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Massachusetts Motorcycle Permit 101: Requirements, Application, and Tips

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Massachusetts

If you love riding motorcycles and want to explore the scenic roads of Massachusetts, you need to get a motorcycle permit first. A motorcycle permit allows you to operate a motorcycle legally on public roads and prepares you for getting a motorcycle license. In this article, we will explain what a motorcycle permit is, what are the requirements for getting one, how to apply for one, what are the restrictions for using one, and how to convert one to a license.

mass rmv motorcycle permit book

What is a Motorcycle Permit?

A motorcycle permit is a type of driver's license that allows you to operate a motorcycle or any other motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the rider and designed to travel with no more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground. A motorcycle permit is valid for 2 years or the length of your stay in the U.S., whichever is shorter.

Getting a motorcycle permit has many benefits. It helps you learn the rules of the road and practice your riding skills before taking the road test for a motorcycle license. It also gives you access to motorcycle safety courses that can improve your knowledge and confidence on a motorcycle. And it allows you to ride legally on public roads with certain restrictions.

What are the Requirements for a Motorcycle Permit?

To get a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Age requirement

  • Residency requirement

  • Document requirement

  • Fee requirement

  • Exam requirement

Age Requirement

You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a motorcycle permit. If you are under 18 years old, you must also obtain the written consent of a parent, legal guardian, Department of Children and Families, or boarding school headmaster. Written consent must be given by signing the Class D, M, or D/M license and ID card application. If the person giving consent is not a parent, proper documentation of authority must be shown at the time of the written test. You will also be subject to certain restrictions until you turn 18.

Residency Requirement

You must be a resident of Massachusetts to apply for a motorcycle permit. You must provide proof of your Massachusetts residency by showing one document for a Standard permit or two documents for a REAL ID permit. The documents must have your name and address on them and must be dated within 60 days of your application. Acceptable documents include utility bills, bank statements, lease agreements, mortgage statements, etc.

Document Requirement

You must decide what type of permit you want a REAL ID Massachusetts permit (valid for federal purposes) or Standard Massachusetts permit (not valid for federal purposes). Depending on your choice, you must provide different documents to prove your identity, lawful presence, Social Security number, and Massachusetts residency. You can use the online document checklist to find out what documents you need for your permit.

For example, if you want a REAL ID permit, you must provide one document to prove your lawful presence (such as a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or permanent resident card), one document to prove your Social Security number (such as a Social Security card, W-2 form, or pay stub), and two documents to prove your Massachusetts residency (such as utility bills, bank statements, lease agreements, etc). If your name differs on the lawful presence document, you must also provide proof of the legal name change (such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order).

Fee Requirement

You must pay a $30 application fee for a motorcycle permit. You can pay by cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card at an RMV Service Center. If you apply online, you can pay by credit/debit card only.

Exam Requirement

You must pass a written exam to get a motorcycle permit. The exam consists of 25 questions and you must answer 18 questions correctly in order to pass. The exam will test your knowledge of the rules of the road, consequences of driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol, the Junior Operator Law, sharing the road with the visually impaired, and sharing the road with bicyclists and pedestrians. You can study the Motorcycle Manual to prepare for the exam.

The exam is available in 34 languages and you will be given 25 minutes to complete it. You can take the exam online or in person at an RMV Service Center or AAA location. If you take the exam online, you must start your application online and make an appointment to visit a Service Center or AAA location to verify your identity and documents.

If you have a cognitive or physical disability that would prevent you from taking a standard learners permit exam through ATS, you may request an alternative extended time, paper, or oral exam. To request an alternative exam option, you must contact the RMV's Medical Affairs Branch and provide documentation of your disability from a licensed medical professional.

How to Apply for a Motorcycle Permit?

To apply for a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts, you must follow these steps:

  • Online application

  • In-person application

Online Application

You must start your application online by visiting the RMV's website and selecting "Apply for a learner's permit". You will need to enter your personal information, choose your permit type, upload your documents (if applicable), pay the application fee, and schedule an appointment to visit a Service Center or AAA location. You will also have the option to take the written exam online after completing your application.

In-Person Application

You must visit a Service Center or AAA location at the date and time of your appointment. You will need to bring your required documents and completed application form. You will also need to take the written exam if you did not take it online. After passing the exam and verifying your identity and documents, you will receive your motorcycle permit.

What are the Restrictions for a Motorcycle Permit?

A motorcycle permit comes with certain restrictions that limit how and when you can ride a motorcycle. These restrictions are meant to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. The restrictions are as follows:

  • You must be supervised by a person who is at least 21 years old and has at least one year of driving experience on a motorcycle. The supervisor must be within sight of you and on another motorcycle or in another vehicle.

  • You cannot carry any passengers on your motorcycle except for your supervisor.

  • You must wear a helmet that meets federal standards and eye protection when riding a motorcycle.

  • You cannot ride a motorcycle between sunset and sunrise unless accompanied by an instructor who is giving instruction as part of an approved novice motorcycle training program.

How to Convert a Motorcycle Permit to a License?

To convert a motorcycle permit to a license in Massachusetts, you must pass a road test and submit a completion certificate from an approved motorcycle safety course. The road test and completion certificate are valid for 6 months from the date of issuance 71b2f0854b

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