To ride lawfully, motorcycle operators must get a North Carolina motorcycle license or add an endorsement to an existing license. Riders must first apply for a learner permit and complete the criteria for getting a full motorcycle license via the state Division of Motor Vehicles before acquiring a motorcycle driver’s license (NCDMV).

There are several sorts of motorcycle licenses and different routes to obtaining them, so understanding your options might help you decide which road to choose. These materials will also help you become a better and safer rider. Our objective is to assist you in laying a solid foundation for your riding experience so that you are safe on the road.

Obtaining a North Carolina Motorcycle License

You should be applying for a learner’s permit if you’re around 16 to 18 years old.You must have a provisional license and written authorization from a parent or guardian to obtain this.

To obtain a learner’s permit, you must also complete the following steps:

  • Pay a charge of $20.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a road sign examination.
  • Take a knowledge exam and pass it.

Passing these examinations will get you a learner’s permit that will expire after a year. If you cannot obtain your motorbike endorsement within six months, you may renew this permit once for an additional six months. Remember that if you have a motorbike permit, you cannot transport people.

If you are above 18, you must fulfill the exact requirements, including schooling, but you do not need parental approval to accompany your temporary license. To keep your motorbike endorsement, you must pay a cost of about $2.00 every year, regardless of your age.

Obtaining a Motorcycle Endorsement

Drivers who are over 16 and feel confident in their abilities may add an NC motorbike endorsement to their current provisional license, regular driver credential, or commercial license instead of filing for motorcycle licensing credentials. In addition, applicants for a motorcycle license under the age of 18 or who want to enhance their riding abilities must attend a motorcycle safety course. However, before obtaining a motorcycle license endorsement, drivers must first pass a knowledge exam and a driving skills test. Drivers who pass these motorcycle endorsement exams must pay all applicable fees in the form of a money order, cash, personal checks, or credit card. The yearly fee for motorcycle license endorsements is $2.30.

Drivers must complete and pass the following exams to obtain a North Carolina DMV motorcycle license endorsement:

  • Vision Exam
  • Sign evaluation – includes regulatory and warning signs
  • Motorcycle knowledge test – covers safe driving techniques, traffic rules, and motorcycle helmet requirements.
  • Motorcycle road exam – a hands-on practical test

Suppose a rider is unsure about their ability to pass the skills section of the exam. In that case, they can acquire a permit followed by a motorcycle driver’s license instead of an endorsement. However, before obtaining a full DMV motorcycle license in the state, NC motorcycle license applicants must first get a learner permit and pass a vision, traffic signs, and knowledge exam. Drivers who opt to take a motorcycle safety course will be excused from taking the NCDMV’s road skills exam.


Even if you observe all of North Carolina’s traffic laws and motorcycle limitations, you might be hit by a reckless motorist. If someone else’s negligence wounded you or killed a loved one in a motorcycle accident, don’t be afraid to seek legal advice.

For more information like this, such as the best motorbikes for beginners, feel free to browse through our comprehensive motorcycle information resources on Beginner Rider today!