Driving a car is one activity, but operating a motorcycle is another. Riding a motorcycle requires a different set of skills than driving a car. That is why Texas, like other states, requires you to obtain a separate motorcycle license before you can legally operate a motorcycle on public roads. Texas offers more than one type of motorcycle license.

Class M Motorcycle Operator’s License

Texas offers a Class M motorcycle operator’s license, which represents full qualification to operate a motorcycle. You must be at least 16 years old to obtain an unrestricted Class M license. See the section farther below for step-by-step instructions on how to obtain one.

Class M Restricted Licenses

A Class M motorcycle license is the least restricted motorcycle license that Texas offers. Following are descriptions of more restricted versions.

The “J” Restriction: Learner License

A “learner license,” commonly known as a learner’s permit, allows you to operate a motorcycle while you are practicing your skills. The aim is to prepare you so that you can eventually test for an unrestricted license. You must be at least 14 years old to obtain a learner’s permit. Under this license, you can only operate a motorcycle if a fully licensed motorcyclist over 21 years old is in sight and watching you.

The “I” Restriction: 15-Year-Olds

You must be at least 15 years old to apply for a Class M motorcycle operator’s license. If you have not yet turned 16, however, Texas will apply an “I” restriction to your motorcycle operator’s license. The I restriction will limit you to operating a motorcycle with no more than 250ccs of piston displacement. You can ask the Texas driver’s license office to remove the 250cc restriction as soon as you turn 16.

Step-by-Step Guide To Obtaining a Motorcycle License in Texas

To obtain a Class M Texas motorcycle operator’s license, you must generally complete the following steps: 

  1. If you are under 18 and you want an unrestricted M license, you must first either obtain a Class C (automobile) learner’s permit or driver’s license, or you must successfully complete the classroom portion of a driver’s ed class.
  2. Take a motorcycle safety course that has been approved by the Texas state government. You have to go on location; you cannot do this online. Some schools allow you to use one of their motorcycles.
  3. Go to the Texas Driver License Office with your Class C license or proof that you have completed driver education. You will also need to prove your identity and your Texas residency.
  4. If you are under 18, you need the signature of a parent or guardian or a signed high school Certificate of Enrollment and Attendance.
  5. Take a vision test.
  6. Pay the appropriate testing fees.
  7. Take a knowledge test (Texas will waive this requirement if you’ve already passed the TX Basic Rider Course).
  8. Take the motorcycle skills exam. This is a road test. You will need to bring a motorcycle, a car, and a driver for the car (to follow you while you’re taking the test). There will be a fee to collect the license.

You may be able to waive some of the foregoing requirements in certain situations, such as if you already have a motorcycle license from another state (see here for full details). You need special endorsements to operate certain types of motorcycles, such as three-wheeled motorcycles or a motorcycle with a sidecar.

Once You Obtain Your License

Once Texas issues you a motorcycle operator’s license, it is your responsibility to comply with all legal requirements that apply to motorcycle operators. 


By default, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets in the State of Texas. However, if you are over the age of 21 and have completed a Motorcycle Operator Training Course or have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage, you are not legally required to wear one.


Texas requires motorcycle operators to purchase “20/60/25” liability insurance. This insurance will cover up to $30,000 liability per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 in property damage liability. This insurance will not cover your losses, only your liability to others if you cause an accident. You have the option of purchasing better insurance coverage if you are willing to pay for it.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents frequently result in death and catastrophic injury. If you believe someone else caused your motorcycle accident, the odds are better than 50/50 that you’re right. In the United States, most motorists simply aren’t watching out for motorcyclists. 

Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for a free initial case consultation to learn about how you could hold the at-fault party liable for your damages.

Contact the Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help

For more information, contact the Houston motorcycle accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
United States

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
United States

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054
United States