What is covered on the NC motorcycle riding skills test and written exam? North Carolina

Preparing for Your NC Motorcycle Test

Understanding what you'll be tested on when you apply for your North Carolina motorcycle license will help you feel more comfortable during your visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The state’s “motorcycle test” is actually two exams: a written knowledge test to see how much you know about operating motorcycles, and a skills test to evaluate your actual motorcycle riding ability.

Written Exam

The written exam to get your motorcycle permit or drivers license endorsement is actually made of two separate parts. The first is a traffic sign identification test, while the second is a test of general motorcycle safety knowledge.

Some of the topics covered on the motorcycle safety portion of the written exam include:

  • Choosing the proper protective gear.
  • Basic vehicle control.
  • Crash avoidance.
  • Coping with mechanical problems.
  • The consequences of riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • How to safely ride in a group.
  • How to carry passengers.
The best way to prepare for the written exam to earn your motorcycle license is to review a copy of the motorcycle operators manual published by the NC DMV. This manual outlines all of the topics that could be on the exam and provides plenty of practice test questions to help you evaluate your knowledge of the material.

Skills Test

The purpose of the driving test is to determine if you are able to safely handle a motorcycle during both normal and hazardous traffic situations. You will be asked to perform tasks such as selecting safe speeds, braking, turning, accelerating, stopping quickly, and communicating with other motorists.
The driving test is a pass/fail exam and you must first complete the written test before you will be allowed to take the riding skills test. No appointment is needed, but the road test is only given on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., if weather permits. It’s best to call the DMV driver license office ahead of time for details.

Although North Carolina does not require a motorcycle safety drivers ed or driver training course to earn your license, many residents still choose to have some sort of formal training before taking the riding skills test. Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) courses are offered at community colleges throughout the state.

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