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Motorcycle licenses in Nevada - When do I need it and how do I get it?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Nevada requires people to have a Class M license in order to drive motorcycles. You can get a license either by taking a test or completing a course. Alternatively, you can get a permit to practice driving motorcycles before getting a license. And people with out-of-state licenses can usually have their license transferred to Nevada.

Getting a Nevada motorcycle license by taking a test

In order to take the motorcycle knowledge and skills test (which has both written and driving elements), apply in person at a Nevada DMV location. Applicants who do not already have a driver's license will have to take both the Class C and Class M tests. Applicants who currently have a driver's license will only have to take the Class M test.

Tests currently costs $26 in addition to the applicable Nevada licensing fee. When you go to take the test, bring a current ID.

Applicants need to pass the knowledge test before taking the skills test. Some DMV offices require an appointment. Call your local DMV office for more information.

In order to prepare for the knowledge test, study from Nevada's Motorcycle Operator Manual. Note that if you take the skills test on a motorcycle of less than 90cc, the DMV will restrict your Class M license to 90cc (called "Restriction U").

People who fail the motorcycle skills test two times will need to take a course (discussed below) in order to get a Class M license.

Getting a Nevada motorcycle license by taking a course

Applicants who already have a regular driver's license can avoid taking the motorcycle written and skills test by instead completing a course certified by MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). Course participants do not need their own motorcycle nor an instruction permit. Click here for MSF course listings.

Once applicants finish the course, they have up to one (1) years to bring their MSF card (certificate of completion) to a DMV office to get their motorcycle license.

Transferring an out-of-state motorcycle license to Nevada

The Nevada DMV generally recognizes out-of-state motorcycle licenses (also called "endorsements"). Motorcyclists who move to Nevada can usually transfer their license without taking a test or a course. 

People with out-of-state motorcycle licenses have 30 days after becoming a resident to do the following:

  • go to a Nevada DMV location;
  • bring an ID and proof of Nevada residency;
  • submit a completed DMV 002 form (Application for Driving Privileges);
  • surrender your out-of-state license
  • pay the transfer fee (currently $47.25)

Click here for acceptable proofs of identity.

Getting an instruction permit to practice driving a motorcycle in Nevada

Motorcycle instruction permits allow permit-holders to practice driving in Nevada if they are supervised by a person who:

  • has a valid and current motorcycle license;
  • is 21 years old or older;
  • has at least one (1) years of driving experience; and
  • is also motorcycling during the supervision (therefore, the supervisor cannot be in a car)

Permit holders must abide by the following restrictions:

  • they may drive only when it is light out;
  • they may not carry passengers; and
  • they may not go on high-speed roads, such as highways

In order to get an instruction permit, the applicant must pass a written knowledge test.

Rules for people 18 or older

Adults who choose to get an instruction permit are still required to take the skills test if they want to eventually get a motorcycle license. The permit is good for only six (6) months and may be renewed only once every five (5) years.

People who fail the motorcycle skills test (discussed above) two times may not get any future motorcycle instruction permits. They will be required to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course (also discussed above) to get a Class M license.

Rules for people under 18

In order for people under 18 to get a motorcycle license, they must:

  1. maintain a motorcycle instruction permit for at least six (6) months;
  2. finish 50 hours of driving supervised and document it in a DMV log; and
  3. complete a motorcycle safety course (if no courses are available within 30 miles, then the applicant can instead do another 50 hours of supervised driving)

Instruction permits are valid for one (1) year and are renewable. They expire upon the permit-holder reaching age 18.

Remember that motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Learn more about Nevada motorcycle helmet laws.

Also note that motorcycles need to be registered in Nevada just like other vehicles do.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash in Las Vegas, learn about filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Nevada.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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