Motorcycle Licensing Requirements
There are more than 620,000 registered motorcycles in the state of Florida. With hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists across the state, it’s important to ensure that they’re able to share the road safely. So, Florida has strict motorcycle licensing requirements in place.
Motorcycle licenses are only issued to riders who are a certain age, have completed motorcycle education courses, and passed a motorcycle knowledge exam.
Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle licensing requirements in Gainesville, Florida.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Motorcycle License in Gainesville, Florida?
You can’t legally operate a motorcycle in the Sunshine State until you’re 16 years of age. That’s the minimum age requirement set by Florida law.
This applies to both dedicated motorcycle licenses and motorcycle license endorsements.
What Types of Motorcycle Licenses Are Available in Florida?
There are two ways to obtain a motorcycle license in Gainesville, FL.
Motorcycle License Endorsement
If you have a valid Class E driver’s license, you can obtain a motorcycle license endorsement. This is essentially an add-on to your existing license that gives you the option of driving a car or riding a motorcycle.
In order to get your Florida motorcycle license endorsement, you must complete a Basic Rider Course (BRC) or Basic Rider Course updated (BRCu) with an authorized Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Florida Rider Training Program sponsor. Once you pass the training course, you’ll have one year to apply for your motorcycle endorsement.
If you miss the one-year window you’ll have to pass the BRC or BRCu course again.
When you apply for your endorsement, you’ll have to show proof of:
- Identification, and
- An existing, valid Florida Class E license.
You’ll also have to pay the required endorsement fee, which is currently $7.00 (plus a $6.25 processing fee).
Florida Motorcycle License
If you don’t have a valid Class E driver’s license, you can opt to get a motorcycle-only license. Unlike the endorsement, this option won’t give you the right to operate another type of motor vehicle.
In order to get your motorcycle-only license:
- You must be at least 16 years old and have had a learner’s permit for at least one year.
- You’ll have to take and pass the Class E driver’s license knowledge exam, just as if you were applying for a traditional driver’s license.
- Once you’ve passed the knowledge exam, you must complete and pass a BRC or BRCu with an authorized sponsor.
- Finally, you’ll have to visit a Driver License and Motor Vehicle Service Center in Alachua County and pay the necessary licensing fees.
The current licensing fee for a motorcycle-only license in Florida is $48, plus $6.25 in processing fees for the tax collector.
Florida Rider Training Program Courses
Before Florida gives you the green light to ride a motorcycle, you’ll have to complete and pass a Basic Rider Course (BRC) or Basic Rider Course updated (BRCu). There are several authorized sponsors in the state.
These are 15-hour courses and will cover basic motorcycle riding and safety skills. You’re required to take and pass a Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP), even if you have (or have had) a motorcycle license in another state.
The one exception is if you have a motorcycle license from Alabama. If you’ve completed a Motorcycle Foundation Safety course in the past year, then proof of that will satisfy your education requirement.
There are also course options available if you want to operate a three-wheeled motorcycle.
What’s the Difference Between the BRC and BRCu Programs?
The Basic Rider Course (BRC) is a classroom-centric program intended for new riders with limited-to-no experience operating a motorcycle. You’ll learn basic physical skills to control a motorcycle and how to ride it safely. You’ll also learn about motorcycle laws in Florida and helmet requirements and recommendations.
The Basic Rider Course updated (BRCu) is like the BRC, but adopts a more hands-on and realistic approach to learning. Riders learn basic physical skills and experience safety tips in more “realistic traffic scenarios.” If you opt for the BRCu course, you’ll need to show up ready to ride a motorcycle. This means wearing appropriate clothing (long pants, a long-sleeve shirt or jacket, gloves, eye protection, and over-the-ankle shoes).
Who Has to Get a Motorcycle License in Gainesville?
Anyone who operates a motorcycle with an engine over 50cc must obtain a Florida motorcycle endorsement or a Florida motorcycle license. This applies to both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles.
Contact Our Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to Learn More About Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Florida
Even after you’ve satisfied all motorcycle licensing requirements in Florida, there’s still a chance that you’ll be involved in a motorcycle accident. Other drivers on the road don’t always use the necessary care when riding alongside a motorcycle. When there’s a crash, it’s typically the rider who suffers the most catastrophic injuries.
Allen Law Firm, P.A., can help you seek compensation from negligent motorists and fight to maximize your recovery. Contact our award-winning Gainesville motorcycle accident attorneys or call (877) 255-3652 to get hundreds of years of experience in your corner. We’ve won hundreds of millions of dollars for injury victims and families in Florida, and we’ll fight to do the same for you.
Call our law office in Gainesville, Florida, to get started with your free consultation now.