How to get a motorcycle license in Illinois? All motorcyclists in Illinois must possess a valid motorcycle license to operate a bike on public roadways. Riding with a valid license is important for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.
It can help ensure that you understand all of the state laws, know how to properly operate your vehicle, have the skills to be able to navigate traffic safely, and prevent unnecessary accidents or injuries.
Additionally, completing the rider safety courses recommended by the state of Illinois to get your motorcycle license may provide access to discounts from insurance providers that could save money in the long run.
How to get a motorcycle license in Illinois?
Very few people can throw a leg over a bike and successfully ride if they’ve never done it before. The state of Illinois encourages would-be motorcyclists to learn the basic skills of riding by partnering with private motorcycle riding schools across the state.
By taking an IDOT certified motorcycle riding course, you’ll be a much safer rider – and you’ll be able to remove a step from the motorcycle license test process.
All Illinois residents that would like to obtain a motorcycle endorsement must be both physically and mentally able to safely operate a motorized vehicle.
In addition, they are required to be capable of reading and understanding all road and highway signs. For our residents where English isn’t their first language, it is imperative that they are able to read and understand the road signs in English.
In the state of Illinois, a motorcyclist must be a minimum of 16 years old. Motorbike drivers aged 16 or 17 years old are required to pass a written test, as well as a riding test. The written exam tests the knowledge of the applicant when it comes to motorcycle laws and techniques.
The riding test is an on-bike road test, and the driver is required to pass the test. Passing both tests shows that the driver has the necessary skills and is familiar with the laws to be safe on the roads.
For 18-year-old and older motorcyclists, the written and road tests are waved with proof of the completion of an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) approved motorcycle course.
All drivers that would like to obtain a motorcycle endorsement in Illinois are encouraged to complete a motorcycle training course called a Cycle Rider Safety Training Program (CRSTP) that is approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
These courses are free to any Illinois resident that is at least 16 years old and/or carries a valid automobile or motorcycle license or permit. The courses are open to all experience levels. In Illinois, the CRSTP is the only motorcycle training program that is authorized by the Illinois Secretary of State.
For drivers over the age of 18, the proof of CRSTP completion will exclude you from having to take the motorcycle written and driving tests.
Applying for a motorcycle license
Having the appropriate paperwork is the first step in obtaining your Illinois Motorcycle license. Once all papers are in order, it’s time to move to the next step, which includes submitting your documentation, paying the fee, and scheduling any written or road tests that need to be done.
Preparing for the written test
When preparing for the written test, the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual is considered the best study guide available for those learning how to operate a motorcycle safely and in accordance of the law. The manual is available online to download and at any official Department of Driver Services location free of charge.
There are also practice tests available online to help familiarize yourself with the types of questions that you can expect to see on the written test.
Preparing for the riding skills test
Once you pass the written test, the next step in the process is preparing for the road test, if you are required to take one. Motorbike license applicants between the ages of 16 and 17, as well as people who have not completed a Cycle Riding Safety Training Program, are required to pass both the written and driving skills test.
As with anything else, practice makes perfect! You’ll want to make sure, as does the state of Illinois, that you are safe to drive on the roads. No one was ever born with perfect motorcycle skills… those skills are acquired by practicing and becoming comfortable with the machine.
Be sure that your motorcycle is in proper working order and that it meets all safety requirements to be on the road. In addition, you need to make sure you follow the best safety guidelines when operating a motorcycle. Wear the correct safety gear, including a helmet. Check over your bike to make sure all the safety features are working, such as turn signals, brakes, etc.
Having the correct documentation is crucial – you will need both identification and proof of residency in Illinois. IDOT will not be able to process your license without the appropriate documentation, which is used to verify your identity, your signature, and the state you live in.
Proof of identity can be shown using a current Illinois driver’s license, Illinois ID card, or an original or certified copy of your birth certificate or passport. A social security card or proof of ineligibility to receive a social security card may also suffice.
In addition, two forms of proof of current Illinois residency are required. Acceptable documents include an Illinois driver’s license, a tax return transcript with an Illinois address listed, an Illinois voter’s registration card, etc.
All drivers, motorcycle or passenger vehicle, are required to take and pass a vision test. Be sure to bring or wear your corrective lenses if they are necessary for you to the vision test.
Once you pass the vision test, the final step is paying the licensing fee.
Types of motorcycle licenses in Illinois
There are two types of motorcycle licenses in Illinois: Class M and Class L. A Class L license allows you to operate any motorcycle with a displacement under 150cc. A Class M license allows you to operate any motorcycle on Illinois roads.
Most Illinois motorcyclists obtain the Class M license, as it does not restrict the type of vehicle you can ride. The process for obtaining the two types of licenses is essentially the same.
What are the requirements for a motorcycle license in Illinois?
Attend an Illinois Department of Transportation Motorcycle Rider Education Course. Show your valid Illinois driver’s license at the DMV in your city. If you are under 18, you will also need to pass a Rider Skill Test. Pay the $10 Illinois motorcycle license fee.
Is it easy to get a motorcycle license in Illinois?
Getting your motorcycle license in Illinois is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn the traffic rules and requires passing an exam at the DMV.
What happens if you get pulled over without a motorcycle license in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, 625 ILCS 5/6-101, you may face a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,500.00 fine for driving without a valid license if the offense is charged as a Class B misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum 12 months jail sentence and $2,500.00 fine.
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