Driving a Motorcycle in Florida

Fri, Apr 4, 2014

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by JanSchmidtDid you know driving a motorcycle in Florida requires a special endorsement on your driver’s license? This law took effect in 2008.

This is outlined in Florida Statutes 322.12 (5) a. There it says that: “The department shall formulate a separate examination for applicants for licenses to operate motorcycles. Any applicant for a driver’s license who wishes to operate a motorcycle, and who is otherwise qualified, must successfully complete such an examination, which is in addition to the examination administered under subsection (3). The examination must test the applicant’s knowledge of the operation of a motorcycle and of any traffic laws specifically relating thereto and must include an actual demonstration of his or her ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motorcycle.”

In addition, you are able to get a motorcycle only license. To get one (according the Florida DMV), you must:

–       Be at least 16 years old, and if under 18, hold a Learner’s License for one year with no traffic convictions.

–       Pass the same knowledge test as for a regular Class E operator’s driver license.

–       You must complete the basic motorcycle safety course.
- After you complete the course go to a driver license office or tax collector office that issues licenses and inform them that you completed the course. Upon providing proper ID and paying the required endorsements fees your license will be issued with a motorcycle endorsement.

–       Your license will be restricted to operating “Motorcycles Only.”

The official site for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Florida Rider Training Program has a list of approved classes to get the endorsement, as well as lots of other safety information.

The class teaches you skills that include straight line riding, stopping, turning/shifting, and then move on to more advanced skills like stopping quickly, cornering, and swerving.” The class also involves a riding test, a written test, and class lectures.

The list of classes for Manatee County is found here, and Sarasota’s are found here.

In addition, if you are interested in learning about the helmet laws for motorcycles, check out this page for further information.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941-907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations.

Image: Some rights reserved by JanSchmidt


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