Motorcycles have a unique charm that people love. However, not everyone can drive one in Maryland unless there is tangible proof that they are qualified. Before enjoying a long ride, one must obtain a Class M Motorcycle License. It is a stand-alone license acquired separately from the standard Class C noncommercial driver’s license.

So, alongside searching for the best motorcycle for beginners, read this quick guide to obtaining a motorcycle license in Maryland to begin the ride.

Requirements When Applying for a Motorcycle License in Maryland

For people who have a driver’s license, the easiest way to legally drive a motorcycle is through completing a Motorcycle Safety Program course. Drivers who pass an MVA-approved course can present their certificate of completion to obtain a Class M endorsement on their license. Just like an upgrade!

Taking a course is highly recommended, but it is not a requirement for applicants over 18. Maryland licensed drivers over 18 can obtain a Class M endorsement as long as they can read road signs and pass the knowledge, vision, and driving skill tests.

For the vision test, drivers must have a minimum of 20/40 corrected vision in each eye, binocular vision, and field vision of at least 140 degrees. Some expectations for the knowledge test include checking one’s awareness of traffic laws, road policies, and safe driving practices.

Check out the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Motorcycle Operator Manual to obtain the information needed for the test. There will also be an on-cycle rider skill test that examines the applicant’s demonstration of a left ”U” turn, cone weave, sharp right turn from a stop, quick stop, obstacle swerve, and control of the motorcycle.

New residents can exchange their valid out-of-state motorcycle license for a Class M license if they meet Maryland’s vision requirements. If the license has expired for more than one year, the applicant must take knowledge and rider skill tests.

For Quick Licensing

The Motor Vehicle Administration designed a fast-track program for bikers who already have experience. There is no learner’s permit required nor a fourteen-day waiting period between the two exams because they can take it on the same day. If the applicants fail the test, they will be coached on the correct answers and retake the test right away.

The next step is the on-cycle rider skill test using a street-legal motorcycle. It must be insured, registered, tagged, have complete equipment, and be transported legally to the testing location.

For New Applicants Under 18

Thirty-hour classroom instruction and six hours of on-hands training are required for applicants under 18 and new drivers regardless of age. They must also complete a motorcycle safety course from a legal program.

After taking the pre-requisites, applicants will obtain a learner’s permit and can drive if they are accompanied by someone at least 21 years old and a Class M license holder for a minimum of three years. Then, upon completing the on-cycle rider skill test, they will obtain a provisional license and must maintain a good driving record for eighteen months before receiving a full Maryland driver’s license.


Obtaining a Maryland motorcycle license is a piece of cake. There are several ways to get one, and it varies on different circumstances such as age, prior licensing, and experience. Also, there are tests including vision, knowledge, and skills. To ace the knowledge and skills test, make sure to check out all available resources.

Are you getting ready for your first ride? Beginner Riders is here to help you get started with your journey. We searched and compiled the best motorcycles and guidelines on motorcycle licensing in the USA and Canada. Be a smart biker and check our list of best beginner motorcycles for the year.