How do I apply for a motorcycle permit in New York? New York

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Applying for a NY Motorcycle Permit

In New York, you must obtain a motorcycle learners permit before you can obtain a full motorcycle license. Requirements are similar to those for a NY drivers license permit; only, your exact application process, and how long your permit lasts, depends on whether you already hold a valid NY drivers license.

With a NY Drivers License

To apply for your motorcycle permit if you already have a NY drivers license, take the following steps:

  1. Before visiting a DMV office to apply, study the state's motorcycle manual. You can get a free copy from any NY DMV office (the same office that handles other driver license matters) or you can save gas and time and just download one from the DMV website.
  2. After studying all about safely and legally operating motorcycles on NY roads, take at least one practice test. You can find these exams online from a variety of sources.
  3. Complete an Application for Driver License (Form MV-44). You can download one from the DMV website.
  4. Visit any DMV office with your application and current drivers license.
  5. Use cash or a check, money order, or credit card (Visa, Discover, MasterCard, American Express) to pay for the permit upgrade. Fees vary by age ranging from $21 to $120.  
  6. Take and pass the written motorcycle test.
Your motorcycle permit is valid for one year. If you need to, you can renew this permit for one additional year.

Without a NY Drivers License

To apply for your motorcycle permit if you don’t already have a NY drivers license, you’ll need to study both the state’s motorcycle manual and the driver’s manual. You can get free copies of both from any NY DMV office or you can download them from the DMV website.

After studying, take a practice test. You can find these online from a long list of sites. Take as many practice tests until you confident of acing the actual exams.

Once you're ready, visit any DMV office with:

  • Proof of completing driver education or a pre-licensing course.
  • A completed Application for Driver License (Form MV-44). You can download this from the DMV's website.  
  • Proper identification.
  • Cash or a check, money order, or credit card (MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Visa) to pay for permit. Fees vary by age.
While at the DMV you'll need to pass two multiple-choice exams: one about motorcycles and one about NY road rules. Pass and you'll receive a motorcycle drivers permit that's valid for five years. You cannot renew this permit. If it expires you'll have to begin the permit process anew.

Mastering Motorcycle Safety

No proof of attending a drivers ed or a driver training course is needed unless you're applying without a NY drivers license; however, even though it’s not mandatory, the DMV highly recommends enrolling in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course.
Besides teaching you safe motorcycle riding tips, completing this course will waive your motorcycle road test requirement. Plus, depending on your insurance carrier, it may earn you a discount on your motorcycle insurance premiums.

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