Can You Drive A Motorcycle Without A License? What Happen?

Seizing a cool-looking motorcycle for road trips and voyages is a dream for any citizen. However, motorcycle laws and regulations must not get omitted from the picture, which is why matters like licenses and legal riding ages come up. 

Is there any penalty for riding without a motorcycle license? And if yes, how to ensure you get your long-awaited motorbike license/permit as fast as possible?

This article will address all of these inquiries and discuss other tips to avoid such disasters. 

Do You Need to Get Licenses to Drive A Motorbike?

YES. You MUST get a motorbike license/permit/endorsement to handle or purchase a motorcycle, regardless of which country or region you currently reside.

Anybody below 18 must get a motorbike permit before applying for licenses in most cases. Like standard automobile permits for entry motorcycle learners, bikers with riding permits must demonstrate decent competency by driving for several hours (supervised by licensed drivers). 

Once they pass this test, the licenses will be theirs. 

Meanwhile, motorists over 18 are eligible for motorcycle endorsements/licenses without having a permit beforehand. 

For those who wonder about the difference between motorbike licenses and endorsements, note that the latter is associated with regular, standard licenses. In contrast, motorbike licenses are standalone certifications for motorcycle operations. Nevertheless, both their privileges are exactly the same.

Still, we do observe certain exceptions in some places. Take California in the U.S. or Australia, for instance, which do not require citizens to register vehicles with licenses. 

How Long Must I Wait To Get My Hands On My License?

It’s hard to estimate a specific number since numerous factors decide the outcome. Cases in point include your previous riding experience and your age.

For instance, if you are an experienced motorist with a permit, the licenses will come within a week once you pass the motorcycle road tests. Inexperienced riders must take much longer to complete all the requirements. 

These motorcycle riders are even asked to keep the permits until a specific benchmark of months/hours (ex: 3000 hours or 14 months) before earning full endorsement/licenses in certain countries. 

How Much Will It Cost Me To Apply for Motor Vehicle Licenses?

Our answer depends on your country, wanted license type, and riding experience. Not to mention, within the same country, each province/state might issue different cost and application fee structures! 

But overall, one should expect to pay $25 to more than $100 for their license. If you have a permit before that, you also have to pay separate application fees required for full motorbike licenses. 

Ages sometimes do matter. For illustration, younger riders often have to pay much more than older ones – the price difference might rise to $30!

Regarding endorsements, their fees are often much cheaper than motorbike licenses; you only pay to modify your existing licenses in former cases. This update usually only costs $10 to $20 – great news for tight-budget regular drivers.

How to Get My Motorbike Licenses in Some Countries

get motorcycle license

Since there are 200+ countries (and each country has at least 50 states/provinces with different fee policies), constructing a one-size-fits-all guide is impossible. Nevertheless, we gladly introduce simple methods to obtain your valid license in some major, developed countries, illustrated below:

1. The U.S. And U.K.

For the U.S.

This guide is crafted for people with no prior permit. If you already have a permit and wish to update to a license, simply jump straight to step 3. 

See more: How To Get Motorcycle License Endorsement In Florida?

Step 1. Complete A Valid Class of Motorbike Training/Driver Education.

Pick up the most critical motorcycle skills you would want to learn. Numerous courses are available for all rider preferences, so you never need to worry about running out of options!

Remember that no matter what courses you are into, they must get the state’s approval. Unauthorized classes are a big no.

Step 2. Get A Regular Class Permit

Drivers under the legal age in the U.S. must own a restricted instruction permit for about six months (minimum). 

To do so, hand in the necessary forms and documents to the DMV, pay application fees and do a motorcycle knowledge test. The DMV will give you detailed instructions for every step.

Step 3. Schedule License-Application Time At The DMV

You are eligible to get a motorbike license after six months. Visit the nearest DMV office to showcase your certificate of completion/successful completion card and other information required from the staff. 

Step 4. Pass the written and skill tests

Here comes the most important step: it’s time to pass the skill/written test to get your hands on the motorbike license. In the case of written examinations, all the knowledge units will be available on the state’s official website and handbook. Prepare yourself well!

Extra: How to Obtain Licenses When You Move to Another State?

Let’s say you already have a license in your previous state and want to update it under the current state’s regulation. Thankfully, the process is straightforward. 

Simply contact the state’s DMV for further instruction, and you will have successfully upgraded the licenses within 2 weeks of moving! 

In certain states, the DMV may require extra documentation or paperwork. You might be asked to: 

  • Provide proof of your legal status and birth date
  • Present proof of residency
  • Show the staff your SSN (social security numbers) for verification

For the U.K.

Getting a motorcycle license in the U.K. mostly resembles that of the U.S.: You have to pass 2 tests (theory and practical). But according to the GOV.UK, the skill test must take place within 2 years after the paper test; or else, you need to come back to the drawing board.

In case you’ve already owned an EU license, you are required to convert it into a GB one after passing the 2 tests.

2. Japan

The process is simple for those who already have a permit or endorsement for at least three months: contact the Driver License Office/ Center to convert it into a license.

But how about people who have never ridden a bike before (or whose permits/endorsements haven’t met the three-month minimum requirements)?

In that case, you are presented with two options:

1. Go to a test center to take a direct skill test.

2. Enroll in a motorcycle riding school

Either option will grant you a license once you pass the final examination. 

Option number 1 (test center) means numerous exam retake attempts; you might have to fail multiple times before the judges begrudgingly give you a pass. Option number 2 (riding school) ensures first-time graduations, though it’s a much costlier choice. 

3. France

Step 1. Pass the tests

There are two tests you need to enroll in:

Motorcycle theory tests

You can enroll by yourself or do so via driving schools. The test will ask you to give the correct answers to at least 35 questions (from 40 in total) for successful passes. The results often arrive on that same day. 

Practical tests

This test continues to be divided into two parts: off-road versus in-traffic (on public roads), whose combined length is approximately one hour. 

Riders must pass off-road tests successfully before moving on to the in-traffic ones. If you cannot pass in-traffic tests, there’s no need to retake off-road examinations or wait for another try next time. Judges will give you another five shots. 

Step 2. Provide required documents

Once you have passed all the tests, go to the Agence National de Titre Securise website or have the driving school do it for you. They will ask you to provide the following in either way: 

  • ASR or ASSR 2 certificate
  • One copy of the driving test certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Two identity photos (both must be recent)
  • Proof of your address (ex: the latest utility bills)
  • Proof of your identity and your parents’ (for those below 18)
  • For foreigners: valid residence permits and proof of France-residence for six months (minimum) 

The authorities will send the license to your address after several weeks. 


1. Which Is The Easiest Region/State For Full Motorcycle License Acquirement?

Alabama apparently takes the crown, only requiring one written test to get full motorbike licenses. 

2. Is It Possible to Ride 250cc Motorcycles or Motor-Driven Cycles on Car Licenses?

The answer is No, unless you are riding in private properties (ex: your backyards). Many places deem it illegal. 

3. What Will Happen If I Ride My Bike Without Licenses?

First-time unlicensed drivers have to pay fines or receive fixing-it tickets. Worsened cases can even lead to jail time or license revoking.

See more:


What will happen if you get caught without a motorcycle license? Long story short, motorcycle licenses are required in most cases if you want to ride through public streets and highways without receiving tickets or getting pulled over and fined. 

We have provided several tips to seize your valid motorcycle license in popular countries like the USA, France, and Japan; covering all 200+ nations and states is impossible, so remember to do your research well before dropping by the license office!

Other inquiries about motorbike riding have also been covered to clear the confusion for novices/first-timers. Nevertheless, if you still need more advice on motorcycle safety and license requirements, our inbox/comment section is where to go. 

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Daniel Barker


Daniel Barker was introduced to racing in 2006 when he experienced his first track day on his Suzuki sv650. With more than 15 years of experience on his track. Daniel is known as for his high-energy riding, drifting, precision stoppies and technical riding ability on virtually any motorcycle.

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