Engaging in the exhilarating world of motorcycle riding brings not only freedom on the open road but also a responsibility to adhere to the legal framework governing this thrilling activity.

If you find yourself in need of guidance regarding motorcycle riding laws in Texas, turn to the expertise of Attorney Crystal Henry.

Located at 3730 Kirby Dr #901, Houston, TX 77098, Crystal Henry is not only a seasoned Personal Injury Lawyer but also a dedicated advocate for individuals navigating the legal aftermath of motorcycle-related incidents.

With a profound understanding of Texas motorcycle laws, Crystal is committed to providing comprehensive legal assistance to protect your rights and guide you through the complexities of motorcycle riding regulations.

Crystal Henry Personal Injury Lawyer
3730 Kirby Dr #901, Houston, TX 77098, United States
281-888-3731
intake@helpfixmywreck.com

 

FAQs

What is a Class M license, and why do I need one?

A Class M license is a specific license required to legally operate a motorcycle in Texas. In addition to meeting the requirements for a standard driver’s license, individuals must obtain a Class M license to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge for safe motorcycle operation.

Can I skip the motorcycle safety course if I have a valid motorcycle license from another state?

Yes, individuals with a valid motorcycle license from another state may be exempt from the mandatory motorcycle safety course. However, it is advisable to check with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the most up-to-date information and any potential changes in requirements.

What are the prerequisites for minors aged 15-17 to obtain a Class M license?

Minors aged 15-17 must meet specific requirements, including holding a Class C learner license, completing the 32-hour classroom phase of a driver education course, or presenting a provisional driver license. They must also be accompanied by a parent, provide a high-school Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form, and pass the mandatory skills exam.

How can minors remove the “J” restriction on their Class M license?

To remove the “J” restriction, minors must successfully complete a motorcycle riding test. This ensures that young riders have the necessary skills and experience to operate a motorcycle independently.

What is the significance of the “I” restriction for 15-year-olds applying for a Class M license?

At 15, individuals may apply for a Class M license but will have an “I” restriction, limiting them to motorcycles with 250cc piston displacement or less. This restriction is lifted on the applicant’s 16th birthday, allowing them to operate any type of motorcycle.

Can out-of-state riders skip the driver education requirement for individuals under 18?

No, in Texas, the driver education requirement applies to all individuals under 18, even if they already hold a motorcycle license from another state. Vision and knowledge tests may be required, with the motorcycle knowledge test waived for those with a valid Motorcycle Safety Course completion certificate.

How can individuals aged 18 or older living outside of Texas add a Class M to their existing license?

Individuals aged 18 or older living outside of Texas can add a Class M to their existing license by completing an approved motorcycle safety course, providing the required documentation, including proof of Texas residency, and submitting the necessary fee. Active duty military members without a Texas address are exempt from the residency requirement.

What is the purpose of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program for minors?

The GDL Program for minors under 18 enforces specific restrictions during the first year of holding a Class M license. This program ensures that young riders gradually gain experience and skills, contributing to safer motorcycle operation.

About the Author

Crystal Henry, a highly respected and compassionate personal injury lawyer based in Houston, is a force to be reckoned with in the legal field. With years of experience and a genuine passion for helping others, Crystal has become a trusted advocate for her clients. Her journey in law began with a strong desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives during their most challenging times.