Motorcyclists didn’t just wake up one day and start riding. Bikers need to follow the same licensing criteria other motorists do. This means getting their motorcycle license.
Florida’s laws for obtaining your motorcycle license can be extensive. But once you earn your license, you’re free to ride down I-4 on a sunny afternoon.
At Rubenstein Law, we make it our business to help the Florida motorcycle community. For legal help or if you have questions, reach out to our team. Call 800-355-3425 (FL-LEGAL), or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Anyone 16 or older can get a motorcycle license as long as they meet the requirements.
If you don’t have already have a driver’s license, you may be eligible for a “Motorcycle Only” license.
Potential riders must have had their Learner’s Permit for a minimum of one year, and only qualify if, during that one year, had zero traffic violations.
Examples of traffic violations the DMV doesn’t want to see include:
If you already have your driver’s license, then you won’t need a “Motorcycle Only” license. You can get a motorcycle license endorsement added to your license instead.
Before you can get this endorsement, specific criteria must be met.
The path you take depends on whether you have an existing driver’s license. If you do, your first step will be to take a Basic Rider Course. These teach the fundamentals of safe motorcycle operation, developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Most courses are 15 hours.
Once you have taken this course, you will have one year to pay your endorsement fee. Make your check out to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. After that fee has been paid, you will be a licensed Florida motorcyclist.
First and foremost, you need to prep for the written test. With a little studying, it should be fairly easy to pass the 50-question multiple-choice test. Once you pass the written test, you need to pass hearing and vision tests as well.
From there, you can go on and take your BRC course. Once you pass the written, vision, and hearing tests, you only need to pay your endorsement fees, and you will have earned your Florida motorcycle license. Congratulations!
Whether you are getting a motorcycle endorsement on a driver’s license or getting a motorcycle-only license, you must take certain required classes that can cost money.
Your Basic Rider Course or Basic Rider Course updated can cost anywhere between $99 and $300, depending on where you take it and how long the course takes. It may be a one-day course, or it may take place over multiple days.
Fees for Florida driver’s licenses change periodically. You must first get a learner’s permit or Original Class E driver’s license, which will cost $48.
A motorcycle endorsement will cost an additional $7. If you choose to get a motorcycle-only license, the cost is $48. There will also be an additional tax collector fee of $6.25.
The charge for a knowledge test and a skill test is built into the cost of your learner’s permit or Class E driver’s license. However, if you have to retest, you will pay an additional $10 for the knowledge retest and $20 for the skills retest.
If you choose to take driver’s education courses or skills courses, they can be additional costs. However, many BRC and BRCu courses offer additional skills education as well.
The total cost of a motorcycle license can be more than $350 in Florida.
Before you can get your motorcycle license, you must first get a learner’s permit unless you plan on getting a motorcycle-only license. There is no specific learner’s permit for motorcycle-only riders.
Instead, you can get your learner’s permit for motor vehicle operation and then get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. You can get a motorcycle endorsement after you have had your learner’s permit for a minimum of one year and have not had any traffic violations.
To get a learner’s permit, you must meet the following requirements:
The drug and alcohol course is a four-hour class called Drug, Alcohol and Traffic Awareness or Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education. You can sign up for one of these courses at FirstTimeDriver.com.
Your course may be taken online and does not have to be completed in one sitting. Online course providers will submit a completion report to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) when you are done.
Vision and hearing tests are taken at the FLHSMV location when you arrive to receive your learner’s permit. You should wear your glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids if you need them to see and hear adequately enough to drive safely.
A written test is required for all drivers seeking a learner’s permit. It is called a Class E Knowledge Exam. This exam can also be taken online at FirstTimeDriver.com, or you can take it in person at the FLHSMV location.
Some high schools also offer the knowledge exam through a Driver Education Licensing Assistance Program. The exam has 50 multiple-choice questions that cover Florida traffic laws and safe driving practices.
You must get at least 40 questions correct to pass – an 80%. Everything you need to know for the knowledge exam is available in the Official Florida Driver License Handbook.
Some states have strict laws in place that require bikers to wear helmets. Others have none. Florida falls somewhere in the middle. Drivers under 21 must wear a helmet when operating their motorcycle. No exceptions.
Bikers who are 21 or older may be able to avoid having to wear a helmet. Bikers who carry motorcycle insurance are not required to wear a helmet. Let’s be clear: It is never a good idea not to wear a helmet. They help keep you safe, but they can also protect you in other ways.
Florida is a comparative fault state. If you are involved in an accident, the defense will look for ways to avoid paying you. One of these ways is by blaming you. If they can show you share fault for the accident, your award will be reduced.
Despite the fact that certain Florida bikers may not be required to wear a helmet, not wearing one shows a disregard for your own personal safety allowing the judge to find you partly at fault for your injuries.
Let’s say that you chose not to wear a helmet, and we’re struck by a driving following too closely. The jury might award you $250,000 for your suffering. But the judge finds that you are 10% at fault for your injuries. Your award would then be reduced to $225,000.
All licensed drivers in Florida must carry auto insurance. For Florida motorcyclists, you need to have the following types and amounts of coverage – especially if you don’t wear a helmet:
It’s also important to note that coverage on another car or truck you own does not provide any coverage for you on your motorcycle.
At Rubenstein Law, we strive to provide answers to your most commonly asked questions. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please reach out to our office.
Not always. You can get a motorcycle endorsement on your Class E driver’s license, but you may also opt to obtain a motorcycle-only license if you want to avoid getting a regular driver’s license altogether.
Yes. If you want to obtain a motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle-only license in Florida, you must take a BRC or BRCu course, even if you’ve held a motorcycle license from another state.
Florida does not require that riders have insurance to register a motorcycle. However, if you are over the age of 20 and opt not to wear a helmet, then you must have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. Personal Injury Protection does not cover bikers in Florida.
To be endorsed for a three-wheel motorcycle, you must hold a regular Class E operator’s driver’s license and complete a three-wheel basic rider course. After completing the course, you can go to a driver’s license office, and they will issue you with a license that has the “S” restriction.
Even if you follow all the rules to get your Florida motorcycle license, the actions of a reckless driver can still cause an accident that leaves you or a loved one severely injured. At Rubenstein Law, we’re dedicated to keeping the Florida motorcycle community safe and being a resource when you need us most.