If you live in or close to Miami, Florida, you might want to get yourself a motorcycle. Maybe you’ve seen motorcycle riders cruising down US Route 401, and you’ve felt envious. They look so carefree and like they’re having so much fun.
If you decide to get a motorcycle, though, you’ll need to know all about Miami licensing requirements. We’ll discuss that in detail in the following article.
Get a Helmet
Before we get into licensing requirements, we should mention that you always want to wear a helmet when you operate one of these vehicles. Motorcycle helmets saved more than 25,000 lives since 2002 on America’s roadways. You’re also in more danger when you ride a motorcycle than if you drive a car, so you want to do all you can to protect yourself if you choose to ride.
While there’s inherent danger when you ride a motorcycle, some people still choose to do it. They love the thrill of the wind flying past them when they climb aboard these iconic machines.
Who Needs a License?
Now, let’s talk about who needs a license in Florida if you choose to ride. You need a license if you have a bike with an engine over 50cc and either two or three wheels. If so, you can have a traditional driver’s license, but it needs to have a special motorcycle endorsement on it. You can also get a “motorcycle only” license from the DMV.
If you have one of these two endorsements, you can show either one to the police if they pull you over. If you try to ride without one, though, and the cops pull you over, you’re breaking the law. They can issue you a ticket, and you’ll have to pay a fine. They might even confiscate your motorcycle in certain situations.
How Do You Get an Endorsement?
To get one of the two kinds of licenses that we mentioned, you can go to the DMV if you’re age 16 or older. You might start this process by getting a Class E driver’s license. You then complete one of two courses that Florida offers. You can take either the Basic Rider Course or the updated version.
After you complete the course, you’ll need to apply for your endorsement within one year by taking the road test, similar to when you get a traditional driver’s license. You’ll need to show competency to an instructor when you ride your motorcycle. If you know road rules and basic maneuvering, you should be fine.
The last thing you do is go to the DMV again and provide your ID, along with a required fee that goes with the endorsement. At that point, you’ll have your license, and you can legally ride all along Florida’s roads and highways.
What About the “Motorcycle Only” License?
We also mentioned that you can get a “motorcycle only” license that doesn’t apply to cars. You do that by holding a learner’s permit for at least one year if you’re between ages 16 and 18. If you are older than that, you don’t need to do this.
You’ll then pass the same exam you’d take if you were getting a Class E license. You’ll complete either one of the two courses that we mentioned, and then you’ll pay the required fee. If you get a “motorcycle only” license, you can’t operate a regular car, so keep that in mind.
Motorcycle Endorsement Renewal
If you’re wondering about when you need to renew the motorcycle endorsement, there’s good news. That’s good for life in Florida, so you never need to renew it.
There’s one thing to remember: make sure you add the endorsement to your license by paying the fee at the DMV within one year of taking that Basic Rider Course. If you don’t, you’ll have to retake it before you’re eligible again.
What About Insurance?
Many motorcycle operators ask about insurance when they get their licenses. You don’t actually need insurance to operate a motorcycle in Florida under normal circumstances.
However, if you cause an accident with injuries when you’re on a motorcycle, the court will probably make you get insurance if they allow you to ride again. That’s plenty of incentive to ride safely, not just for yourself but for everyone around you.
Now, you know how to get a motorcycle operator’s license in Florida. You can quickly get one and enjoy the freedom that a motorcycle and the open road provide.