How Old Must You Be To Ride a Motorcycle? Laws in Each State

If you are looking to buy a bike, you may be asking, “How old do you have to be to ride a motorcycle?” The answer to this question depends on your state.

In this article, we will look at state licensure and learner’s permit age requirements by state.

Terms Used

There are three main types of motorcycle licensures to watch for:

  • License: A license grants you full access
  • Learner’s permit: Allows you to ride your motorcycle with some restrictions
  • Endorsement: An addition to your driver’s license that allows you to drive both an automobile and motorcycle

Motorcyclists ride through cones

Age Requirements by State

Age requirements differ by state. Phases of licensure typically include permit and then full license. See the requirements for each state:

Alabama

  • Must be 14 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license

Alaska

  • Must be 14 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

Arizona

  • Must be 15.5 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • First time drivers must pass a driver’s license and motorcycle operator written test
  • Must be 16 years old to apply for a motorcycle license

Arkansas

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

California

  • Must be 15.5 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit and complete a driver’s education course
  • Must be 17.5 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit without a driver’s education course
  • Must be 21 years old to hold license without a motorcycle safety training program

Colorado

  • Motorcycle operators must already hold a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement

Connecticut

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 16 or 17 years old for a motorcycle license
  • Must complete a motorcycle training course

Delaware

  • Must be 16 years old with a parent’s permission for a motorcycle endorsement
  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle endorsement

District of Columbia

  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license

Florida

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle endorsement
  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 1 year

Georgia

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

Hawaii

  • Must be 15.5 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Idaho

  • Must be 21 years old for a motorcycle endorsement

Illinois

  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license

Indiana

  • Must be 16.5 for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 1 year

Iowa

  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license without a motorcycle education course

Kansas

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 17 years old for a motorcycle endorsement

Kentucky

  • Must hold a valid intermediate driver’s license or be 18 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts one year

Louisiana

  • Must have a valid driver’s license for a motorcycle endorsement

Maine

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle endorsement

Maryland

  • Must be 16 years and 3 months old for a motorcycle license

Massachusetts

  • Must be 16 years old and have parental consent (if under 18) for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Michigan

  • Must be 16 years old and enrolled in a safety training course for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Minnesota

  • Must be 16 years old, possess a valid driver’s license, and enroll in a motorcycle education course (if under 18) for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Mississippi

  • Must be 15 years old and complete a driver’s education program for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 17 years old and have parental consent (if under 18) for a motorcycle license

Missouri

  • Must be 15.5 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Montana

  • Must be 16 years old and have a driver’s license for a motorcycle license

Nebraska

  • Must be 17 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 1 year

Nevada

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license
  • Must be 18 years old to operate motorcycle on a highway

New Hampshire

  • Must be 16-17 years old and have a driver’s education course for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit without a driver’s education course
  • Permit lasts 45 days

New Jersey

  • Must be 15 years old for a motorcycle license

New Mexico

  • Must be 13 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit

New York

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

North Carolina

  • Must be 16 years old with a driving permit or 18 years old with a driver’s license for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 1 year

North Dakota

  • Must be 14 years old with a completed motorcycle safety course for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts at least 2 months

Ohio

  • Must be 15.5 years old and have parental consent (if under 18) for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts for 6 months

Oklahoma

  • Must be 14 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

Oregon

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 1 year

Pennsylvania

  • Must 16 years old, meet a 6 month eligibility period, and have complete a Basic Rider Course for a motorcycle license

Rhode Island

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license

South Carolina

  • Must be 15 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts for at least 6 months

South Dakota

  • Must be 14 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts for 6 months

Tennessee

  • Must be 15 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle license

Texas

  • Must 15 years and take a motorcycle safety course for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Utah

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 6 months

Vermont

  • Must be 16 years old and have a Junior Driver’s license for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Permit lasts 120 days

Washington

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit

West Virginia

  • Must be 16 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle license

Wisconsin

  • Must be 18 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit without an approved basic rider course
  • Permit lasts 6 months

Wyoming

  • Must be 15 years old for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Must be 17 years old for a motorcycle license

Motorbike Student

Conclusion

How old do you have to be to ride a motorcycle? The answer to this question depends on your local laws and regulations. Now go out there, get your permit, a great motorcycle lock, and get riding!