Requirements to Operate a Motorcycle
In order to operate a motorcycle in Iowa, you need a valid Motorcycle Instruction Permit, Motorcycle Endorsement, or a Class M – Motorcycle License Only.
Motorcycle Instruction Permit - A motorcycle instruction permit allows you to operate a motorcycle while accompanied by another person that has a license valid for motorcycles. The accompanying person must stay within sight and hearing distance and be on or in a different motor vehicle. Only one learner may be supervised by any one licensed driver. To get a motorcycle instruction permit, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge exam and a vision screening.
Note: If you are under age 18, a motorcycle instruction permit allows you to operate a motorcycle with a licensed parent/guardian or immediate member of your family who is at least 21 years old. When riding with a non-parent/guardian/immediate family member, you must have written permission from your parent/guardian to operate a motorcycle and the supervising rider must be at least 25 years old and have a license valid for motorcycles.
Motorcycle Endorsement – Added to an existing license, the motorcycle endorsement allows you to operate vehicles classified as motorcycles. To obtain a motorcycle endorsement you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test and a motorcycle skills (driving) test as well as a vision screening. The department may waive the skills test if you have successfully completed an Iowa-approved course in motorcycle education.
Class M - Motorcycle License Only – This license is for motorcycle driving only and is not valid for the operation of any other type of motor vehicle. To obtain a motorcycle-only license, you must pass the motorcycle knowledge test as well as the operator knowledge test, pass a skills (driving) test on your motorcycle, and complete a vision screening. The department may waive the skills test if you have successfully completed an Iowa-approved course in motorcycle education.
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