What Are Florida Motorcycle Permit Restrictions?
Bill Allen | August 23, 2023 | Motorcycle Accident
Some states require teen motorcyclists to obtain a motorcycle permit before applying for a motorcycle license. In Florida, that’s not the case. However, Florida teens hoping to take to the road on two wheels might be disappointed to learn they have a bit of a wait ahead of them.
Teen drivers in Florida are required to hold a learner’s permit for a year before they can legally drive a motorcycle. That wait time grows longer if the teen has been found guilty of any traffic convictions. For permit-holding teens, the fastest way to get a motorcycle license is by knowing the state’s learner’s license restrictions and following them to the letter.
Florida Permit Restrictions For Teen Drivers
Unlike other states, Florida doesn’t offer teens the option of a motorcycle permit. Instead, teen drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 need to take a driver’s education course and pass a written knowledge exam.
Once a teen has practiced driving with a permit for a year, they can apply for a motorcycle endorsement without first obtaining a permit. While waiting to obtain their official license, teen drivers need to know and follow all learner’s permit restrictions.
As part of the learner’s permit restrictions in Florida, teen drivers must:
- Always drive with a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the front seat
- Only drive during the day for the first three months
- From months three through six, only drive between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Teen drivers need to accrue a total of 50 hours of driving time while holding their permit before becoming eligible to gain a full driver’s license. It’s important to know and follow these restrictions closely.
If a teen driver is convicted of a traffic violation while driving with a permit, the wait time for getting a motorcycle license automatically becomes longer.
Getting Your First Florida Motorcycle License
Once a teen driver has held their driver’s permit for a year with no traffic convictions or permit violations, they’re ready to acquire a motorcycle license. The easiest way to do this is to first take the driving test and acquire your Florida driver’s license.
Once you’re a licensed driver, all you need to do is apply to have a class M endorsement added to your existing license. If you’re only interested in holding a motorcycle license, you can apply for a motorcycle-only license as long as you meet Florida’s licensing requirements.
Whether you’re seeking a motorcycle-only license or a class M endorsement, all teen drivers in Florida must complete a 15-hour motorcycle safety course before they can legally ride a motorcycle.
Florida still has teen driving restrictions on license-holding teens. Teens 16 years of age can’t drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Seventeen-year-olds can’t drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to work or have a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car.
Why Does Florida Have Permit Restrictions?
Florida’s permit restrictions are designed to reduce the risk of car accidents and make the roads safer for everyone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), young and inexperienced drivers are more likely to end up in a crash than older drivers.
Permit restrictions are a practical goal. They take young drivers off the roads at times when accidents happen most often. The goal is to reduce the risk of accidents by giving new drivers extra support under safe conditions. In other words, the state makes teens hold a learner’s permit for a year to cut down on the rate of teen drivers involved in motorcycle crashes.
Do I Need a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Permit violations and traffic convictions while holding a permit directly interfere with a teen driver’s goal of obtaining a motorcycle license. Any time you end up in trouble while holding a permit, it’s a good idea to consult a Florida motorcycle accident attorney right away.
Contact Our Ocala Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: