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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there was an interesting start to a conversation in another thread that didn't really belong there, so I wanted to start a thread dedicated to it.

Here in the states, the requirements are not difficult at all to get licensed to ride anything over 50cc's. Honestly, just for a permit to ride during the day, with a helmet, not on interstates, and with no passenger requries 2 hours in the Department of Motor Vehicles to take a 10 minute computer test that anyone with half a brain could pass if they have ever been in a car anywhere. I am the first to admit that the requirements are easy. That permit only lasts for 60 - 90 days, though. For a full license and riding test must be taken and passed. The riding test is the Basic Rider Course (BRC) as prescribed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Beyond that, many states do not require the use of helmets or any other safety equipment.

What are the requirements for licensing and riding in other countries?
 

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Not really sure what 60-90 permit your talking about, in IL anything 49cc and under you can ride with a Car license. Class L license if anything under 150cc, and Class M is anything 150cc or bigger. To get your class L or M you have to take a written test to get a permit which is good for up to 1 year, when you get your permit you can ride with somebody who has there license. To get your license after that you have to take a skills test where you ride around a parking like and drive between cones. The test for your L/M are the same just a matter of how big a bike you want to get. If are under 18 you must take the course and then take the skills test at the DMV, if you are over 18 all you need is to show that you passed your MSF course because they will have you take the test there instead of the DMV.

Motorcycle License
 

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Some states "Learner's Permits" expire in 90 days. In WI that's the case and you can renew it three times. The laws vary from state to state, but for the most part it's a shitty licensing system that doesn't promote safety or responsible skill development.
 

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Also, some states accept completion of the MSF BRC as both the riding test and written test (to my knowledge), others (like MI) accept it as the riding portion, and some may not accept it at all. State by state approach. Also, I need to double check, but in MI, I don't think you need a license at all for anything under 100cc (might be 50cc).

Liscensing and motor vehicle codes are, for the most part, set at state levels. Making a generalized statement about the USA as a country will often be wrong depending on the state you are talking about. There are certain systems (such as road markings) that are consistent for the majority of the system, but even then, I am not sure there is a federal law to enforce them.
 

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Oddly enough I was taught that at any time I felt out of control to pull both the clutch and brake in at once. It was also in my state's handbook for the written test. That article has so much slant it's not even funny.

I do feel that the MSF needs a more standardized test and probably should fire a few of their rider coaches that don't follow the curriculum. If you're a nationwide organization that touts safety I should receive the same training as Jim Bob in rural Florida.
 

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in NY, a motorcycle permit expires after 90 days if you don't already have a regular class D license. if you already have a regular driver's license, the motorcycle permit lasts for a full year before you have to renew it. the penalty for riding with just a permit is an "out of class operation" charge that doesn't even have any points attached to it. there's really not much incentive to get a license of your own if you already know someone that has one. i have friends that rode for years on just a permit. i'd be wiling to bet at least half the people riding around here don't have licenses, i'd bet it's closer to 75-80% for the harley guys.
 

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in PA your permit will expire in 1 year, which is the reason why most people never get their license, they just renew their permit every year for 10bucks (they gotta take the computer test again also)
 

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Ontario, Canada has a graduated licensing system. Write a 10 min test to get your M1 license which is valid for 90 days. Take an MSF course within that time and pass a riding test in a parking lot to get your M2, but you must still hold your M1 for a minimum of 60 days. 20 or 24 months after getting M1, one can take a road test get their full M license. After 5 (I think combined) years of having M2(M1), the license expires and you'd have to start from scratch. M1 to M, there is no restriction on class or engine size of motorcycle one can ride. M1 restricts rider to 0 blood alcohol level, daytime riding only, no passengers, no 400 series hwys. M2 restricts riders to 0 blood alcohol level. That is all, I think.

Another interesting thing I found out. Having and M2 or M motorcycle license gives a person a G1 license (G rated license is for cars in ontario)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know that it is going to vary slightly from state to state here in the US, but I am reading about some of the requirements over in Europe that need to be met. I guess that is what I am most curious about. I have been licensed for motorcycles in Texas, Georgia, and Connecticut and with small variations things were pretty much the same. Thanks for the info on the other states and Ontario, though. I don't know if I agree with the graduated system, but I do like that license expires and you have to do it all over again.
 

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they recently changed the system here, you used to just have to do a theory test which is a multiple choice and get at least 35 out of 40 questions right and you could get a provisional license which would give you 2 years to do training and pass your driving test, if you hadn't passed your test after 2 years you could just renew it and get another 2 years, after that you would need proof that you had either done the test or at least applied for it to get a further 2 years ( only place I have ever heard of that you can actually fail your driving test and still drive home totally legally )
They recently changed it though so you now have to do 16 hours of training with an approved instructor on top of the theory test to get a learner permit and then wait 6 months before you can take the test for the full license
 

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Dublin? Send me some Guinness? Please? LOL

I've heard that getting your liscence in the UK (England or AKA Ireland's snobby neighbor) is just insane. several thousand dollars and 3 months of instruction, like getting a pilots license in the US. But one they get it they dont have to renew it like we do.

As for the MC stuff goes in my state, You can ride for a long time on a permet and renew it every year, you can ride a moped (has pedals and is considered a motorized bicycle) with no license at all, you ran ride anything under 50cc's with just a regular license, and anything 50cc or over requires a MC endorsement on your license. The MC endorsement go fro anything weather it be a 50cc Vespa all the way up to a ZX-14, it doesn't matter.. theirs none of that scaling bs.

Its been so long since I took the test, but its not hard to pass the thing. Its a quick written test, then like a 15 minute riding test after that if your 18 or over, its kind of a joke. If your under 18 however (like I was) taking the MSF course is a requirement before you get your license.
 

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here in florida, there is no graduated or class systems. no permits either (that i know of, but i'm over 27, so i dont know if its different for kids 16+). you basically just take the BRC from the MSF, show your card that you passed it, and you get the motorcycle endorsement. though, you can go to the dmv, with the title of a motorcycle (50cc or higher, 49cc and lower requires just a regular license), and get tags and registration - without having the MC endorsement on your license. i don't think there are a lot of people that ride who have a MC endorsement.
 

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For the UK, you apply for a provisional licence, which is valid for bikes and cars. A full licence for either serves as a provisional for the other group. To use the provisional on a motorcycle you must also complete a compulsory basic training course of about 6 hours before you're allowed to ride on the street. You must be 17 to ride anything other than a 50cc 'ped restricted to 31 mph..

You must display L plates and ride a bike of less than 125cc. If you're over 21 you can ride a large capacity bike, but you must be accompanied by a govt. approved instructor in radio contact.

You can't carry a passenger of use motorways. If you don't get your full licence, then CBT must be re-taken after two years.

To get the full license you must pass a theory and hazard perception test, a maneuvering test (cones, figure eights, collision avoidence and controlled and emergency braking from at last 30 mph) and finally a road test in normal traffic.

You are then limited to a maximum of 33 bhp for two years after getting the full licence.

Over 21s can do a DAS test on a >46 bhp bike with a slightly more rigorous test to by-pass the two year restriction, but before passing the test you can only ride these bikes while accompanied by an instructor. Typically, over 21s tend to do an intensive 3 day training course which includes the tests. Because of the high post test accident rate for this group, this concession likely to be revised.

Tests are carried out by government examiners and the pass rate is less than 50%

Proposed new laws will introduce an intermediate category between 33 bhp and unlimited and will make you take a new test at each stage. The age at which you can opt for DAS will rise to 25, and it might be that even over 25s will only be able to go directly to the intermediate stage (likely to be 50 bhp) and will still have to wait a further 2 years and take further test before being licenced for an unlimited capacity bike. That will apply throughout the EU. The result will be that the earliest age at which anyone can ride a big bike will be 21, and then only if you have 4 years experience and have passed three seperate tests at two year intervals.

For a car licence, again you get a provisional licence and drive displaying L plates. You must be accompanied by a qualified driver. In practice, most people need between 20 and 60 hours of professional instruction before they can pass the practical test.

It may seem insane, but we have a very low accident rate and a high standard of driving skill. This is true of several EU countries and is becoming true in the rest as driving licences and testing becomes standardised.

Rob
 

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I wish the US would implement something like this. It would only make our drivers safer and more attentive. Not to mention it costs a fair amount of money to obtain all forms of driver's licenses in the EU, correct?
 

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Ontario, Canada has a graduated licensing system. Write a 10 min test to get your M1 license which is valid for 90 days. Take an MSF course within that time and pass a riding test in a parking lot to get your M2, but you must still hold your M1 for a minimum of 60 days. 20 or 24 months after getting M1, one can take a road test get their full M license. After 5 (I think combined) years of having M2(M1), the license expires and you'd have to start from scratch. M1 to M, there is no restriction on class or engine size of motorcycle one can ride. M1 restricts rider to 0 blood alcohol level, daytime riding only, no passengers, no 400 series hwys. M2 restricts riders to 0 blood alcohol level. That is all, I think.

Another interesting thing I found out. Having and M2 or M motorcycle license gives a person a G1 license (G rated license is for cars in ontario)
This is correct. Because when you write your M1 written test, you also have to pass the G1 rules test (written test) at the same time - therefore you automatically get your G1 license.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I got lucky. When I got stationed over in Greece I had my Hayabusa and was able to ride based on my American drivers license and a short exam to make sure I knew what all the different street signs meant. No one ever prepared me for the difference in roads between the states and Greece. They are just made a little differently.

I do like the rigorous tests imposed over in Europe and it would be nice if we had something over here. It all sounds rather imposing, though. Not something for the feignt of heart or for someone who doesn't handle rejection well.

How much do the licenses cost? Since I am in the military here in the states, I really don't have to pay for much when it comes to getting my license....$20 maybe.
 

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The reality, for bikes, is that most young riders get a provisional licence at 16 or 17, take the Compulsory Basic Training, then ride a 50 (at 16) or a 125 displaying L plates until they feel ready to take the tests. They might pay for a day's training pre-test.

For these guys it's usually about a year of riding their small bikes between CBT and actually passing the test, then they're restricted to 33 bhp for two years. It's a bit limiting, but not too expensive. I think the tests total about US$200 if you pass them first time.

More expensive for riders taking DAS of course, as they pay for extra training, and expensive for learners in cars as 20 - 60 hours training at probably about £30.00 (US$ 50) per hour builds up to a tidy sum.

The actual licence isn't expensive, and it lasts until you're 70, which is why I don't know the current cost. Newer licences have to be replaced every 10 years to update the photograph at a cost of about £10 (US$16), but older licences without a photo don't need to be updated. If you need to replace an older licence - for a change of address for example, then you have to change to a photo licence and I think the cost of that is about £25 (US$40).

After age 70 it has to be renewed every three years and needs a doctors certificate that you're still fit to drive.

Classes of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, etc) are added to the licence as you pass the tests for those classes.

Rob
 
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