How to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida
Written By: Carolyn Jackson
Florida is one of the most popular states in the US for motorcyclists. The warm winters are definitely a perk for those of us who enjoy riding. Although driving a motorcycle has some similarities to driving a car, there are some key differences and highly important safety considerations motorcycle riders need to know. Because of this, most states, Florida included, require anyone who owns and plans to drive a motorcycle to have a specialized motorcycle license, usually called a Class M license.
This article will cover some of the top FAQs you might have if you are dabbling with the idea of getting a motorcycle license in Florida and step-by-step instructions for how to get Class M certified in the state of Florida.
- There are two types of motorcycle licenses in Florida; a motorcycle endorsement on a regular Class E license and a motorcycle license.
- The process for acquiring either type of license requires operators to take and pass a motorcycle skills and safety course.
- Obtaining a motorcycle operator’s license in Florida is fairly straightforward, just follow the steps below and you can be on the street in a matter of a couple weeks.
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Is a Motorcycle License Different from a Driver’s License?
In the state of Florida, there are two Motorcycle Licenses you can apply for, a traditional Motorcycle License or an Endorsement. Here is the difference between the two license types:
- Motorcycle License: This is a more traditional ID, which allows the owner to legally operate any motorcycle with an engine over 50 ccs, whether it has two or three wheels. If you get a motorcycle license in Florida, you are only able to drive a motorcycle, it does not qualify you to drive any other vehicles.
- Endorsement: Another option if you already have a valid Florida driver’s license is to apply for an Endorsement. This is essentially an addition to your existing driver’s license which qualifies the owner to drive both traditional motor vehicles as well as two or three-wheeled vehicles.
In Florida, the main difference between a driver’s license and a motorcycle license is what you are allowed to drive. If you have a driver’s license with an endorsement, you can drive both cars and motorcycles. If you only have a motorcycle license, you can only legally operate a motorcycle, not a car.
Do I Need a Motorcycle License in Florida?
If you plan to operate a motorcycle (two or three-wheeled) that has an engine over 50cc’s you will need a motorcycle license in Florida.
Pro Tip: If you currently hold a valid Florida driver’s license but do not reside in Florida for the time being, you can still apply for a motorcycle endorsement in the state of Florida.
Do Scooters and/or Mopeds Require a Motorcycle License in Florida?
It depends on the engine size. In Florida, they make their laws and regulations pretty straightforward for motorcycle licensing. If your vehicle has two or three wheels and an engine over 50cc’s, you need a motorcycle license or an endorsement on your driver’s license.
Do Scooters or Mopeds Need to be Registered in Florida?
If you plan to ride your scooter on public roads (and it qualifies to operate on public roads) it needs to be registered in the state of Florida. If you operate a street-legal scooter on a public road without registering the scooter with Florida, if you are stopped by the police you will get a ticket.
This is how the state of Florida determines if the vehicle is a moped/scooter:
- Has pedals and can be propelled by human power
- Has a seat or saddle for the driver
- Has two or three wheels
- Has a motor with a maximum of 2 brake horsepower (BHP)
- Has 50 cubic centimeters (cc) or less of engine displacement, if the moped uses an internal combustion engine
- Cannot travel over 30 miles per hour (mph) on level ground
- Has an automatic transmission
If your moped has a displacement over 50cc it technically qualifies as a motorcycle and you will need to register it with the state of Florida and have a valid endorsement or motorcycle’s license to operate it on public roads.
In short, if you plan to drive a motorized vehicle on a public road in Florida, you more than likely need to get it registered with the state.
In Florida, you are not required to wear a helmet or eye protection when driving a moped. Insurance is also not necessary for moped drivers, but we do recommend at least carrying liability insurance if you plan to drive your moped frequently. Drivers and passengers that are 16 and under are required to wear a helmet – though we recommend always wearing a helmet no matter your age.
Motorized Scooters vs Motor Scooters in Florida
In Florida, scooters get broken down into two unique categories: “motorized scooters” and “motor scooters.” We discussed what qualifies a vehicle as a motor scooter above, but here is how a motorized scooter is defined in Florida:
A motorized scooter is a vehicle that:
- Has three or fewer wheels
- Cannot exceed 30 mph on level ground
- Does not have a seat or saddle. If it does have a seat or saddle, the vehicle is considered a “motor scooter.”
Motorized scooters are not street-legal in Florida. Even having an endorsement or a motorcycle license does not qualify you to ride a motorized scooter on public streets or on sidewalks in Florida.
Pro Tip: Florida does allow individual counties and cities to set their own rules permitting motorized scooters on sidewalks as long as the speed limit is 15mph or less.
Are There Different Types of Motorcycle Licenses?
Unlike some other states in the US that have multiple classes and types of motorcycle licenses, Florida is pretty straightforward. If it is above 50cc and has two or three wheels, you need a motorcycle license.
If you need a motorcycle license, you have two options:
- Motorcycle License: In Florida, a motorcycle license allows the owner to legally operate any motorcycle with an engine over 50 ccs, whether it has two or three wheels. If you get a motorcycle license in Florida, you are only able to drive a motorcycle, it does not qualify you to drive any other vehicles.
- Endorsement on Driver’s License: If you already have a valid Florida driver’s license, you can apply for an Endorsement. This is essentially an addition to your existing driver’s license which qualifies the owner to drive both traditional motor vehicles as well as two or three-wheeled vehicles.
How Do I Get My Motorcycle License in Florida?
You will need a few things to apply for a motorcycle license or endorsement in Florida.
Steps to Get a Motorcycle Endorsement in Florida
Step 1: Hold at least a regular Class E (Non-Commercial) driver’s license.
Step 2: Complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) motorcycle safety course. For more information on registering for either of these courses, see here.
Step 3: Go to a driver’s license office or tax collector office that issues driver’s licenses and inform them that you successfully completed one of the two courses mentioned in Step 2. Upon providing proper ID and paying the required endorsement fees, your license will be issued with a motorcycle endorsement.
The costs include the $7.00 endorsement fee, plus a license fee, and $6.25 if applying at a county tax collector office. In addition to these costs, you will need to pay the course provider for the required motorcycle safety course.
Steps to Get a Motorcycle License in Florida
If you want to forgo the Class E driver’s license and just get a license to operate a motorcycle, below are the steps to obtain a Motorcycle Only License:
- You must be at least 16 years old and hold a Learner’s License for one year with no traffic convictions or, if over the age of 18, hold a Learner’s License to apply for a Motorcycle Only License.
- To Get a Learner’s Permit, You Must:
- Pass the hearing and vision tests: These exams are taken at the local traffic service station. So make sure you use your glasses or contacts when applying for a learner’s permit.
- Proof of completion of the TLSAE (traffic-law and substance-abuse education course).
- After you complete the course and in-person test, you will need to provide 3 documents:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of social security
- 2 items for proof of residence
- To Get a Learner’s Permit, You Must:
- You need to pass the same knowledge test as for a regular Class E operator’s driver license.
- You must complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) motorcycle safety course. For more information on registering for either of these courses, see here.
- After you complete the courses, go to a driver license office or tax collector office that issues licenses and inform them that you completed the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) and are requesting a “Motorcycle Only” license. Upon providing proper ID and paying the required endorsement and license fees, your “Motorcycle Only” license will be issued.
Your license will be restricted to operating Motorcycles Only.
NOTE: Tax collector offices charge an additional $6.25 fee for driver license transactions.
How Long Will it Take Me to Get My Motorcycle License in Florida?
Assuming you already have a valid driver’s license and are over 18, it can take just a few weeks to get a motorcycle license in Florida. You will need to complete the BCR or BCRu motorcycle safety course, which usually take about 12-15 hours to complete and cost between $90 and $300. Usually, these courses are in-person and take one full day.
Pro Tip: In Florida, even if you have completed a motorcycle safety course and have a valid motorcycle license elsewhere, you still need to complete the Florida BCR/BCRu to obtain a Florida motorcycle endorsement or license.
After you successfully complete the BCR/BCRu, you can submit the required paperwork and documentation at a local DMV and pay any necessary fees and you can walk out of the building with the license in hand. Otherwise, they will provide you with a valid temporary license while you wait for the permanent license in the mail.
If you are under 18 or are just applying for a license for the first time, you will need to complete at least 12 months of driving practice without any traffic violations before you can apply for a permanent license or driver’s license in Florida.
How Much Does a Motorcycle License Cost in Florida?
Below is a list of fees associated with the types of available licenses in the state of Florida. For example, if you want to obtain a regular Class E License with a Motorcycle Endorsement, it will cost $48 for the learner permit, the license, and then an additional $7 for the endorsement and a $6.25 fee for taxes.
If you want to get a Motorcycle Only License, you will need to pay $48 for the license itself and then just the additional $6.25 for the taxes.
|Fee Type||Fee Amount|
|Original Class E (includes Learner’s license)*||$48|
|Original/Renewal Commercial Driver License||$75|
|Renewal Class E||$48|
|Replacement license (Free to veterans only adding the “Veteran” designation)||$25|
|Identification Cards (Original, Renewal & Replacement)||$25|
|Please note that Florida charges an additional $6.25 service fee for any credential issued in a tax collector office. Veterans that provide or have previously provided evidence of veteran status will not be charged the $6.25 service fee for most credentials.|
Can I Purchase a Motorcycle Without a Motorcycle License?
Yes you can! You do not need to have a valid motorcycle license to purchase a motorcycle, scooter, or moped in Florida. You do need a valid motorcycle license or endorsement to ride the motorcycle on public roads.
If you are going to finance the motorcycle through a bank or private lender, it is important to know that they usually do not require you to have a motorcycle license or endorsement, BUT they do require you to have a valid driver’s license.
Also, please note that most lenders require the buyer to be at least 18 years of age or older to acquire a loan.
Is Insurance Required for Motorcycles in Florida?
Technically no, but don’t stop reading there, it is a little complicated. We always encourage everyone to have insurance, especially for motorcyclists who are at higher risk for serious injury when on public roads. Insurance is not required to register your motorcycle, but if you are driving a motorcycle and are in an accident, the owner/operator of the motorcycle is financially responsible for any bodily injury or property damage to others. Because of this liability, insurance is highly encouraged for all motorcyclists.
Additionally, if the driver did not have liability insurance coverage when in the accident, the driver is responsible for purchasing and holding bodily injury and/or property damage insurance for the next three years or they will face a tag/registration suspension.
Check Out More Helpful Motorcycle Guides and Articles:
Getting your motorcycle driver’s license is step one on your journey to becoming an official motorcyclist. If you are considering purchasing a new or used motorcycle, finding great riding paths, cleaning and maintaining your motorcycle, or just perusing existing motorcycles on the market, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our other articles on motorcycles:
- Motorcycles 101: Your Top Questions Answered
- How to Ride a Motorcycle
- Best Motorcycle Helmets
- How to Wash a Motorcycle
- The Definitive Guide to the Different Types of Motorcycles (2020)
- 15 Best Beginner Motorcycles: The Definitive Guide
- The Best Motorcycle Accessories (2021)
- Motorcycle Insurance: What to Consider Before Your Purchase
When you’re ready to find your next motorcycle, be sure to check us out at GoRollick.com.
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