Before you start looking for the best beginner motorcycles, you’ll need to apply for a motorcycle license. To drive around in your motorcycle, moped, or tricycle on public roads in Texas, you must first acquire a Class M driver’s license. To apply for this license, you must be at least 15 years old and pass the Department of Public Safety-approved Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course.

Any vehicle must follow standard road safety protocol on the road. However, unlike other vehicles, motorcycle drivers need to adhere to a somewhat more specific set of rules to ensure road safety. For this reason, to apply for this license, aspiring drivers must be able to pass a road test and a written examination about traffic laws specific to motorcycles.

Before you go to the Department of Public Safety, here are some details and specifics on the process that will give you an idea of what to expect on your visit.

Motorcycle license classes

Drivers need to acquire a Class M license, or any valid motorcycle license from another state, to drive a motorcycle in Texas’ public roads legally. A driver at least 18 years or older must first look for a local motorcycle safety course and complete it to qualify for a motorcycle license. The completion certificate from that course will be valid for up to two years.

Drivers over 17 years who have a completion certificate and an unrestricted Texas Class A, B, or C license may present their licenses and certifications instead of taking the motorcycle driving tests. You can get your Class C license and Class M license for the first time simultaneously, and you may need to take a vision test.

What you need to know as a minor

The process may differ if you’re a minor (under 18 years) applying for a Class M license in Texas. Like getting a regular driver’s license, you may get a license if you are at least 15 years old, but it will be restricted until you turn 16.

To qualify, you must first have either a provisional license, a completion certificate for the driver’s education classroom phase, or a class C learner license with a completed 32-hour classroom phase of driver’s education.

After this, you must complete a motorcycle safety course. You may obtain a motorcycle learning license (a Class M license with a J restriction) by presenting your completion certificate to the license office. This learner license allows you to practice riding motorcycles under the supervision of, or in the presence of, another licensed motorcycle operator who is at least 21 years of age. The license office may also require you to present a completed Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form from your high school and an authorization form with your parent’s signature in addition to your completion certificate.

An additional restriction will be attached to the learner license of drivers aged 15 years old at the time of obtaining the license. This restriction only allows the driver to ride a motorcycle with a piston displacement of 250 cubic centimeters or less. This restriction, however, can be removed as soon as the driver turns 16.

Other certifications you may need to take

  • TDLR Course #116: Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) – This course can be completed in six hours and includes a parent account, a Texas DPS written exam, and behind-the-wheel training tools.
  • TDLR Course #C2839: Texas Adult Drivers Ed – Upon completion of the course, you can skip the DPS written test with adult drivers ed. This course can be completed in six hours.
  • TDLR Course #C2839: Texas Instructor Taught Drivers E – The course includes a Texas DPS written exam and allows you to choose a behind-the-wheel provider and quickly get your Texas driving permit.


Driving a motorcycle requires you to follow a particular set of rules to hit the road safely, so you need a special license to operate one. Acquiring a motorcycle license need not be complicated. By following the guidelines above, you can hit the Texas roads in no time.

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