State Seal New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

Translate disclaimer

Motorcycle


A motorcycle is any vehicle (including motor bikes, bicycles and tricycles, aka trike) with attached motors. All residents operating a motorcycle in New Jersey must have a motorcycle endorsement on their existing driver license or a separate motorcycle license. All motorcycles must be titled, registered and insured.

Trikes (3-Wheel Motorcycles)

Anyone who would like to operate a trike must apply for a motorcycle endorsement and a restriction will be placed on the driver's license that only allows the operation of a 3-wheel motorcycle. Trikes must be titled, registered and insured.

Low-speed motorcycles

Low-speed motorcycles are less than 50 cubic centimeters (cc) or have a 1.5 brake horsepower motor or less with a maximum speed no more than 35 miles per hour on a flat surface. Low-speed motorcycles may not be driven on any state toll road, limited-access highway or any public road with a posted speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour. Low-speed motorcycles must be titled, registered and insured. Basic auto license holders can operate a low-speed motorcycle without any endorsement or separate motorcycle license.

The following sections explain the necessary processes for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement or license; obtaining a permit may be part of the process as well.   Read all information carefully to determine which steps apply to you.  In addition, a Driver Manual and a Motorcycle Manual are available for your information and review.

Endorsement

There are two ways to add a motorcycle endorsement to your driver’s license: 

  1. Enroll in the Basic Rider Course (required for persons under age 18); or
  2. Apply without completing a Basic Rider Course.

1. Enroll in the Basic Rider Course (BRC)

  • Complete the Basic Rider Course (permit not required)
  •  

      • Register with an approved motorcycle training provider.
      • Attend approximately five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of riding exercises.
      • Upon graduation, the training provider will give you a stamped waiver form and a completion card.
  • Obtain a motorcycle endorsement
  •  

      • Before riding the motorcycle, you must first add the endorsement to your driver’s license.
      • After successfully completing a 3-wheel BRC, you will get a motorcycle endorsement that carries a restriction for a 3-wheel motorcycle only.
      • Bring the course completion documents and 6 Points of ID verification to a driver testing center to apply for a motorcycle permit.
        • Applicants must be at least age 17; parent/guardian consent is required for persons under age 18.
      • Complete and pass a vision test.
      • Pay the required fees.   The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, checks, money orders and cash.

 2. Apply without completing the Basic Rider Course (BRC)

  • Obtain a motorcycle examination permit
  • Practice ride
      • The mandatory minimum for practice riding is 20 days.
      • All motorcycle permit riding restrictions must be observed. 
        • The following is prohibited: operating a motorcycle from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; carrying passengers; and riding on any state toll road or limited-access highway.    
  • Take the motorcycle road test
      • Schedule a road test appointment.
      • Bring your own motorcycle or trike (registered and insured), helmet and eye protection.
      • After passing the road test on a trike, you will get a motorcycle endorsement that carriers a restriction for a 3-wheel motorcycle only.
      • See Special Note below regarding restrictions.
  • Obtain a motorcycle endorsement
      • Pay the required fees upon successful completion of the road test. The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, checks, money orders and cash.

License

There are two ways to obtain a motorcycle license without possessing a driver’s license: 

  1. Enroll in the Basic Rider Course (required for persons under age 18); or
  2. Apply without completing a Basic Rider Course. 

All applicants without a driver’s license must first obtain a motorcycle permit.

  • Obtain a motorcycle examination permit
      • Bring 6 Points of ID verification to a motor vehicle agency to apply for a motorcycle permit. 
      • Applicants must be at least age 17; parent/guardian consent is required for persons under age 18.
      • Complete and pass the knowledge and vision tests.

1. Enroll in the Basic Riding Course (BRC)

  • Practice Ride
      • If you are under age 21, you must accrue a mandatory minimum of six months of practice riding.
      • If you are over age 21, you must accrue a mandatory minimum of three months without any suspensions or postponements; this applies to persons getting a license for the first time (GDL). 
  • Complete the basic rider course
      • Register with an approved motorcycle training provider.
      • Attend approximately five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of riding exercises.
      • Upon graduation, the training provider will give you a completion card.
  • Take the motorcycle road test
      • Schedule a road test appointment.
      • Bring your own motorcycle or trike (registered and insured), helmet and eye protection.
      • After completing a 3-wheel BRC, and passing the road test on a trike, you will get a motorcycle endorsement that carries a restriction for a 3-wheel motorcycle only.
      • See Special Note below regarding restrictions.
  • Obtain a Probationary Motorcycle License (Class E)
      • Pay the required fees upon successful completion of the road test. The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, checks, money orders and cash.
      • Observe probationary riding privileges, including:
  • Obtain an unrestricted Motorcycle License
      • You must be at least age 18 and completed one year probationary riding.
      • All fees must be paid in full.  

2. Apply without completing the Basic Rider Course (BRC)

  • Follow the procedure outlined in 1) immediately above, with the exception of completing the Basic Rider Course.

SPECIAL NOTE: As of January 1, 2013, anyone who takes a road test at MVC on a bike that is 231cc or less is restricted to riding only a 500cc or less motorcycle (M endorsement or Class E motorcycle-only license with restriction). If the road test is taken on a bike that is over 231cc, there will be no restriction with the M endorsement or motorcycle-only license. Anyone who successfully completes a Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) course is exempt from this bike size requirement and will not be restricted. Riders who are restricted to a bike that is 500cc or less will have a restriction “5” noted on their license and will be required to carry an MVC-issued restriction card while operating the motorcycle.

We are required to capture a customer’s full face when taking a picture for a driver license or non-driver ID card; therefore we need to be able to see from the top of your forehead to the bottom of your chin.  If you have a medical or religious need to wear a head covering in your photo, please advise the MVC staff at the agency camera station.

To Title and Register a Motorcycle

All certified motorcycles must be titled and registered in New Jersey and meet the minimum safety standards as outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

To title or register your motorcycle, bring the following documentation to a motor vehicle agency:

  • 6 Points of ID;
  • Proof of insurance;
  • Title, Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MSO or MCO) or Registration and a notarized bill-of-sale from previous owner with vehicle description and sale price (motorcycles from non-titled states only)*
    • If you cannot meet this requirement, you must follow the MVC’s procedures for vehicles obtained without proper evidence of ownership.  You may download the Improper Evidence of Ownership packet, or call 609-292-6500 ext. 5064 for the required forms. 
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7)
  • Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49 found only at motor vehicle agencies)
  • Name and Address of lien holder, if applicable. (All lien holders in New Jersey must have an Entity Identification Number (EIN) formerly Corpcode.)
  • Pay the title fee.
  • Pay the registration fee
  • The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, checks, money orders and cash.

To Register a Dirt Bike

A dirt bike is any two-wheeled motorcycle that is designed and manufactured for off-road use only that does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or the United States Environmental Protection Agency on-road emissions standards. A dirt bike shall not exceed 600cc. For registration information click here.

Use of motorcycles, ATVs and Dirt Bikes in state parks
ATV's and Dirt Bikes are prohibited in all New Jersey state parks and forests. However, in some parts of Lebanon, Bass River, and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest in Southern New Jersey you may be able to operate a motorcycle. Call the Division of Parks and Forestry at (800) 843-6420 for more information.

Motorcycle self-inspection

Effective August 1, 2010, motorcycles are no longer required to submit for an inspection in New Jersey. Riders should keep in mind that it is their responsibility to make sure their motorcycles are free from mechanical defects and are operating properly. Law enforcement may still cite a cyclist for equipment out of compliance or failure to make repairs.